The Master Plan development process starts with a deep-dive into past planning studies and the current facilities at the Zoo. This research will help to inform the initial development concepts, which will be created in diagrammatic form for further evaluation.
Site and Facility Analysis
The project team will evaluate all of the attributes of the existing Zoo site with regard to their bearing on future development. The criteria for further evaluation will be set, including available land, access, visibility, presence, and the relationship to other features of the surrounding area. Opportunities and constraints for future development will be identified. The project team will also review the new Strategic Plan and existing Business and Marketing Plan to reflect the latest thinking in zoological, aquatic, museum, theater, and cultural institutions design and development.
Recent Facilities Performance Evaluation
How is the performance of the Zoo evaluated, and how can that evaluation help improve upon the existing Zoo features? This question can be answered by studying topics like attendance patterns through a seasonal, annual and historical lens; revenue generated by admissions, concessions and other areas; and market segments and visitor origins. All of these attributes of the Zoo will be evaluating during this step.
There are other factors that must be taken into account that are outside of the Zoo’s control. Influences from regional tourism trends, local and regional population, untapped market opportunities, local attractions/competing facilities have an impact on the Master Plan. Simply stated, what else is in the Los Angeles area that may impact future growth at the Zoo?
Comparative Industry Outlook
Lessons learned from other Zoos are examined during the comparative industry outlook. What has been working in other areas, and will this resonate with Los Angeles residents and visitors? Detailed case studies, industry trends in supply and demand and profitability/sustainability are considered.
A strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) analysis is developed based on the research that was conducted during the study initiation. The SWOT analysis yields the strategic planning recommendations for new facilities and other areas of opportunity for growth, like private and special event facilities.
On-Site Activity Opportunities
The Master Plan update does not strictly focus on just exhibit upgrades. Other facilities for events can add a tremendous value to the Zoo. New activity opportunities, including special event space and recreational elements are examined. The on-site activity analysis helps to establish the “peak design day,” which is an amalgamation of the total visitor experience such as length of visit, duration of exhibit experiences, visitor services layout, and the thematic development of “portals” or entry points to potential new exhibits and their interpretive experiences.
Preliminary Definition of Development Concept
All of the research, concepts, sketches and analysis formulate the preliminary definition of the development concept. Here, the general idea of the proposed facilities is discussed amongst the project team. The group discussion leads to a summary of the themes and components of the proposed Master Plan, and how all of the design elements come together to shape the overall visitor experience. At this point in the development process, Torre Design Consortium prepares visual diagrams that begin to build the brand identity of the Zoo.
The early draft of the Master Plan will be added to this website, once complete. The draft will be revised and updated based on feedback from key stakeholders throughout Los Angeles. It’s a great time for you to weigh in and let us know what you think! Your input is valuable, so we’ll be collecting comments through this website and in-person at public town hall meetings. We hope to see you in person, but if you can’t make it to our meetings, your voice will be heard! If you prefer to receive Master Plan updates via email, you can sign up to stay up-to-date here.
Review of Comparable Attractions
Relevant and similar zoological facilities will be reviewed to determine key facility, visitor and operating characteristics. The review will account for the types of attractions and exhibits, size, cost of admission, average visitor length of stay, and market size. This effort will help inform recommendations for new facilities and provide a basis for the Zoo to maintain its position as a premier regional destination in Southern California.
Preparation of Preliminary Master Plan
The Master Plan will begin to come to fruition in the form of a preliminary concept and thematic design, following the research and project team workshops. This step in the process includes enough detail for proper cost estimates. This is where some of the initial sketches start to take shape.
Physical Planning Parameters and Characteristics
The physical planning parameters and characteristics will be developed based on the analysis of projected peak attendance, or the number of people the Zoo can accommodate at its busiest. This information will be used to determine adequate visitor-related space requirements, including visitor parking needs with future expansion, and the inclusion of new facilities.
Preliminary Construction Cost Estimate
Based on other similar zoological facilities, the collective experience that Torre Design Consortium has with developing other plans and the research done for this project, an order-of-magnitude will be developed to forecast the preliminary construction costs. An order-of-magnitude is a model that helps to forecast construction costs in the future by factoring in inflation rates.
Master Plan Development
The project team will develop a new Business Plan based on findings from the previous research and analysis that will be included in the Master Plan, which will help to guide the Zoo Master Plan implementation process. The new Business Plan will incorporate assumptions for expanded earned and unearned revenue potentials over a 10 -15 year period. It will be based on a phased implementation and schedule of new exhibits, facilities, and products.
Final Master Plan Report
All of the research, analysis, planning, project team workshops and engagement efforts will combine to create the Final Master Plan. The final Plan will detail the findings and recommendations from the work, along with all of the supporting data and analysis.
Torre Design Consortium and the project team will make a presentation for project stakeholders when the Master Plan is finalized.
Goals and Expected Outcomes
Creating a Master Plan is a detailed process. In order to meet the goals of the Zoo, ironing out all of the finer points is mandatory. The overarching goal for developing the new Master Plan is to provide clear and structured guidance for the next 10 – 15 years of development and implementation at the Zoo.