Effective April 1, 2021, Mill Mountain Zoo will increase its capacity to 120 guests per hour. The Zoo also recently reverted from its winter hours to its spring/ summer hours and is once again open seven days a week, from 10 AM- 5PM.
When COVID-19 restrictions were mandated by the Governor, Mill Mountain Zoo very conservatively determined its capacity. Until the announcement of the April 1 easing of restrictions, the Zoo had not raised its capacity from the initial order. In the interest of community health, even as an outdoor location, the Zoo opted to keep its numbers low and its guests widely spread throughout its facility.
Prior to Spring Break for many area schools, the Zoo decided to reevaluate its pandemic policies keeping public health as its priority. As vaccination rates steadily rise and the number of COVID-19 cases plateau, the Zoo is comfortable complying with Governor Northam’s guidelines increasing venues to 30% of their capacity on April 1. Masks are still encouraged on Zoo grounds and required within the Zoo’s gift shop.
Nationwide, people have been seeking outdoor avenues to cure months of cabin fever. Mill Mountain Zoo has seen a rise in its attendance earlier in the season than usual as Roanokers are eager to get outside. “Since the weather has been so nice, a lot of people have wanted to enjoy the outdoors. We’ve been regularly hitting our COVID-19 level capacity. Increasing our capacity per hour will allow more guests to spend time outdoors while learning about wildlife conservation and our animals.,” said Kontessa St. Clair, Guest Services Manager.