A new private-public partnership at the Milwaukee County Zoo will lead to $3 million worth of capital investments, including major renovations and upgrades to the zoo’s existing restaurants and gift shops, County Executive Chris Abele announced Wednesday.
The capital investment will come from new zoo vendor Service Systems Associates. The new concessions partnership will bring a “Bear Garden” to the zoo, and will additionally lead to new full-time jobs and bring local food vendors to the county facility, according to a news release from Abele’s office.
The new zoo concessions operator already oversees public and private cultural attractions at 35 other zoos, aquariums and museums throughout the country.
Abele said the new zoo beer garden should add onto recent successes the county has seen with other beer gardens at county parks.
“Our public-private partnerships in the County’s successful beer gardens have been a huge win, serving up top-notch local food and beverages and bringing more than one million dollars back into our Parks,” Abele said in a statement.
The opening of the “Bear Garden” will coincide with the opening of the new zoo entrance this fall.