Gov. Wolf’s Pennsylvania Budget Prioritizes Education, Income

Gov. Wolf’s Pennsylvania Budget Prioritizes Education, Income

By: Sara Warden

2 min read February 2020 — Democrat Gov. Tom focused his 2020-21 budget on education and income, proposing an increase in spending of almost 6% to $34 billion over the fiscal year, including $600 million to cover cost overruns. Republicans criticized the heavy reliance of the budget on the assumption that revenue would grow by 4.5% ($1.6 billion) over the period. The proposals also require borrowing funds. “It’s easy to put things on a credit card and then ask other people in the future to pay for it,” said Republican State Representative Stan Saylor. “That is not the solution for Pennsylvania.”

 1. There will be no major tax increases

Instead of tax increases for citizens, several novel approaches were proposed in the budget to fund services, one of which was a state police fee based on number of incidents and coverage area. Wolf estimates the initiative will bring in $136 million to fund police services. Another way taxes could stay flat is by imposing a tax on the Marcellus Shale natural gas field to be placed in a $4.5 billion infrastructure fund. Based on 2019 production, Wolf believes the tax would generate more than $600 million per year.

Sweeping changes will be made to charter school funding

Wolf proposed a reduction in the obligatory payments school districts must make when one of their students decides to attend a charter school, which would save districts $280 million annually, according to the governor. “Our charter school system is in desperate need of reform,” Wolf said in a sharp rebuke of the charter school system. “It’s time to close the loopholes. It’s time to establish real standards, and it’s time to level the playing field.”

2. Revisiting previous proposals.

The Wolf administration wants the state to increase basic education spending by $100 million and special education by $25 million. He wants all school districts to offer full-day kindergarten, shifting 22,000 students who attend half-day programs into full days. He wants budgets on the whole for Pre-K to be increased by $30 million, most of which will be allocated to the state-run Pre-K Counts program. Finally, he proposed an increase in the state’s minimum teaching salary from $18,500 to $45,000, impacting 3,000 teachers. 

3. Higher minimum wage is high on the agenda

Wolf’s government has always championed higher minimum wages but has been met with stiff resistance. The governor wants to increase Pennsylvania’s minimum wage to $15 per hour on a gradual basis. The current minimum wage is $7.25, which he proposes should be increased to $12 this July and every consecutive year by $0.50 until reaching $15 in 2026.

Another issue the governor addressed was gun reform, which is unusual for a budget speech. Gov. Wolf made an impassioned plea for the state to take gun laws more seriously. “The steps I’m proposing are supported by the evidence and supported by the vast majority of Pennsylvanians,” Wolf said. “To let another session go by without action would be a failure of imagination that will cost lives.”

 

To learn more, visit:

https://www.governor.pa.gov/

http://www.repsaylor.com/

 

Philadelphia Building on Life Sciences Success

Philadelphia Building on Life Sciences Success

By: Sara Warden

2 min read January 2020 — Last March, Philadelphia came in at an impressive eighth in CBRE’s ranking of top life sciences markets. Now, almost a year on, the city’s life sciences industry shows no sign of losing momentum – in fact, it is gathering speed.

Last week, the Philadelphia Science Center announced it would award $200,000 each to three Philadelphia-based researchers to develop their early-stage concepts for cancer treatment and diagnosis. The individuals – Ian Henrich, a postdoctoral researcher at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia; Emily Day, a bioengineer at the University of Delaware; and Haim H. Bau, a professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Pennsylvania – are developing novel technologies to progress the understanding, detection and prevention of cancers, HIV and sickle cell disease.

This strong focus as a city on the importance of cutting-edge research is one factor that attracts multi-million-dollar companies from around the United States to invest in Philadelphia, which in turn attracts auxiliary services such as specialized logistics and software companies. Digital marketing firm Imre Health, which represents AstraZeneca’s diabetes and respiratory portfolios, announced its decision to establish an office in Philadelphia late last year for just that reason.

