The City of Providence and the Rhode Island Zoological Society announced the recent signing of a twenty year lease and operating agreement. The new document is similar to the previous ten year agreement, which benefits both Roger Williams Park Zoo and the City.
“This long term, continuing agreement is mutually beneficial for both parties,” said Mayor Jorge Elorza. “This new lease allows the Rhode Island Zoological Society to continue managing operations while ensuring that our Zoo remains a destination for Providence residents and visitors.”
The agreement provides for the Society to continue to manage all operations at the Zoo and provide for its financial support. Dr. Jeremy Goodman, the executive director of the Society and Zoo said “The twenty year term provides us an assurance of long term stability and commitment. This is essential to enable advanced planning of and to carry out all phases of the new master plan. It is also important to the Society’s donors who will fund the various projects.”
Outlined in the new agreement, the City will save over $9.5 million over the twenty year term through decreased payments for Zoo utilities and Society management as the Society gradually adapts and absorbs those costs. The Zoo’s union animal keepers and its veterinary technicians will remain City employees. Meanwhile, the Society will continue to maintain the Zoo property and buildings for the City at a high level, and will continue to invest in new exhibits and improvements over the next 20 years to ensure the Zoo remains the top paid tourist attraction in the state.
About RWP Zoo: Roger Williams Park Zoo, one of the oldest in the nation, is Rhode Island’s number one outdoor family and tourist attraction, and is also a leader in conservation efforts undertaken by a zoo of its size. The Zoo has received numerous awards for environmental education, and conservation work done locally and around the world, caring for species that without human intervention would face certain extinction. Roger Williams Park Zoo is supported and managed by the Rhode Island Zoological Society and is owned by the City of Providence.