The St. Louis Zoo on Thursday were expected to release expansion plans officials believe will change visitors’ entire experience.
St. Louis Zoo officials say the popular zoo could someday include a hotel, an indoor attraction such as an aquarium and many new animal exhibits.
Zoo officials are scheduled to unveil preliminary plans Thursday for expansion into a former hospital site the zoo bought last October. The plans are simply a framework of possibilities and no funding or specific details are final.
Things from where people park to what animals will be on display could all change drastically. The zoo’s south parking lot could become a nine-acre savannah, and may resemble a safari ride.
The zoo would also put parking underground across Highway 40 near the old Forest Park Hospital, which was bought by the zoo last year.
Under the proposal, pedestrians would have to take a new bridge over the highway to get back to the main campus.
Those who feel adventurous would also be able to take a gondola ride with a bird’s-eye view of all the animals.
The expansion would take 20 t0 30 years to complete and costs hundreds of millions of dollars raised from fundraising money, property tax revenue and other sources.
Zoo officials will also propose a boutique and a zoo-themed hotel right here on the campus.