Sandy, U.S.A. — The Living Planet Aquarium begins construction of the 136,000-square-foot, $20 million expansion with a groundbreaking event scheduled for 10:00 a.m. Wednesday, October 24 at 12033 S. Lone Peak Parkway. The expansion, which is set to open December 2013, will take visitors from the Utah deserts and mountains, to rain forest habitats, to the planet’s vast oceans.
The Aquarium has continued to grow since opening in a small space in 2004 at The Gateway and, since 2006, in Sandy at 725 E. 10600 South. The current 43,000-square-foot aquarium in Sandy is on track to land over 450,000 visitors this year, and provides science education to an additional 50,000 elementary school students statewide. “With the tremendous efforts of a remarkable team of staff, volunteers, donors and board of trustees the aquarium has grown over 50% through the recession, confirming the demand for a larger aquarium in Utah,” said Brent Andersen, Founder and CEO.
The new Aquarium, officially named the “Loveland Living Planet Aquarium,” will be located in Draper City at 12033 S. Lone Peak Parkway and will provide a new and exciting activity in which the whole family can participate throughout the entire year. In addition to pure entertainment, it will offer expanded educational programs, field trips, and hands-on learning that would not otherwise be accessible to Utah’s children. TheSandy location will close September 8, 2013 to allow for transition into the new building.
Conservatively, Loveland Living Planet Aquarium will attract 530,000 visitors per year as a family-oriented destination for Utah residents as well as tourists. “A larger aquarium will become a major destination spot which will enhance local and statewide economies by generating economic activity and supporting jobs,” said Rep. Tim Cosgrove, Aquarium Board of Trustees. “It is estimated that the project will support over 300 construction jobs and generate $800,000 in tax revenues for the State each year,” said Cosgrove. The Aquarium will serve to showcase ecosystems from around the world such as marine, freshwater and rain forests to name a few, and how they work together to form one global ecosystem, The Living Planet.