It's Official...Glacier Run is a Success!

Since it’s opening in April, Glacier Run at Louisville Zoo has been a busy place!  Not only have they recently received a rescued polar bear cub, bringing their population to 2, but they have been housing a family of three grizzly bears rescued from Yellowstone earlier this year.

Word from the zoo is the grizzly bears are especially fond of the large dig pit included in the new exhibit.   They apparently spend almost all of their time digging around in the gravel and mulch, and to our pleasure, we have succeeded in keeping the mess from the dig pit from entering the pool.  The secret?  Locating the dig pit at a slightly lower elevation than the water level, and separating the dig pit from the main pool by a shallow stream.

Last month, PGAV Destinations sent out the following press release:

Glacier Run Exhibit Opens at Louisville Zoo

PGAV Destinations Project Teaches Visitors Better Bonds with Wildlife and Our Planet 

(St. Louis, Missouri – August 16, 2011):  PGAV Destinations, a global leader in the planning and design of entertainment and cultural destinations, is pleased to announce that its Glacier Run project is touted as a sensation at the Louisville Zoo.  PGAV Destinations served as the lead designer of this state-of-the-art attraction.

Designed as an imaginary town on the edge of the arctic wilderness, Glacier Run is modeled after the real town of Churchill, Canada, known as the polar bear capital of the world, where humans and wildlife have learned to co-exist.

“Glacier Run is sure to delight and entertain, but also tells one of the most important environmental stories of our generation. This arctic-themed exhibit fundamentally advances a Zoo’s mission of ‘bettering the bond between people and our planet,’” Louisville Zoo Director John Walczak said. “The very nature of this exhibit’s design is based on the idea of humans learning to co-exist with wildlife.”

PGAV Destinations’ design features include an old mining quarry, now flooded with water, where the bears come to play, a fishery and warehouse dock for more bear play space, and a melting glacier, that has destroyed a road in the town, for extra bear play space. The exhibit offers spectacular views, captivating stories of the arctic and unique opportunities for close encounters with polar bears, as well as grizzly bears.  Guests have the opportunity to interact with zookeepers, learn about current challenges to arctic environments and animals, and discover how incremental changes in human everyday activities and behaviors can make a difference for our planet and these magnificent species.

The attraction is on its way to increasing attendance at the Louisville Zoo to more than 890,000 visitors annually and creating a $33.6 million economic impact for the region.

About Louisville Zoo

In its 43-year history, the Louisville Zoo has dedicated itself to the pursuits of education, conservation, scientific study and recreation. Accredited by the American Zoological Association (AZA) in 1980, the "State Zoo of Kentucky" currently exhibits over 1,700 animals in naturalistic and mixed animal settings representing both geographical areas and biomes or habitats.

About PGAV Destinations                                                                                                                                  

PGAV Destinations is a global leader in the planning and design of unique destinations. The firm uniquely combines award-winning storytelling and creativity with business strategy to create some of the world’s most important cultural, heritage, and natural destinations. PGAV develops growth-oriented master plans and translates these plans into innovative new destination products. Now in its fifth decade, the firm has authored hundreds of highly successful projects in places such as SeaWorld, the Grand Canyon, Biltmore Estate, The Brookfield Zoo, the Georgia Aquarium, Kennedy Space Center, and Busch Gardens.