WACO, Texas – Labor Day marks the unofficial end of summer – but for Waco, it means big bucks as out-of-towners see it as the perfect road trip destination.
“It’s Waco. It’s unique. It’s different,” said Lauren Gadberry, a College Station resident.
Gadberry took the 90-minute trip to Waco to celebrate her birthday, and their first stop was the Cameron Park Zoo.
At the start of the year, the zoo struggled financially – as it was forced to close for four months due to COVID-19. However, it’s thriving this Labor Day.
On Labor Day 2018, the zoo saw 1,321 guests. The number increased by 210 in 2019 to 1,531 guests.
But as of 1:00 p.m., more than three hours before closing, the zoo saw 1,636 guests – a 105 increase compared to 2019.
Staff credits new animals such as the albino racoon and the American black bear for the surge in guests.