For Immediate Release – April 5, 2017
International Wolf Center’s interpretive center in Ely passes one million visitor mark
Ely, Minn. The International Wolf Center achieved an important milestone on Saturday evening, March 25, when the one-millionth visitor passed through its doors during the weekly “What’s For Dinner” program.
“We’ve been incredibly excited for this day,” said Rob Schultz, executive director. “For the past several weeks our staff have been anxiously watching the attendance records as we anticipate our one-millionth visitor.”
To celebrate reaching the one-millionth visitor mark, the Center will hold a special Earth Day celebration on Saturday, April 22, with half-price admission, refreshments, family activities and special programs from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
The International Wolf Center has been welcoming visitors to its Ely Interpretive Center since opening in July, 1993. During its first few years, attendance numbers were very high as people came to see the new facility. But by the late 1990’s, attendance began to decline.
Recent efforts to increase promotion and offer new exhibits each year have had a positive effect on bringing more people to Ely and through the Center’s doors, with last year’s attendance increasing by 27% to 44,381 guests – making 2016 the largest attendance at the International Wolf Center since 2004.
“It hasn’t been easy to turn things around,” said Schultz. “While pup years bring more guests through the door, we’ve had to find other new ways to promote ourselves, to draw excitement for our programs and Ambassador wolves, and to expand the kinds of special exhibits to attract new audiences.”
With grant funding from the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board (IRRRB), recent collaborations with local northern lights photographer Heidi Pinkerton have boosted attendance. This upcoming summer, the Center’s advertising campaign will feature Axel and Grayson, two arctic wolves who have grown significantly over the winter months after arriving from Canada last spring as three-pound pups.
For information about the Earth-Day celebration at the Center, visit www.wolf.org
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THE INTERNATIONAL WOLF CENTER, founded in 1985, is known worldwide as the premier source for wolf information and education. The mission of the Center is to advance the survival of wolf populations by teaching about wolves, their relationship to wildlands and the human role in their future.
The Center educates through its website wolf.org, its ambassador wolves, museum exhibits, educational outreach programs, International Wolf magazine, and a beautiful interpretive center in Ely, Minnesota.