ASHEBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — Inflation continues to make its way across America, increasing the prices of almost every household need for Americans, and entertainment at the North Carolina zoo is no exception.
On Wednesday, the North Carolina Zoo Council passed a motion to increase the price of admission.
“We know we are a zoo for everybody in North Carolina, and so the effort to try and make sure we are earning our way as well as making it available for citizens is important to us,” said one of the council members.
The new prices won’t go into effect until they get approval from the State Department of Natural Resources.
The current prices haven’t changed since 2015, but the rising cost of labor and material has caused zoo officials to find an alternative way to bring in more money.
“The intent here is that we do this price increase now so that we begin to cover a lot of our costs,” said one of the council members.
Officials plan to build and expand new exhibits and funds for year-round events for family enjoyment.
Currently, the price for adults is $16, and $13 for seniors and the military. Children 12 and under are $11, and children under 2 are free.
“I don’t agree with it. With the price of everything going up in America and possibly around the world, families who have more than two children cannot afford that,” said Cindy Bailey, an Asheboro parent and grandparent.
During peak season and once approved, the admission price will jump to five dollars. Adults will be $20, seniors and military will jump to $18, children will go to $16 and kids two and under will continue to be free.
Officials told FOX8 a discount will be available online and will also make the line faster.
Bailey said the increase puts parents in binds to choose whether to spend time at the zoo with their families or spend the extra money on other things.
Zoo officials said while the prices go up, they are aggressively working to raise funds to keep the gate prices at bay.