A rendering of the new aquarium // © 2012 Living Planet Aquarium
Draper, Utah, will be the location for the much-anticipated Loveland Living Planet Aquarium, a weighty first step in transforming Draper, located 20 miles south of Salt Lake City, into its own tourism hub.
“[This] is a major milestone as we prepare to break ground and turn this dream into a reality,” said Draper city councilman Bill Rappleye. “Having an additional half million guests in our city will truly lift the boats in our harbor.”
The new aquarium will be an expanded new location of the Living Planet Aquarium — currently in Sandy, Utah — and is set to open in December 2013. The new facility will be a 136,000-square-foot, $20 million building with a purpose of educating and entreating Utah’s children and families.
Visitors will be able to walk through a 40-foot tunnel in the Ocean Explorer Gallery’s 300,000 gallon shark tank. They will also get up close to as many as 50 free-roaming birds in the Penguin Encounter and will see a variety of exotic Amazonian species in the Journey to South America Gallery. The aquarium will also be home to Utah’s only 4-D theater experience, which will combine an interactive play area, a nature film theater and changing exhibits with an upscale cafe.