North Carolina Zoo leaders are looking at new ways to generate revenue. In recent years the state budget has had less and less money for the zoo. Public money accounts for about 60 percent of their budget. The remainder comes from park sales and private donations. The zoo is currently one of two state-owned zoos in the United States. Traditionally a trip to the zoo in Asheboro has been a day trip for families. Officials want to change that by adding additional attractions such as a water park, an Asian continent exhibit or a hotel. Zoo Director David Jones says the zoo needs to evolve to survive.
David Jones: "We've got to find new sources of income. and with new sources of attendance and people coming to do things sixteen hours a day"
Last year, the zoo purchased new land adjacent to its existing property making it the nation's largest. Only a quarter of the property is currently developed. The current plans for the undeveloped area involve nature trails and stream preservation.