Dane County Board approves new concessions company for Henry Vilas Zoo

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MADISON (WKOW) — The Dane County Board signed off on hiring a new company to handle concessions at Henry Vilas Zoo.

The county’s contract with the previous operator, the Henry Vilas Zoological Society, ran out at the end of March.

Now, a company called Centerplate will get a three-year deal.

Some supervisors had issues with the no-bid process used to select Centerplate, but zoo workers say it’s a good move because Centerplate has indicated it is interested in keeping on employees who already work at the zoo’s grill and gift shop.

“I think that’s a great partnership so those employees continue to have employment and continue to be able to support our zoo in a really meaningful way,” said the zoo’s Jess Thompson at the board meeting Thursday night.

Zoo workers say they also support the deal with Centerplate because the company already works with the Alliant Energy Center.

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