“We have carved out a niche at Imre, redefining the patient and HCP experience through digital channels, and Philadelphia is the [ripest] with that kind of talent even compared to New York,” Imre’s President and Partner Jeff Smokler told PR Week. “We view this Philadelphia office as a major tool to help us manage growth and ensure that we’re keeping pace with service needs and requirements. We see the Philadelphia office as dousing the industry with more gasoline.”

But the real test of the success of any company is its ability to list on a stock exchange. In 2019, three of Philadelphia’s life science companies went public, raising nearly $200 million in IPOs. Arch Street-based biotech company Cabaletta Bio raised $74.8 million. Galera Therapeutics, which is developing a treatment that reduces harmful effects that stem from radiation therapy, raised $60 million, with an option for investors to purchase an additional 750,000 shares. And in November, Tela Bio, a surgical reconstruction company developing novel material for tissue reinforcement, raised $52 million in exchange for the 4 million shares it leveraged.

It doesn’t stop there. In October, Anpac Bio, a Chinese bio-medical science company, chose Philadelphia for its US headquarters and second clinical laboratory. “We are very excited to be moving forward with our U.S. corporate headquarters and laboratory in Pennsylvania. The state has a mature life sciences ecosystem and a supportive startup environment that will allow our U.S. business to lay the foundation for future success,” said Shaun Gong, Anpac’s U.S. president, in a press release.

To learn more, visit:

https://sciencecenter.org/

https://www.cbre.com/

https://imre.com/health/

https://cabalettabio.com/

https://www.galeratx.com/

https://www.telabio.com/

https://www.anpacbio.com/

 

New inventory, worldwide recognition to expand Philly’s hospitality in 2020

New inventory, worldwide recognition to expand Philly’s hospitality in 2020

By: Yolanda Rivas

2 min read January 2020 — Philadelphia’s hospitality industry welcomed a variety of hotels and restaurants in 2019, and the new year will see that growth continue. The city’s expanding and diversifying hotel inventory is a trend that even industry leaders are keeping an eye on.

“We are closely monitoring the impact of additional supply entering the market in 2020, and continue to ensure we are providing our guests with a unique and personal experience that helps to create the loyalty we know will keep our valued guests staying with us year after year, as the options in our city continue to expand,” Michael Roberts, area general manager at The Windsor Suites Philadelphia told Invest:.

Philadelphia’s growing business community has presented a variety of opportunities for the city’s hospitality sector. According to Visit Philadelphia President and CEO Jeff Guaracino, cities around the world are looking at private and public investments made in Philadelphia and how they’ve positively impacted the city’s tourism ecosystem.

“Recently, we’ve seen enhancements to the city’s historical, cultural and dining options, the Pennsylvania Convention Center and to our stadiums in South Philadelphia. These are just a few examples, but they show us how appealing our city’s product is when viewed holistically,” Guaracino said in an interview with Invest:

Another fact that can have a positive impact in the City of Brotherly Love’s hospitality sector is its recognition as one of the top destinations to visit in 2020 by National Geographic. Philadelphia was one of only two U.S. destinations (alongside the Grand Canyon) among the 25 must-see destinations and travel experiences in this year’s list of the Best Trips to take. “We’re thrilled that Philadelphia is featured so prominently and beautifully in this influential publication that we know drives travel decisions,” said Visit Philadelphia’s Guaracino in a written statement. 

In 2018, the Greater Philadelphia region marked its ninth consecutive year of record visitation and the highest number of passengers through Philadelphia International Airport since 2008, according to Guaracino. 

“The city is fairly evenly split in thirds between corporate, leisure and group business. We value each, and are always working to develop each segment. The type of traveler segment that is most prevalent does vary throughout the year. We experience the same variations in the business cycle,” said Roberts. 

