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Local zoo breaks ground on new entrance and gift shop


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Concrete pad and foundation base for the Zoo Idaho Connections Entrance and Gift Shop, which is slated for completion this spring. | Courtesy city of Pocatello

POCATELLO — Construction has begun on the Zoo Idaho Connections Entrance and Gift Shop.

The entryway and gift shop, made possible by donations from Connections Credit Union, is expected to be completed and in use by the time the zoo opens this spring. When completed, the 1,200-square-foot log-cabin-style structure will include a ticketing window, gift shop, concessions and restrooms.

“The Zoo Connections Entrance and Gift Shop will not only excite the guests coming in but will also improve their time at Zoo Idaho,” Zoo Idaho Zoological Society President Jen Erchul says in a news release. “Partnering with Connections Credit Union has been an amazing experience. We hope to continue building more community relationships as we continue creating remarkable results for Zoo Idaho and our community.”

Zoo superintendent Peter Pruett says that the new development will be the centerpiece that “captures the essence of Idaho.”

The donations that made this development possible are part of a 10-year partnership agreement between Zoo Idaho, ZIZS and Connections Credit Union.

“Connections Credit Union has partnered with Zoo Idaho for a few years now by sponsoring the annual Free Day at the Zoo and participating in other events,” says Brian Osberg, Connections Credit Union CEO. “Zoo Idaho is a great opportunity for families to spend time together in a fantastic setting. This partnership gives Connections the chance to be involved in the growth and success of this community asset. We have enjoyed working with Peter and the Zoo Idaho staff, and we look forward to a great partnership for many years.”