Phoenix zoo to take a “wellness day” to thank staff for dedication throughout a difficult year

The Arizona Center for Nature Conservation (ACNC)/Phoenix Zoo will be closed to the public on Thursday, May 27. However, nearly 250 full and part time staff members will still come to work and get paid to unwind, relax, recharge and spend time doing what makes them happy.

“The past year has been an unparalleled time for everyone,” says President and CEO Bert Castro. “We are grateful to our dedicated staff who worked tirelessly during our closure to ensure our animals received the same high-quality care they always have, and that same staff are now continuing to work hard to help the Zoo rebound and welcome back guests. It is high time to give our Zoo family a well-deserved day of enjoyment and respite!”

Staff will be able to spend a portion of their day taking in the scenery of the Zoo as they do yoga, read a book, participate in a scavenger hunt, dabble in arts and crafts, enjoy water games and much, much more! Lunch will be hosted lakeside with a live DJ. All activities are socially distanced with COVID precautions in place including wearing face coverings. Animals will obviously still receive their daily care and extra TLC, but so will the staff!

“We are offering experiences and activities to appeal to all of our team members on this special day,” says Castro. “Above all, we want our team to know how much they are appreciated and that they are the backbone of our organization. We couldn’t have made it through this past year without them and their dedicated service to the Zoo.”

Like other attractions and businesses in the Valley, the Zoo shut down last March to help slow the spread of COVID-19. In total, the Zoo was closed for 161 days and lost more than $6.5 million in revenue. Despite the Zoo’s gates being closed, essential staff and keepers remained on Zoo grounds each day to care, feed and nurture the animals as well as maintain the Zoo’s facilities and grounds. With a drive-thru experience welcoming guests in the summer, and the Zoo reopening in September, guests are carefully visiting once again. With safety measures in place, the 125 acres of outside space to roam is a must-do activity in the Valley!