Philadelphia’s new hotel inventory for 2020 includes: 

  • Canopy by Hilton Philadelphia Center City opening in May 2020
  • W Hotel opening June 2020
  • Element Hotel Philadelphia opening June 2020
  • The Hyatt Centric Hotel opening June 2020
  • River House at Odette’s opening June 2020
  • Live! Casino & Hotel Philadelphia opening December 2020

 

To learn more about our interviewees, visit:

The Windsor Suites Philadelphia: https://www.thewindsorsuites.com/ 

Visit Philadelphia: https://www.visitphilly.com/ 

 

Spotlight On: Joseph Culley, Head of Capital Markets Group, Janney Montgomery Scott LLC

Spotlight On: Joseph Culley, Head of Capital Markets Group, Janney Montgomery Scott LLC

By: Yolanda Rivas

2 min read January 2020 — An increase in high-net-worth investors, financial professionals moving back to the city and changes to organizational structures are some of the trends financial institutions are experiencing in Philadelphia. Janney Montgomery Scott LLC Head of Capital Markets Group Joseph Culley shared with Invest: some of the adjustments it has implemented amid the change in demographics and advances in technology.

What are some trends in Philadelphia’s financial sector?

 

We are starting to see more finance professionals leave cities like New York when they are at the age to start a family and coming back to Philadelphia. Although young talent retention has been a challenge, Philadelphians who moved to other cities after they graduated college are relocating back to the area. Our education system, arts and culture, transportation system, housing affordability and diverse environment are some of the drivers for residents.

 

What impact is technology having on banking?

 

The pace of change is happening more rapidly due to the disruption of technology in financial services. We have invested significantly in our technology platform and recently hired some of our first data scientists. Our company culture is starting to feel less like an investment firm and more like a technology firm. While we provide our client base with human experience and advice beyond investments, we are focusing on offering them more technological, mobile-friendly and artificial intelligence types of innovations and solutions.

 

What is the investment profile in Philadelphia?

 

We have seen an increase in high-net-worth investors coming to Philadelphia. We have significantly addressed the need we had for higher-end, condo-type properties that we lacked for years, and with that has come more international investment and out of state investment. One of our newer initiatives is focused on investment education and ways to provide more basic, fundamental knowledge about saving for retirement and investing.

 

What are some of the challenges facing financial institutions in today’s landscape?

 

The change in demographics is one of the challenges we are facing. Based on our internal projections, our workforce will be majority millennials within six years. That creates numerous opportunities for a firm like us to modernize and adjust. We recently made changes to our employee benefits, parental leave and dress code policies, based on feedback from our employee population. Organizational development and diversity and inclusion are some of the other areas we have been investing in due to these demographic and generational changes.

 

To learn more about our interviewee, visit:

Janney Montgomery Scott LLC: https://www.janney.com/ 

 

Healthcare in Philadelphia Going from Strength to Strength

Healthcare in Philadelphia Going from Strength to Strength

By: Sara Warden

2 min read January 2020 — Innovation in Philadelphia’s healthcare industry has long been recognized as exemplary, and it served as a focal point of Philly’s B.PHL Innovation Fest held in September. Recent developments show that healthcare pioneers were right to bet on Philadelphia.

It’s only a week in and already 2020 has been a big year for healthcare in Philadelphia. Healthcare software company Repisodic announced this week it has raised $1.75 million from a private stock sale led by VC company American Enterprise Ventures. Repisodic was nominated among just 17 early-stage companies that received a total of $3 million in pre-seed funding from Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania in 2018.

The technology produced by the company is based on patient discharge care and was catalyzed by the “discharge planning rule” enacted by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in November, which mandated that patients “be in the driver’s seat, playing an active role in their care transitions to ensure seamless coordination of care,” according to CMS Administrator Seema Verma.

