Copyright © 2019 Albuquerque Journal
One of the biggest and most anticipated openings of 2019 was not an art gallery, sports venue, restaurant or new night club; rather it was the opening of the $18 million Penguin Chill exhibit at the ABQ BioPark Zoo in July.
The BioPark has four components – the aquarium, the botanic gardens, Tingley beach and the zoo. Combined, the BioPark is the state’s No. 1 most popular attraction, with 1.2 million visits. And that total doesn’t include attendance at this year’s River of Lights extravaganza, which was recently named one of the top holiday light displays in the country by a number of magazines and websites, including Travel and Leisure, The Daily Meal, Family Travel Forum and House Beautiful.
BioPark attendance is up an estimated 24% over last year, largely because of the Penguin Chill exhibit, said zoo manager Lynn Tupa.
The 14,550-square-foot building is home to more than 30 sub-Antarctic King, Macaroni and Gentoo penguins. Visitors can watch them in a primary viewing area that offers 79 linear feet of floor-to-ceiling windows for unobstructed above and below water perspectives into the 75,589-gallon main tank.