The Economic Impact of the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden on Greater Cincinnati
The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden is one of the premier recreational and cultural
attractions in the Cincinnati Tri-state region, creating adventure through its exhibits
and special events, conveying knowledge through its educational programs,
conserving nature through its conservation efforts and serving community through
various programs. In addition to its international reputation as an environmental and
educational institution, it creates economic benefits for numerous households and
businesses in the Greater Cincinnati community through its employment and business
This report estimates the economic impact of the Zoo on Greater Cincinnati’s
employment, household earnings, and business sales for 2006. The impact of The
Cincinnati Zoo on Greater Cincinnati 1 is multi-faceted. Through its spending, its
contracted services, and spending by visitors from outside the area, it benefits the
regional economy. Through its plant and animal exhibits, programs, special events,
and continuing development, it has an impact on the surrounding community in many
Total Economic Impact
- The total economic impact of the Cincinnati Zoo is $124.6 million. This
includes a household earnings impact of $42.7 million. The total impact on
employment in Greater Cincinnati is over 1,600 jobs.
- Together, these economic activities generated nearly $4.1 million annually in
local sales, earnings, and property tax revenue. This includes more than
$944,000 for Hamilton County and the City of Cincinnati in sales and earnings
taxes, and another $2.0 million in property taxes for Hamilton County
- When the total economic impact of $124.6 million is compared with the Zoo’s
spending of $36.6 million for operations and construction, it results in an
overall economic multiplier of 3.4, a number which very few local enterprises
Sources of Economic Impact
The economic impact of the Cincinnati Zoo operations accounts for $65.1 million
of the total economic impact, which generates $24.4 million in household
income and supports 752 full- and part-time jobs.
Related spending by out-of-town visitors on dining, lodging, and otherpurchases, accounts for another $41.1 million of the total economic impact,which generates $13.1 million in household income, and supports 720 full- and part-time jobs.
- The economic impact of the Cincinnati Zoo capital expenditures for construction
accounts for the remaining $18.4 million of the total economic impact, which
generates $5.1 million in household income and supports 140 full- and part-time
- Through attraction of visitors from outside the area, the Cincinnati Zoo brings
$53.5 million in new money into the region, replenishing and expanding the
Greater Cincinnati economy.
- Hamilton County specifically benefits as a result of both visitors from outside the
area and Zoo visitors who come from other counties within the Cincinnati area,
who combine to spend over $25.0 million in Hamilton County during trips to the
Other Local Impact
- Nearly 63 percent of the Cincinnati Zoo’s employees live in Hamilton County,
which has less than half of the region’s population. As a result, the benefits
of the Zoo’s employment are concentrated in Hamilton County.
- Between 2001 and 2006, the economic impact of the Cincinnati Zoo on the
Cincinnati area has increased by almost 41 percent.
- The Zoo is also a growing source of local tax revenues. The local tax
revenues have grown by 51.9 percent since 2001.
Regional Cultural Institution
- In terms of attendance, the Cincinnati Zoo is a leading regional cultural
attraction and the No. 1 year-round attraction in Hamilton County.
- Every year, the Cincinnati Zoo delivers an exciting educational experience to
more than 212,000 pre-school and school-age children. An estimated 48.0
percent of the Zoo’s 1,061,322 visitors are children.
- The Cincinnati Zoo educational staff produced more than 3,700 presentations
of over a hundred and twenty programs, with a combined 2006 attendance of
over 212,000. Most of these programs are offered at nominal or no cost.
- The Cincinnati Zoo works with local schools to facilitate school group
expeditions, which brought a total of 101,898 children to the Zoo in 2006.
- The Zoo also recognizes the importance of working with urban school districts
by sponsoring science enrichment programs, and by providing training for
teachers and classes for university students, and by hosting the Zoo
Academy, a unique Cincinnati public high school.