Repisodic allows patients to access a list of post-acute care providers in a seamless and easy way, with search functions tailored to the patient’s specific medical records and requirements. “The sheet of paper (given to post-acute care patients by hospitals on discharge) may have names and addresses and phone numbers, but not a whole lot of other information,” Mike Cwalinski, the company’s co-founder and CEO, said to Philadelphia Business Journal. “We help patients make better and faster decisions at the time of discharge.”

Elsewhere, Philly-based gene therapy company Spirovant Sciences was last week acquired by Japanese pharma company Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma in a $3 billion transaction. “(Sumitomo) is incredibly committed to Spirovant and to gene therapy, particularly the work going on here in the Philadelphia area,” said Joan Lau, Spirovant’s CEO, in an interview with Philadelphia Business Journal. “They will be spending time here to get to know the area more intimately.”

Spirovant’s gene therapies aim to repair mutations that come as a side-effect from cystic fibrosis and cause difficulties with breathing. Earlier in the year Spirovant had been acquired by New York-based Roivant, which sold its ownership stake in five companies – one of which was Spirovant – to Sumitomo. “I think it’s a testament to our underlying technology from the University of Iowa and CHOP,” said Lau when asked about being acquired twice in one year. “We’ve been able to show strong preclinical data.”

 

To learn more, visit:

https://www.repisodic.com/

https://benfranklin.org/

https://www.cms.gov/

https://spirovant.com/

https://www.ds-pharma.com/

https://bphlfest.com/

https://www.americanenterprise.com/aeventures

 

Spotlight On: Sean Beuche, Regional Manager, Marcus & Millichap

Spotlight On: Sean Beuche, Regional Manager, Marcus & Millichap

By: Yolanda Rivas

2 min read December 2019 — 2019 was a steady year for Philadelphia’s commercial real estate. The market’s affordability, the city’s position as a logistics hub and its attractive environment for startups has driven strong demand. One of the areas seeing a high amount of activity is King of Prussia. Commercial real estate firm Marcus & Millichap recently relocated to the area, attracted by the growth in the region. Regional Manager Sean Beuche discussed with the Invest: team the neighborhoods seeing the most growth in commercial real estate and his outlook for the sector as we enter 2020. 

Marcus & Millichap relocated its Wynnewood location to King of Prussia. What makes that community attractive?

This relocation highlights our commitment to the area and our optimism about the local economy. The construction and new development activity going on in the King of Prussia market is very attractive. Numerous businesses and baby boomers are moving to the area, where there is more land available, beautiful housing stock, good school districts and less traffic congestion.  King of Prussia is a nexus of a variety of different interstates and that strategic location amid emerging growth and development is much more desirable for us. In addition, we are expanding in a nicer Class A office space that provides our clients and agents with a much brighter and enjoyable place to do business.

 

Which areas are the fastest-growing for commercial real estate in Philadelphia?

We’re seeing fast appreciation in the Point Breeze market, while Fishtown and Kensington have been hot for some time. We are also seeing numerous investments in areas further along the Main Line region. The Lehigh Valley and Central PA markets are both driving a lot of new investors into Pennsylvania. As the yields continue to deliver in some of these secondary and tertiary markets, investors want to move outside of areas where they’re getting squeezed by some popularity. There is a bit of a ripple effect being created by the economy being strong for a long time, and many of the investments that have been made or taken in these core markets are pushing investors further out. 

 

What is your outlook for Philadelphia’s real estate sector over the next 12-18 months?

 

The outlook is positive. There is uncertainty from a political standpoint, we are dealing with some of the trade wars and we are very interested in seeing where that shakes out. We focus on private and middle market clients and, in times of uncertainty, we provide them with market research about existing opportunities. From an income standpoint, rents in the Center City market and many of our urban infill markets are pushed up, and we would need to see some relevant margin changes in household income to afford a greater rent increase. Our clients are seeing strong fundamentals in the main groups that we focus on, which are multifamily, industrial, office and retail. As that financing loosens up and remains affordable, deals are very quickly moving off our shelves and into the hands of investors.

