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Old 04-15-2016, 10:13 AM
 
Location: Birmingham, AL
1,446 posts, read 934,052 times
Reputation: 642

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I've often wondered if Birmingham shouldn't focus more money towards a bigger, world-class zoo. Is it too landlocked in its current location? Atlanta and Chattanooga have the aquarium thing covered, but does the southeast have any world-renowned zoos? Memphis maybe?


The Barber Motorsports Park should continue to attract more visitors as well with its expansion. I assume that's a national draw because it is so unique (and the largest of its kind), and it caters to a very specific tourist.


I think the Civil Rights Institute could be a bigger draw than it is. Hopefully the proposed renovation of the AG Gaston Motel will help that. The surrounding area needs improvement though. And again, we're competing a little with Memphis and Atlanta here.


Other things like Vulcan and Sloss are cool, but probably not national (or even regional) draws in and of themselves. More like things to do while you're here.
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Old 04-15-2016, 10:25 AM
 
Location: Birmingham
11,787 posts, read 14,822,995 times
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From what I have read and experienced about the zoo is that it is a pretty good one. Now of course I have to be careful because I'm sure there's several thousand in the galaxy that are a lot better and an expert will be along to tell us about them and put me in my place for daring to mention it but the zoo is above average for a city this size and a very good attraction. The Botanical Gardens plays well hand in hand with it.

Barber's is world class. My wife and I are going to the Indy Race next weekend and it is a fantastic event at a beautiful venue that draws people from all over the country and from around the world. We've gone almost every year the race has been run and it is a great event. The museum is second to none and the Porsche experience is a big deal. There was an article a while back that showed how big a draw it is. At this point it would be easier to name the countries where people have NOT come from to go there. Manufacturers use it as a testing facility and for major product debuts - both cars and bikes.

The civil rights district may have competition as you say but it is still unique history. People who want to experience that will want to see it all eventually not just keep going back to the same spots over and over.

I agree the vulcan and sloss by themselves are not national draws but they still have a cumulative draw due to the history of the city as an industrial city.

I haven't heard anything recently about how well Splash Adventures is doing since the Koch's took over but I hope they are doing well and continuing to expand.

But still it is an encouraging number and something to build on. To hear some drive by experts tell it, Jefferson co and the city of Birmingham don't have anything special to bring in tourists at all.
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Old 04-15-2016, 12:14 PM
 
2,970 posts, read 2,802,062 times
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One problem with zoos is that they are kind of falling out of favor with younger people. Although I think some of it is hogwash, it is a real issue where people who are becoming parents now boycott zoos because of how they take animals away from their natural habitats, etc.

Granted, zoos are making more of an effort to be conscious of this... and I don't think zoos are going extinct or anything... but investing money into zoos might actually be a regressive, not progressive, thing to do.
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Old 04-15-2016, 01:00 PM
_OT
 
Location: Miami
2,163 posts, read 1,831,832 times
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I honestly don't think Zoos are supported as they used to be, Aquariums and SeaWorlds are slowly following the same path as well. A lot of Millennials are becoming aware of the issues that surrounds establishments like Zoos, and are educating themselves about the mistreatment of Animals.
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Old 04-15-2016, 01:20 PM
 
Location: Birmingham, AL
1,446 posts, read 934,052 times
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good points about zoos in general. and I have also generally heard bham's is above average relative to the city's size. honestly, zoos aren't really my thing either (I'm 37... definitely not a millennial). think I've been to ours once?
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Old 04-15-2016, 01:39 PM
 
Location: Birmingham
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They are still a big hit with the younglings. Mine love it and it has been packed the times they have gone. The dinosaur exhibit, the train ride, feeding and petting the giraffes, etc etc...they love it. As long as there are kids and school field trips I don't see the zoo's popularity waning anytime soon.

Last edited by Tourian; 04-15-2016 at 01:51 PM..
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Old 04-15-2016, 01:54 PM
 
Location: Heart of Dixie
12,445 posts, read 12,443,626 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by _OT View Post
...A lot of Millennials are becoming aware of the issues that surrounds establishments like Zoos, and are educating themselves about the mistreatment of Animals.
While ignoring the huge poaching problem and overpopulation in the animals' natural habitat.

Birmingham's zoo is an example of a well-managed zoo.
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Old 04-15-2016, 02:13 PM
 
Location: Birmingham
11,787 posts, read 14,822,995 times
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Seems as if this is off to a better than expected start. I know I see them in use every time i go downtown. I don't think I have seen one of the electric bikes in use yet.

http://www.bizjournals.com/birmingha...hip-goals.html

Quote:
"We had high hopes for usage, but Birmingham has absolutely exceeded our expectations," Zyp BikeShare Director*Lindsey West*said. "We hear stories of weekend recreational rides, businessmen and women zipping to lunch and meetings and residents who now don't have to move their cars.
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Old 04-15-2016, 02:27 PM
 
Location: Birmingham
11,787 posts, read 14,822,995 times
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Yeah the bad thing about Birmingham is that it isn't diverse and no one that is skilled or professional would ever move here for work because it is just a rusted out old steel town.

Oh wait...

http://www.bizjournals.com/birmingha...ons-joins.html

Quote:
One of the nation's most renowned liver and small bowel transplant surgeons has joined the*University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine.

Dr. Joseph Tector has been named a professor of surgery at UAB. He previously worked at the Indiana School of Medicine, where he has been since 2012.

He will head the newxenotransplant program that was launched in conjunction with a major grant, which*could lead to a biotechnology giant setting up shop in Birmingham.
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Old 04-18-2016, 09:12 AM
 
Location: Birmingham, AL
268 posts, read 463,435 times
Reputation: 227
Quote:
Originally Posted by TimCity2000 View Post
I've often wondered if Birmingham shouldn't focus more money towards a bigger, world-class zoo. Is it too landlocked in its current location? Atlanta and Chattanooga have the aquarium thing covered, but does the southeast have any world-renowned zoos? Memphis maybe?
To be honest, Bham's zoo is very respectable especially for a city the size of Birmingham. It is probably in the top 20 or so in the nation in terms of quality/quantity.

An aquarium should have been built years ago.
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