Riverbanks Zoo and Garden Selects New Food and Retail Partner

Largest Zoo in South Carolina Boosts Guest Experience with Addition of Service Systems Associates, Inc.

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"I've been incredibly impressed by the number of ideas and concepts that SSA brings to the table." - Satch Krantz, President & CEO, Riverbanks Zoo and Garden

Columbia, SC (PRWEB) May 10, 2013

Riverbanks Zoo and Garden, South Carolina’s largest gated tourist attraction, recently selected Denver-based Service Systems Associates (SSA) to manage the park’s culinary and retail operations following a competitive bid process. SSA was granted the multi-year contract by Riverbanks Park Commission, the governing authority of Riverbanks Zoo and Garden.

“I’ve been incredibly impressed by the number of ideas and concepts that SSA brings to the table,” said Satch Krantz, President and CEO of Riverbanks Zoo and Garden. “They specialize in understanding the unique nature of the zoo profession, and we’re excited about what SSA will bring to the Riverbanks experience.”

Guests will notice immediate changes among the Zoo’s dining and retail locations—including new food choices and merchandise showcased in innovative physical layouts. In addition, SSA will soon begin renovations of the park’s restaurants, kiosks and retail shops to increase the size of the facilities and implement new and exciting concepts.

“Zoo food will now be more than just pizza and hot dogs,” Krantz said. “SSA’s high-end professional chefs will create menus and daily specials to provide our guests with an inexpensive gourmet experience.”

The award-winning Zoo and Garden attracts more than one million visitors each year. The 170-acre park exhibits more than 2,000 animals from around the world and features 4,300 varieties of native and exotic plants in its nationally-recognized Botanical Garden.

“SSA plans to deliver a unique and progressive approach to guest services at Riverbanks,” said Tim Brantley, President and CEO of SSA. “We have a 25-year plus history of supporting our partners by positively interacting with families to extend their overall experience. It has proved to be a winning philosophy for both SSA and our partners.”

This philosophy was echoed by Brad Smithling, Executive Vice President of retail operations for SSA. “SSA was chosen due to our track record of successes in other zoos and cultural attractions of creating extraordinary experiences for our guests, clients and our employees!”

About Service Systems Associates: SSA manages retail, culinary and guest services amenities at more than 40 museums, botanic gardens, zoos and aquariums in the United States, including the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Saint Louis Science Center, and Los Angeles, Miami, San Francisco and Denver Zoos. The company is a national leader in guest service amenities for cultural attractions, serving over 27 million guests annually. For more information, please visit the website at http://www.KMSSA.com.

About Riverbanks Zoo and Garden: For nearly 40 years, Riverbanks Zoo & Garden has connected individuals, families and groups with the world's wildlife and wild places. It is the mission of Riverbanks Zoo and Garden to foster appreciation and concern for all living things. Riverbanks is located at 500 Wildlife Parkway, Columbia, SC 29210. The Botanical Garden entrance is located at 1300 Botanical Parkway, West Columbia, SC 29169. The park is open daily from 9am to 5pm, except for Thanksgiving and Christmas day. Admission is $11.75 for adults, $9.25 for children ages 3 – 12 and free for children 2 and under. Group rates and other discounts may apply. Year-round membership packages are also available. For more information, call Riverbanks at 803.779.8717, visit http://www.riverbanks.org or http://www.facebook.com/riverbankszoo.


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