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Honolulu Zoo ticket prices could increase by $2 for residents

honolulu zoo
Honolulu Zoo
The Honolulu Zoo welcomed the arrival of a new baby Eastern black rhinoceros born on April 19, 2023, to parents Aria (mother) and Kendi (father). The male baby is the first offspring of the couple who arrived from San Diego last year.

The Honolulu City Council's budget committee advanced two bills relating to fee changes for municipal golf courses and the Honolulu Zoo at Tuesday's meeting.

Bill 2 would create an identification card to confirm resident status at city golf courses. The card would cost $5 to activate, and $10 for replacements. The measure also proposes raising the green fee rate for residents without a golf ID card from $4 to $8.

Rates for residents to play an 18-hole round of golf at most city courses with an ID card are $32 on the weekend and $28 on weekdays. Without the card, the price significantly increases to $86.

Bill 7 would raise the admission rates for kamaʻāina adults and children at the Honolulu Zoo. The measure raises the admission from $8 to $10 for adults, and $4 to $6 for children between the ages of 4 and 12.

Jerry Pupillo, the Department of Enterprise Services director, told councilmembers the department looked at similar-sized zoos across the country to gauge admission rates.

He said the Honolulu Zoo was in the lower 10% of zoos receiving between $2 million and $7 million annually. The last time the zoo increased fees was in 2011.

"We compare that also with what our expenses have done since 2011. And I think that this modest increase of $2 for both the adult and child is a reasonable step," Pupillo said.

Both measures move to a third and final reading by the City Council. Its next meeting is scheduled for May 17.

Casey Harlow is an HPR reporter and occasionally fills in as local host of Morning Edition and All Things Considered. Contact him at charlow@hawaiipublicradio.org or on Twitter (@CaseyHarlow).
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