Niabi Zoo director clarifies free passes policy

Free passes to Niabi Zoo do have an expiration date, and zoo officials are clarifying their policy concerning which passes are valid for free admission.

Zoo Director Marc Heinzman says you can use Niabi Zoo free admission passes that have an expiration date printed on them, which indicates they were issued in 2013 or 2014. Passes without a printed expiration date are at least two or more years old, and the zoo has stopped accepting those older passes.

An incident in 2013 involving a large number of free passes, received in about an hour and a half, contributed to the decision to clarify which passes qualified as valid, Heinzman said.

“Last year we had more than half of all of our admissions were free to the zoo,” Heinzman said. “So, we’re just trying to put some internal controls in place, just to make sure that our revenue stream is staying steady. It’s very expensive to run a zoo, and we want to make sure the zoo stays open and operating and is around for a long time for people to enjoy.”

Heinzman says the zoo also offers several free admission days throughout the season each year.

Admission is also discounted on Tuesdays for all visitors age three years and up. Admission is free every day for kids two years old and younger.

For admission prices and policies at Niabi Zoo, click here.

7 comments

  • chris g

    I dont care how many were redeemed last year. THE ZOO gave those free passes out when PAYING customers BOUGHT a zoo membership. Expiration or not, they should be obligated to accept them.

  • Melissa Alger

    This should not be about 2014 revenue. You honor your past and present customers. We paid for memberships and contributed to the zoo in years past. These coupons are good and have no printed expiration date on them. You need to find a way to make it up to the people whom have these coupons. I wonder if the BBB would like some comments on a business not honoring coupons and an update on how much the zoo has declined over the years.

  • Jennie B.

    I understand the need to institute new safeguards to prevent future fraud, but it should not come at the expense of those who consistently supported the zoo and paid for memberships and received the vouchers as PART of the membership. They were not given as a bonus. The cost was included in the membership. We participated in the Triple Membership for several years and have probably a dozen or more of these remaining. As they did not include an expiration date, we simply held on to them for future use. We did not renew this year as my kids have aged out of the Family Museum and planned to use these vouchers throughout the summer months. Guess what? We simply won’t go now, so that’s ZERO revenue, plus missed revenue through the gift shop and food vendors. Why can’t you just verify our membership during those years in question in your database when we visit and present the vouchers at the ticket booth? It might take a few extra seconds of effort, but it would be easier than trying to reverse the sour taste in the mouth of supporting patrons if you continue to deny their use of VALID vouchers.

  • Just saying

    I’m sure it is expensive to run a zoo. Too bad Rock Island county uses the donation money raised by The Friends of Niabi that is intended to bring in more animals. You want more money? Quit getting rid of all the animals!

  • Steph O.

    I was shocked when I went to the zoo for the first time this year. First, the hours changed and the zoo no longer opens at 9:30. Second when I went to use my free train passes saved from many years of having the triple membership I was told those would no longer be honored nor would my stack of no expiration date free zoo admissions. Like the other people who have commented, honor your

  • Steph O.

    I was shocked when I went to the zoo for the first time this year. First, the hours changed and the zoo no longer opens at 9:30. Second when I went to use my free train passes saved from many years of having the triple membership I was told those would no longer be honored nor would my stack of no expiration date free zoo admissions. Like the other people who have commented, honor your past coupons.

  • incredulous

    You cannot change the rules after-the-fact. If I purchased the prepaid passes with no expiration date–as part of a season ticket purchase no less–then you need to honor them. We had been planning to use two this week-end, and pay for the other six in our party. Instead, I will give them to the BBB with my complaint and we will take our visiting nieces and nephews to the Celebration Belle instead. incredible.

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