A summer-time fixture at Albuquerque’s Tingley Beach, the pedal boats won’t return to the park this year in exchange for a different home.
In efforts to get more people riding and give families a new option, the city’s Rio Grande Zoo will soon be the new home of the pedal boats for the first time outside of a special event.
“I think in the early days they had a lot more ridership, and they’ve just, it’s sort of been dwindling, so we thought let’s put them in the zoo,” said Julie Miller Rugg, executive director of the New Mexico BioPark Society, which oversees the pedal boat program.
Starting in April, the BioPark Society says the boats will be put out of the zoo’s duck pond. That’s the pond that wraps around the main stage that’s used for Zoo Music and other concerts.
“We’ve been talking about it for a long time, and we’ve had a couple of special events where we actually haul them over, and every time we do it, we always say, ‘why aren’t we on the lake at the zoo?'” said Miller Rugg.
The plan is to give the boats a shot at the zoo for the 2019 spring and summer season. For the first couple months of April and May, the pedal boats will be up for 15-minute rentals on weekends.
After Memorial Day, the BioPark Society says it’s planning on making the boats available every day of the week. The city usually ends the pedal boat rental around Labor Day.
The boats will be blocked off from pedaling through the area people feed ducks and geese. Crews have also built a new loading dock for the boats.
While the BioPark Society says those pedal boat rides will be shorter at just 15-minutes per ride, staff says they’re working on finalizing a lower ticket price. Previously, pedal boat rentals were from 30 minutes to one hour, for $10 to $14.
All the money generated from the pedal boats goes to the BioPark Society, which puts money into other zoo and aquarium related projects.