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Journey to Churchill opens July 3, daily admission to go up again

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Winnipeg’s Journey to Churchill is scheduled to get underway in July.

The much-anticipated exhibit at the Assiniboine Park Zoo will open to the public July 3, officials announced this morning. The $90-million exhibit will feature expansive new polar bear, arctic fox, muskox, snowy owl and seal habitats, as well as interactive interpretive components -- including an eight minute film experience inside Manitoba’s largest 360-degree theatre.

To prepare for the opening date, the zoo will be closed from June 23 - July 2. The zoo will reopen the next day at noon, with the unveiling of a new Roblin Boulevard entrance.

"Journey to Churchill is going to be spectacular and we want the entire zoo looking its absolute best," said Assiniboine Park Conservatory chief operations officer Don Peterkin in a statement. "Everything from paint touch-ups, to landscaping, to repair work, the small things really make a big difference. Plus, it’s also very important that we give the animals the proper amount of time to acclimatize to their new environments."

Officials also announced new daily admission pricing platforms and membership fees that will force patrons shell out a little more to see the newly-renovated zoo.

That will be the second increase this year. The Assiniboine Park Zoo raised its daily admission rates and its annual memberships as of April 1.

Starting on July 3, a daily adult admission fee will be $18.50, up from the current $10.24 price. Seniors (60-plus) and youth (13-17 years old) jump from $8.24 to $14.81, while children (3-12 years old) admission climbs from $6.62 to $10. Children under three get in free of charge.

Those prices do not include GST.

Annual membership rates have also increased, with a family membership jumping from $115 to $189; an adult fee goes up from $45 to $65; seniors and youth memberships see a $30 increase (from $25 to $55), while a children’s membership is $40 now ($30 when purchased with an adult pass).

Membership prices have been in effect since the start of April.

Zoo officials point out that the new admission rates are in line (and in many cases cheaper) than zoos and aquatic attractions across the country.

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