Utica Zoo to expand pavilion with hopes to bring in a new kind of business


UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - The Utica Zoo is expanding its pavilion with the goal of attracting more business. Andria Heath, the executive director at the Utica Zoo said the current size of the pavilion is 60 by 30 feet. That number will be doubled. The purpose of building the pavilion addition is to allow for more events such as weddings, galas and birthday party's.

The pavilion has always been an essential space for events hosted by the Zoo like Wine in the Wilderness and Brewfest, but with the expansion, it will allow for more people and space. More than 250 people will be able to fit comfortably under the renovated space.

"It's going to be a great place for parties, bands and dancing," Heath said. "We went to many conferences for national convention and saw how other zoos were maximizing their space to have families enjoy the zoo."

The first party being held at the pavilion is Meteorologist Jill Reale's wedding.

"With my size wedding you need a huge dance floor," Reale said. "We wanted to do something local, all about Utica, but something different no one has done."

The expanded space is not only for large events; It will be open to the public during business hours.

Next week marks the start of the renovations. The addition will be built by May 24th, according to Heath.

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