KC Zoo’s new ‘free day’ program is a winning idea

04/30/2014 6:59 PM

04/30/2014 6:59 PM

The Kansas City Zoo on Wednesday announced a new, positive plan to continue providing “free days” at the facility. And it should help avoid the crowding and violence problems that can occur on those days.

The new program reportedly has the support of elected officials and others who became concerned after

the last free admission day in March was plagued with shots being fired outside the zoo

, along with some fights among a large group of people near closing hour.

As I wrote at the time,

the zoo needed a way to keep the free days as promised to Clay and Jackson countians who in 2011 approved a sales tax to improve the facility.

They appear to have done just that. (

Here are the details

.)

The program is called the “Postcard to Adventure,” and it’s offered to residents of the two counties.

Basically, postcards with tickets will be mailed to them in June, offering three “free” days of admission in 2014. The admissions will be on staggered days, so not everyone will be visiting on the same day.

That will help hold down crowd sizes, and make it much more difficult for groups of people who want to cause mischief to get in together.

Unfortunately, it’s also going to be an extra expense for the zoo, as opposed to the old way of doing things — simply setting aside one free day every few months for everyone from those two counties to visit the zoo.

From zoo officials:

“Each address in these two counties will be randomly sorted into a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday visit. Each ticket is valid during one of three months: July, September and November.”

“To gain free admission through this program, residents will be asked to bring their “Postcard to Adventure” FREE VISIT ticket with a current utility bill or photo ID. All family members who reside at that same address will be admitted with the person whose name is on that free ticket. All this information will be printed on the postcard.”

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