So far, I've heard about two new exhibits opening over the Labor Day weekend: National Zoo's newly renovated American Trail (link includes Portico Group's signature design fly-thru) and Central Florida Zoo's river otters (which I'll be covering in person--stay tuned!). Traditionally, new exhibits are opened for the spring rush to experience an extra bump in attendance through the busy summer months. I wonder what is driving the timing of these two exhibits? Project delays? Or did they intentionally plan for Labor Day openings?
Summer as the high season for zoos and aquariums is not driven, as you might expect, by good weather--but rather the fact that kids are out of school. Weather is, of course, a factor in attendance, but even zoos, aquariums and theme parks located in yearlong mild climates see a bump during summer. Could these new exhibit openings be an attempt to correct the fall / winter slow down?
If you know of other new exhibits opening over Labor Day, let me know. And if you were involved in the opening date decision making, share your insight.