Sunset Zoo Master Plan

 What is a Master Plan


Strategic master planning is an organization’s process of defining its strategy and making decisions on allocating its resources in a meaningful way that encourages growth and a successful future. Working with GLMV Architecture/ GLMV Zoos and Zoo Advisors LLC, Sunset Zoo staff began working to develop a strategic master plan. The overarching goal was to develop a strategic business plan and development plan that would guide Zoo Staff when making decisions and plans for the future of the Zoo and to ensure that those plans were the best options for animal care, community interests, conservation missions, and staying current with Association of Zoos and Aquarium standards. Implementing the master plan will enhance the education and conservation mission of Sunset Zoo and position it as a vital, re-imagined regional asset. The final edition of Sunset Zoo's Strategic Master Plan can be found here.

Developing the Plan


Sunset Zoo staff worked with GLMV Architecture/ GLMV Zoos and Zoo Advisors LLC for over a year to develop the Master Plan through a series of onsite meetings and planning sessions. The year long process consisted of workshops, interviews with a representative from all of the Zoo's partners, all staff sessions, board meetings, conference calls, public input meetings, and an online community-wide survey. Using all the information gathered through planning elements, Sunset Zoo was able to engage a broad spectrum of stakeholders to reaffirm the Zoo's mission, discuss vision concepts, identify opportunities, develop strategies and experience concepts, and determine strategic goals and priorities. All of this lead to a bold plan for a sustainable and bright future for Sunset Zoo. 

Sunset Zoo Master Plan


Sunset Zoo's Strategic Master Plan is built on the six guiding principles that reflect the strategic plan and driving phasing of projects. Those six guiding principles are: 

 1. Attendance and revenue growth 
 2. Animal welfare and conservation impact 
 3. Marquee exhibits and experiences 
 4. Mix of guest amenities, play spaces, and interactive experiences 
 5. Cost effect design/construction staging and implementation 
 6. Projects of Opportunity - lower cost, stand-alone projects that will deliver visible impacts

 Highlights of the project include Expedition Asia, larger and natural animal habitats, giraffe exhibit and feeding, new children's area, butterfly house, African Savannah, the return of lions to Sunset Zoo, new education programs and opportunities, nature play space, and an improved Australian walkabout. New revenue and experience opportunities include a carousel, children's adventure course, budgie feeding, and a nature theater.

Plan Overview

Below is an overview of Sunset Zoo's Strategic Master Plan. Click the image to view a larger image or click here.

Master Plan Map Opens in new window

Phases of the Master Plan

The strategic master plan is designed to be implemented in phases over time, with an optional longer-range component that includes several additional projects. Each of the phases includes at least on marquee experience, conservation project opportunities, guest amenities, interaction and educational experiences, and significant revenue generation initiatives. All the phases laid out in detail can be found here

Master Plan Timeline 

The plan is designed to be a fluid, flexible, living document that lays out the plans for Sunset Zoo for the next 20 to 30 years. The master plan is also meant to be re-evaluated by Zoo Staff regularly to make sure that the plan as a whole still meets the six guiding principles listed above and remains relevant to animal care standards, conservation missions, and community interest. 

Questions and Comments 

Any questions or general input about Sunset Zoo's Strategic Master Plan can be sent to sunsetzoo@cityofmhk  Thank you for your interest in the future of Sunset Zoo! 

Future Zoo Projects 

For information regarding documents about Requests for Qualification documents about future Sunset Zoo projects please follow this link for supporting documentation.