Here at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, we believe we have multiple responsibilities to our community, in addition to our responsibilities to the natural world. Our unique atmosphere allows friends and family to spend quality time together, while providing our guests an opportunity to spend time in the outdoors, which has been shown to improve both physical and mental well-being.
On Friday, March 13, 2020, Governor Jared Polis issued guidance to cancel events and gatherings of more than 250 people. He clarified with Colorado cultural attractions, however, that outdoor venues can operate with larger numbers of guests as long as they don’t have more than 250 people in a single gathering space or building.
In an effort to fulfill the community’s need for activities during a stressful time and the need to be able to get outdoors for mental well-being, we are implementing the following changes to our daily operations, out of an abundance of caution, through at least March 30, 2020. As the situation with COVID-19 and community spread is constantly evolving, we will remain nimble to make other changes, as the situation warrants.
We are currently open for daytime admission during our normal hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., with the last admission at 4 p.m., with the following precautions in place:
- We are partnering with El Paso County Public Health and following guidelines set forth by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Governor Polis’ Office of Community Engagement.
- Zoo staff will be maintaining increased disinfection protocols for high-touch areas throughout the Zoo.
- We are encouraging guests to follow Governor Polis’ recommendations for social distancing, including allowing six feet between parties while enjoying the Zoo. Our open-air environment gives Zoo guests ample ability to enjoy the Zoo while keeping comfortable distances from other parties.
- Also in accordance with the Governor’s recommendations, we will limit the number of guests in any Zoo building at any time to 250.
- To ensure that we self-regulate our daily guest count, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo will not use off-site parking during this time. This will prevent the need for shuttling guests on buses from an off-site location, and it will automatically limit our daily attendance. This may mean that you will be turned away if we are at capacity for our on-site parking lot. Please follow our parking signs for updates on our parking availability. Please also stay patient and flexible – we can often accommodate additional guests by mid-afternoon as earlier guests depart and free up space in our parking lot.
- In addition to the numerous public restroom facilities with permanent hand-washing sinks found throughout the Zoo, we will be adding temporary hand-washing stations throughout the Zoo as they become available.
- Our food concession areas are implementing additional rigorous protocols to increase their already frequent cleaning routine, creating new practices that will distance guests from areas where food is being prepared and other additional protocols to increase food safety.
- The Zoo’s historic carousel will not operate during this time.
As you know, the situation with COVID-19 in our community and around the world is fluid and ever-evolving. Visit our website home page at cmzoo.org and click the “alert” link at the top of the page for the most up-to-date information on any changes to our operations that we may need to make.
We are working hard to be a resource for the community during this truly difficult time, and we believe these precautions will help us do that. But, we can’t do it alone. We need your help to reduce risk. Please actively follow the social distancing guidelines outlined above while you’re enjoying the Zoo, and stay vigilant with the precautions you and your family can take, like washing your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds at a time. Cover your cough. Limit touching your face. Above all else, make responsible decisions for the community and visit us another time if you’re feeling ill, or have been outside of the country or in contact with someone carrying the virus in the last 14 days. We and our animals will enjoy seeing you when you’re feeling better.