 

To learn more about our interviewee, visit:

Marcus & Millichap: https://www.marcusmillichap.com/ 

 

Philadelphia, South Jersey Prioritize Transit, Affordability, Sustainability in 2020

Philadelphia, South Jersey Prioritize Transit, Affordability, Sustainability in 2020

By: Sara Warden

2 min read December 2019 — Although under slightly different time frames, both South Jersey and Philadelphia’s local and state governments are prioritizing investment in three key axes for the coming years: transit, affordability and sustainability.

 

In 2011, Philadelphia’s City Planning Commission outlined Philadelphia2035, a comprehensive plan for managing growth and development in the city. Updated every year, the first phase includes a Citywide Vision, that encompasses broad planning goals, while the second phase will build upon these with specific policies related to 18 different planning districts. The program invites public and private investment for the development of the city over the medium term. The blueprint is based on three key themes: Thrive, Connect and Renew.

According to the 2035 planning document, the Thrive element will focus on promoting affordability in housing, strong neighborhood centers, economic development and land management. Connect will center around improving transportation and utilities, including transit, streets and highways, ports, airports and rail. Finally, with an eye on sustainability, Renew is all about creating more open spaces, effective use of water resources, air quality and historic preservation.

“Philadelphia 2035 envisions a city with an expanded transportation network that better connects home and workplace; ensures convenient access to sources of healthy food; supports the productive reuse of vacant land; and provides modern municipal facilities that serve as the anchors of strong neighborhoods,” said former City Mayor Michael Nutter when launching the plan in 2011.

The new year was already off to a good start for the City of Brotherly Love even before the calendar turned. National Geographic Traveler in November named Philadelphia one of the top 25 must-visit destinations in the world in 2020.

And across the Delaware, South Jersey faces many of same issues are at the top of Gov. Phil Murphy’s priority list. The four pillars of the 2020 budget signed in June 2019 include creation of over $1.1 billion in sustainable savings, stabilizing New Jersey’s credit-worthiness and ensuring tax fairness for the middle class. This foundation will support the final priority of investments in education, infrastructure – in particular NJ TRANSIT – and an innovation-driven economy.

“The budget enacted today is a victory for working families in New Jersey in many different ways—it supports middle-class priorities, invests in education, makes a record investment in NJ TRANSIT, provides property tax relief, and so much more,” said Murphy when he signed the budget into force.

But Murphy also has his eye on further priorities to strengthen the 2020 plan amid more effective tax revenues. “This is a budget that does not include tax fairness, does not ask opioid manufacturers to help fund addiction services, and does not raise gun fees that have been untouched since 1966,” he said. “These common-sense revenues would have allowed us to save for a rainy day and sustainably fund necessary investments for New Jersey’s nine million residents.”

To learn more, visit:

https://www.phila.gov/departments/philadelphia-city-planning-commission/ 

https://www.jerseycitynj.gov/cityhall/mayorfulop

 

Spotlight On: Daniel J. Hilferty, CEO, Independence Health Group

Spotlight On: Daniel J. Hilferty, CEO, Independence Health Group

By: Yolanda Rivas

2 min read December 2019 — The business community is responsible in a great way for the environment and success of any city. That is the case of leading health insurance company in the Philadelphia region Independence Blue Cross, which for decades has provided families with health security and stability. Under CEO Daniel Hilferty’s leadership, the company has tripled in size, serving about 8 million people nationwide. Hilferty shared with the Invest: team the company’s recent efforts toward innovation, while also addressing community challenges like the opioid crisis and healthcare affordability. 

 

 How is innovation transforming the way healthcare is designed, delivered and experienced? 

At Independence, innovation is in our DNA. Our members expect us to keep pace with the latest technologies and innovations. We also want to drive new ways of thinking throughout the region, which ultimately make this a better place to live, work, and play. We are very proud of our role in creating an innovative environment in the Philadelphia area. 

