LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- It is a sure sign that spring is just around the corner as the Louisville Zoo began its summer hours Saturday.

The zoo is the number one non-profit tourist attraction in the area, and it wants to stay that way by appealing to all ages.

Everyone has their own reason for wanting to come to the zoo. Young Chris Napier wanted to see his favorite exotic animal. "A giraffe because I like the polka dots on him," Chris said.

He was one of about 6,500 visitors who walked through the gates of the zoo on Saturday.

Patrons will find a few new attractions to see this year, and the gift shop reopened on Saturday after a major renovation.

There is a new concession vendor who has changed the design of the concession stand in the front plaza to look like a log cabin.

But what was getting the most attention was something called the Sky Trail Navigator, two stories high.

"We have a high adventure ropes course which opened today and there was a lot of folks enjoying it, it is a really safe way to exercise and test your abilities," Zoo Director John Walczak told WDRB News.

It costs an extra fee to climb the ropes here.

While the zoo gets some taxpayer dollars from the city, most of its operations have to be self sustaining, so its always looking for ways to add revenue.

Later this year the zoon will begin selling beer once its license is approved.

When it was announced last year that the zoo would begin selling beer there was some concern expressed about selling alcohol on the premises.

"We are trying to serve all of our guests," says Walczak, "there will be some extra revenue generated from the sale of beer, but we've had as many requests or more to sell beer as we got from those who were concerned about the change."

Renne Rice was at the zoo on Saturday. She's a annual member and thinks the zoo is a good way to spend her entertainment dollars.

"It's fun for the whole family, you don't have to eat here, you can bring your own snacks," she says.

Last year more than more than 843,000 people visited the zoo.

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