2017 was a great year and we are so thankful for each of our clients that chose Riverbanks to host their event.
This year we had the honor of having 328 private events here at Riverbanks Zoo & Garden with a total of 37,483 guests. What does that look like? Well we host all types of private events, but here are a few highlights:
- 38 Weddings
- 47 Corporate Meetings
- 42 Corporate Picnics With 14,254 Guests Total
- 34 Corporate Receptions
- 44 Birthday Parties
New Team Members
This year we welcomed two folks to our team.
- In April, we welcomed Noelle Tran to our team as our Assistant Catering Manager. She brought with her 4 years of catering experience and a true joy for executing events and working with clients to ensure an enjoyable experience.
- Amanda interned with us over the summer of 2016 and we were so excited to be able to bring her on full time as our Events Assistant in May this year when she graduated from USC with her degree in HRTM.
New at the Zoo
Being one of the top Zoo’s in the country means that we’re always growing and changing. Here are a few new things you may notice on your next trip here:
- This year welcomed two new female lions, Lindelani and Thabisa, to join our male lion, Zuri.
- On June 30th our distinguished director, Satch Krantz retired. After 41 years in that position, he is the nation’s longest serving zoo director. We’re excited to have Tommy Stringfellow as our new President and CEO of Riverbanks Zoo & Garden.
- Our female Malayan tapir now has a new mate as part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Malayan Tapir Species Survival Plan® (SSP).
- Looking for Scute, the green sea turtle in the ARC? He was released back into the wild as part of species conservation efforts. Don’t worry! We have already received another green sea turtle hatchling.
Event Highlights from the Year
We truly enjoy working with each and every client on their event. We’d love to tell you about each one of them, but here we’ve selected just a few to share.
- The largest event we hosted was a corporate picnic for 1400 guests this fall. This local company chose to celebrate their anniversary with a day at the Zoo for past and present employees and their families. We were honored to be chosen as the venue for this special event. We kept their guests happy with The Southern Picnic served in the Safari Camp. They brought in this fun photo backdrop to document the day!
- Another highlight of the year was in May when we hosted two Park Rentals for a local manufacturing business. Given their factory schedule they chose two dates to allow all employees to attend. They also added several enhancements to their Park Rentals to make the night a truly memorable experience for their guests. Guests were welcomed by our Animal Encounters, featuring Farm Animals and Small Mammals. They opened up all of the attractions for guests to enjoy – Pony Rides, Train Rides, Rock Wall, Ropes Course. They also booked Face Painters and a Photo Booth. We hear their guests were raving about this unique experience for weeks to come.
- This year we saw more weddings on the Zoo side than we have before. Our brides took advantage of some of the exclusive experiences we have for their guests to enjoy. Several of our wedding parties waited in our new Sea Lion Landing exhibit while their guests arrived for the ceremony. This offered the opportunity for some truly memorable photos. We also helped create some unforgettable cocktail hours in our Aquarium-Reptile Complex and with Giraffe feedings.
- Also, we were excited to be a part of a new event at the Zoo this year, Farm to Fork. This family style dinner featured a farm-fresh feast that showcased a delectable blend of gourmet, organic cuisine prepared with locally grown ingredients, including vegetables straight from Riverbanks’ own vegetable garden. Handcrafted specialty cocktails, premium wine and local beer selections complemented the featured fare.
While we enjoy looking back on this great year, we’re also looking forward to what 2018 brings. We already have 109 events booked or penciled in on our calendar.