Here’s an example: We foster the innovation process by leading organizations, including our customers, through design thinking sessions, innovation events, and projects that promote out-of-the-box solutions. Now, all this work will take place in the new, state-of-the-art Center for Innovation located at our Center City headquarters on the West Market Street corridor, where our campus is located. The Center for Innovation is a phenomenal two-story space connected by an open staircase that has a very modern feel to it. This amazing physical space matches the strategic focus that we have always put on innovation.

Independence also develops partnerships to create solutions to some of the toughest healthcare challenges. For instance, the technology developed by Quil, our joint venture with Comcast, will change the way that people use technology in their journey to good health. Think about how confusing it can be to go through a medical procedure. What do you do before you go to the hospital? Or when you’re home recovering? Quil is going to lead you through those types of journeys and create a better, and healthier, experience.  

Independence also uses technology, research, and data analytics to help our members get and stay healthy. Take our work with Relay Network, also a national company based in the Philadelphia region. Together, we developed a personalized, HIPAA-compliant mobile communication program called IBXWire. It’s a great way to connect with our members. We send reminders about care gaps and flu shots and the type of information that is important but maybe isn’t at the front of your mind. By using this platform, Independence has created an effective way of communicating that helps members retain control and make better decisions about their healthcare. 

Finally, we celebrate and foster the spirit of innovation in our region. The most recent example is our support of the first ever B. PHL Innovation Festival that took place in October 2019. The festival was designed to build Philadelphia’s reputation as the most innovative city on the East Coast – a true place of choice for people looking to inspire new ideas, make connections, and ignite new ways of doing things.

How is Independence continuing to address crises, such as opioids, and how is it impacting the way that insurance companies do business?

Opioid abuse is the worst drug crisis in American history. At Independence, we are keenly focused on doing whatever we can to reverse this tragedy. Independence was one of the first insurers in the country to restrict first-time, low-dose opioid prescriptions to a five-day limit, except for patients with cancer or on hospice care. We also require prior authorization on all long-acting opioids. And it’s having an impact. We have seen an almost 60 percent decrease in the strength and quantity of opioids used by members with noncancer pain in four years.

We’ve also partnered with other experts to raise awareness and remove barriers, like the stigma of addiction. The Independence Blue Cross Foundation launched an effective public awareness campaign called Someone You Know that features people impacted by the opioid crisis telling their stories. We’re in our second year. Our Independence Foundation has also worked on a regional study to evaluate the effectiveness of “warm hand-off” programs that connect overdose survivors immediately with recovery programs.  

 

We’ve also worked closely with local, state and national leaders to elevate the importance of this epidemic. We have a moral imperative to end this crisis. People who are suffering are not faceless. They are our family, friends, business colleagues, neighbors. It’s personal.

What are some of the unique challenges and opportunities provided by the Philadelphia healthcare landscape?

People in the Philadelphia area are extremely fortunate to have access to some of the best hospitals and health systems in the country. At Independence, we have a long history of effectively working with area hospitals, doctors, and other healthcare providers, and that collaboration is only getting stronger.

But we have a lot of work to do. A study by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that Pennsylvanians were more likely to report skipping or delaying healthcare, including skipping dental care or check-ups, not filling a prescription, or relying on home remedies and over the counter drugs instead of visiting the doctor, due to cost, compared to other states. The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association identified 10 common health conditions, including hypertension, major depression and high cholesterol, that have the greatest impact on Americans’ quality of life. We need to work to address these fundamental and chronic health problems.   

We can also do better when it comes to containing costs. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Health, our state faces higher healthcare costs without demonstrating higher quality of care than the rest of the United States. 

 

Healthcare must be affordable. We have to lower the overall cost of care, especially when it comes to prescription drugs. More than 23 percent of every healthcare premium dollar is spent on prescription drugs. To keep prices in check we need increased transparency, competition and consumer choice, and affordable access to generic and biosimilar drugs in a timely and cost-conscious manner. Drug costs are the fastest-growing costs in healthcare, led by injectable drugs. 

