People getting their wildlife on and feeding the exotic animals at Wild Animal Safari in Pine Mountain, Ga., just north of Columbus, contributed to a tidy profit for owner Parks! America in its third quarter.
The Pine Mountain-based company said Wednesday it racked up a profit, or net income, of $654,212 in the quarter ending July 2. That’s down from $731,649 in the same period of 2016. The income was on net sales of $2.1 million in the quarter, up from $1.8 million a year ago.
Parks! America Inc. also owns a Wild Animal Safari theme park in Strafford, Mo. The Pine Mountain park, founded by big-game hunter Ron Snider in the early 1990s, was bought by Parks! America in 2005. It uses a popular jingle in commercials that punctuates the phrase, “Get your wildlife on.”
Zebras, giraffes, elk, bison and water buffalo are all part of the action on a 3.5-mile drive through the park, which visitors can negotiate with their own vehicles or those rented from the attraction. The park says 75 species are represented with more than 550 animals spread across 500 acres.
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Online travel site, TripAdvisor, rates Wild Animal Safari at 1300 Oak Grove Road as the No. 1 attraction in Pine Mountain, with reviewers using headlines such as “This Brings Out The Kid In You,” “Giggled like crazy” and “Great time with family.”
Dale Van Voorhis, chairman and chief executive officer of Parks! America, singled out the Georgia park in particular for its “robust growth” in attendance net sales, with the company seeing double-digit percentage growth in overall net sales year over year in 11 of 13 quarters.
“Our operations teams have done an exemplary job of continuing to deliver an outstanding wild animal safari experience to our guests while effectively managing accelerated attendance growth. They are to be commended,” Van Voorhis said in a statement.
In the first nine months of its fiscal year, Parks! America turned a profit of $824,955 on net sales of nearly $4.3 million. That’s up from a profit of $653,883 on net sales of nearly $3.5 million in the same nine-month period of its previous fiscal year.