Expansion of Minnesota ZooMinnesota Zoo may develop into one of the nation's top five ; MOA poised to be the largest mall in the world again.
By: Sammie Villella, Sibley Scribe
We’ve all been to the wonderful Minnesota Zoo either on a field trip or with family. But the way you know the zoo now will forever be changed in years to come. The zoo director, Lee Ehmke, plans to do a lot more with the zoo including whole new exhibits, an adventure park, a carousel, and even a fancy restaurant. How exactly are they going to accomplish this feat, you may be wondering? With the help of private donations, state aid, and an increase in admission fees they just might be able to swing the hundreds of millions of dollars they need for the project. Seems more like impossible to the average person. But if the expansion were to be undertaken and finished, there would be an influx of new animals joining the zoo’s family. These animals include: giraffes, rhinos, antelopes, lions, cheetahs, hippos, sea lions, walruses, snowy owls, ostriches, zebras, meerkats, orangutans and so, so, so many more. Besides an addition of animals, there will added attractions. These include: an adventure park featuring a zipline, ropes course, and a chute and ladders course, a conservation carousel, new picnic areas, and a tented camp ground for overnight stays for scout troops and/or other organizations. All of these new additions will be accomplished over a course of many years, which could in the end possibly qualify the Minnesota Zoo as one of the top five zoos in the country.
Besides the zoo having a big remodel ahead, the great Mall of America is also looking forward to new renovations. Phase 2 of the MOA plan has already been installed. The brand new Radisson Blu Hotel is located at the rear of the mall itself. In front of the mall there is planned to be an expansion of shops, hotels, boutiques, offices, and entertainment areas. Next to the mall but still connected will be the new largest water park in Minnesota and also fitness and spa centers. New restaurants, movie theatres, and nightlife accommodations will be added to the mall’s extended interior as well. This remodeled building should stretch out into the front of IKEA, making it a good possibility that the Mall of America will connect with IKEA to make one gigantic shopping area. Overall, the mall will be adding 5.6 million square feet of multi-use space and expects an additional 20 million visitors a year (in addition to the 40 million it already receives).