 

To learn more about our interviewee, visit:

IBX: https://www.ibx.com/ 

 

Philly Zoo Embraces the Festive Spirit with LumiNature

Philly Zoo Embraces the Festive Spirit with LumiNature

By: Sara Warden 

2 min read December 2019 — During the Christmas season, electricity usage skyrockets as homes, businesses and local authorities light up the streets with Christmas displays and twinkling lights sure to make even the coldest hearts feel festive. This year, Philadelphia Zoo is getting in on the action with its inaugural LumiNature festival. 

 

After two years of planning and a $3.5 million investment, LumiNature will take place from Nov. 20 to Jan. 5, featuring 12 immersive displays containing over 600,000 lights inside the zoo’s boundaries. “LumiNature will transform the Zoo from its daytime magic into a winter wonderland, immersing guests in a joyous multimedia light and music spectacular,” said Philadelphia Zoo’s Chief Marketing Officer Amy Shearer in a press release. “We will shine a light on the world’s elusive big cats and flamboyant peacocks, …all through the artistry of lights, media, sound and nature itself.”

Tickets start from a very affordable $19 for the night tour of the zoo while the animals slumber, where guests can see, among other displays, “lit flamingos … on their own 25-foot tree, a 35-foot polar bear made out of 23,000 pounds of recycled car doors … and all four seasons,” according to Shearer. The event, presented by JP Morgan Chase, promises 200 festively lit penguins, 45 completely custom LED light structures and a 21-foot snake. “LumiNature is set to be the most unique and memorable holiday-season light extravaganza in the entire Philadelphia and tri-state region,” added Shearer.

The intention is for LumiNature to be an unmissable family experience each year at Christmas. The event is also expected to attract visitors from out-of-town, just to see the fantastical light and sound show. Hilton hotels partnered with the event to offer Hilton Honours Members a special gift when attending LumiNature.

Hot chocolate and mulled wine will be on offer to guests as they stroll through the zoo, admiring the 12 difference displays. Here’s what the event organizers say guests should expect:

  • Wonder of Slumber: A beautiful and dreamy setting of lit orbs and giant illuminated flowers.
  • The Dreamery: A wishing well of sorts with a wave of the hand, bubbles, lights, and steam.
  • Snake Awake: Slither through brilliant purples, blues and greens as a giant snake slithers along beside you…
  • Frog Fantastical: Color washes throughout the trees and water-like images appear on the path before you.
  • Color me Chameleon: A kaleidoscope of color fills this festive plaza inviting guests to shop for their favorite light up items at the Zoo’s very first glow bar.
  • Big Cat Stalk: As you meander through this path of tall illuminated ‘grass’, the stalking eyes of these frisky felines will appear and disappear making you wonder if you are what they are dreaming of.
  • Evergreen Dreams: Situated in this lovely outdoor hang out are some surprising trees that come to life as they sing and welcome you to LumiNature.
  • Seasonbration: Spring, Summer, Winter and Fall all have a point of view that comes to life via lights, music, and special effects.
  • Northern Lights: A 35-foot polar bear named Polaris made entirely from white recycled car doors transforms into a gigantic screen that shares the magnificence and diversity of our planet. 
  • Flamingo Fancy: Guests will be surprised as they walk along brilliantly lit 8-foot pink “flamingos” when they encounter the most whimsical tree within LumiNature: a 25-foot beauty made entirely of lit flamingo lawn ornaments!
  • Peacock Spectacular: Standing before giant, lit peacock feathers, people can get the most unique holiday picture of the season. 
  • Penguin Peace on Earth: Hundreds of illuminated penguins will fill the zoo’s lawn to bid guests farewell and wish them a very special holiday season in true zoo fashion.

 

To find out more, visit:

 

https://philadelphiazoo.org/luminature/