Fort Rickey for Sale, Update, Jan. 22, 2017
Three years ago, we shared the news with our customers that we would begin the search for the next family to take over the operation of our wonderful, little zoo. After thirty-eight years, Bobbie and I would like to retire while at the same time, we hope to preserve this special family attraction for future generations.
We have received many inquiries. Some have simply been dreamers and some have had potential. Some have visited and some have returned for a more in-depth review. However, as of this time, we have not received any serious purchase offers.
From the outset, we tried to make it clear that this operation is more a labor of love than a profit-driven business. The upfront investment is significant. The commitment is major and the financial returns are modest. New owners will need to have both a huge passion for this lifestyle as well as significant financial resources.
We are not in a big rush but it might now be time to reconsider the structure of our operation. Is it likely that interested buyers with limited experience are overwhelmed at the idea of owning and operating a zoo? Are there changes that we can make to the operation to make it less intimidating? Are there changes that we can begin that will make it easier for a new family to take over?
For example, should we continue to expand the “play” component as we did last season with the Pillow Bounce and shift to more of a “discovery park” instead of a discovery zoo? Should we continue to adjust the animal collection so that there are fewer exotics and focus instead on our contact animals? Can we simplify the off-season operation to make it easier for a family to continue in their current occupation while focusing on this as a summer season income?
Customers regularly say to us that they are sad to hear that we might be leaving.
We appreciate their sentiments and always respond that this is an exciting and positive change for Fort Rickey. New owners will bring new ideas and new energy that will help to preserve this special Central New York family attraction for future families.
We will continue to keep our loyal friends and families updated.