Did you know the Calgary Zoo set an attendance record in 2012? The new Penguin Plunge exhibit was a phenomenal success with almost 1.5 million people coming to see these tuxedo-colored birds.
But the Zoo did not rest on its laurels with a record-breaking year. It looked for more ways to engage visitors and is making new headlines with the latest idea – the penguin walk.
Three times a week, the King Penguins leave their enclosure for a brief walk around the North Entrance. It is great exercise for the penguins (like us, they tend towards plumpness) and it is turning into a huge crowd pleaser.
The zoo could have taken the penguins for walks after hours; it would take fewer caregivers. But in the spirit of reinventure®, they turned an animal care activity into a visitor event. Judging by the comments I overheard last week, only a walk-about by Oprah could generate more excitement!
If you would like to see what happens when walking several King penguins and a few dead fish, check out my video at bit.ly/14uZPxX.
Taking the plunge (pun intended) and reinventing a routine activity as a new tourism attraction is a great way to add to your bottom line. What are you already doing that could be reinvented with a little adventure?