(Salt Lake City, UT) – In 78-years Hogle Zoo’s attendance has never hit one million visitors until now. On Thursday December 17, 2009 Hogle Zoo made history as their one millionth visitor went through the gate at 6:15 pm during the annual ZooLights! holiday event.

Earlier this month Hogle Zoo announced that anybody could be the millionth visitor, something that has never happened at Hogle Zoo. Ray Drake from West Jordan was the lucky one in a million through the Hogle Zoo gate. Though very surprised, Drake said, “I’m kind of overwhelmed here but this is really cool.” After he and his wife, Pat, exchanged excited glances he added, “We’ve been to ZooLights before but we never would’ve thought anything like this would happen.” The Drakes, along with their grandson Nick, were awarded with a giant prize pack sponsored by Hogle Zoo as well as other local area businesses.

Awesome one millionth visitor prize pack included:

  • Ten year Hogle Zoo Family Membership (If already a member, they will have their membership renewed for ten more years at current level)
  • $500 shopping spree in Hogle Zoo’s Wild Zootique
  • Park City weekend getaway that includes a one-night stay for two at the Snow Flower Condominiums, two adult day ski lift passes to Park City Mountain Resort and a $50 gift certificate for dinner at Red Rock Brewing Company
  • Two adult lift passes to nine Wasatch Front ski resorts courtesy of Ski Utah (That’s Alta, Brighton, The Canyons, Deer Valley, Powder Mountain, Snowbasin, Snowbird, Solitude and Sundance)
  • One year supply of Meadow Gold ice cream
  • Ten year supply of rides on the Conservation Carousel and Zoofari Express train
  • $50 Kidsgreen Savings Account courtesy of Zions Bank

"Hogle Zoo is a top attraction in our community and tonight, we saw that Salt Lake history was made,” said Hogle Zoo Community Relations Coordinator Holly Braithwaite. "We came close to this milestone last year when our attendance hit 996,070, and earlier this month we knew we were going to break last year’s number."

Christmas certainly came early tonight for the Drake family, as they were one in a million at Hogle Zoo. Here’s looking toward 2010!  Visit Hogle Zoo online at or for more information, contact Community Relations Coordinator Holly Braithwaite by email at or call (801) 584-1729.

About the Association of Zoos & Aquariums: Utah’s Hogle Zoo is one of only 221 institutions accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA).  Look for the AZA logo whenever you visit a zoo or aquarium as your assurance that you are supporting a facility dedicated to providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for you, and a better future for all living things.  AZA is a leader in global wildlife conservation, and your link to helping animals in their native habitats. For more information visit

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