Bridge to the Wild, Riverbanks Zoo and Garden’s newest innovative vision, will transform the Zoo and Garden into the state’s leading conservation resource and elevate its stature as the Southeast’s premier destination for family fun. This exciting next phase of Riverbanks’ future will connect communities and immerse guests in extraordinary naturalistic animal habitats while highlighting the incredible diversity of flora and fauna found in South Carolina.
This major makeover will attract tourists and locals alike, boosting Riverbanks’ economic impact in the Midlands to more than $175 million annually, creating an additional 500 jobs in the community, and enhancing the livability and quality of life of our community.
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Projects will include a primate forest on the banks of the lower Saluda River with an observation deck offering unparalleled views of orangutans and other primates. Mere steps away, a South Carolina nature preserve will be home to some of our region’s native and endangered species like American black bears, bald eagles, and red wolves. An enhanced tram system also will provide bird’s-eye views of the Saluda River and surrounding skyline.
Riverbanks Zoo & Garden Annual Economic Impact
- 50% travel from 50+ miles beyond Columbia
- 20% travel from out of state
- $11.8 million in accommodations
- $16 million in food and beverage
- $13.3 million in retail