ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – The Albuquerque BioPark is asking people how they can make one of the city’s top tourist attractions better, and already, thousands of responses have come in.
“There’s going to be a lot of data to sift through,” said Rick Janser, director of the ABQ BioPark.
Janser says out of the more than 2,000 surveys its received, more than 1,500 ideas have funneled in on how to improve the zoo, aquarium, botanical gardens and Tingley Beach.
Those ideas have included everything from bigger sharks, better and healthier food, connecting the park to Bosque trails and even adding more New Mexico experiences.
“There’s a lot of good ideas, some that we’ve thought about, some that we haven’t thought about,” said Janser.
But what ideas are actually possible? Amidst the several suggestions for better access, some want to see better access between the BioPark’s attractions.
Janser says that’s an idea he’s keen on. Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry also expressed support for that idea in October 2013, suggesting the city add an aerial tram like one at the San Diego Zoo.
“That way, they can see the entire BioPark in a day instead of having to choose one or the other,” said Janser.
But Janser admits the BioPark won’t be able to tackle everything.
“Some are not something we probably could achieve,” said Janser.
For example, one idea that has charted at the top of the list is exhibits and activities for bad weather visits. Janser says building more indoor attractions is not cost effective for Albuquerque’s climate.
But Janser says the BioPark still has plenty of room for a bigger future.
“You’ve gotta dream big because if you don’t, you’ll never get it,” said Janser.
As for paying for all of the changes to the BioPark, the city says the projects would happen as money became available. There is always a possibility of bond measures, but so far, none have been drafted.
The deadline to take the survey is mid-February. Another public meeting will be held in March.
To view the survey, click here.