Loveland Living Planet Aquarium

The Loveland Living Planet Aquarium' is a 5013 non-profit organization located in Draper, Utah, United States, is home to 4,500 animals representing 550 species. The public aquarium consists of five main exhibits: Discover Utah, Ocean Explorer, Journey to South America, Expedition Asia and Antarctic Adventure.HistoryThe Loveland Living Planet Aquarium in Utah grew out of an initiative in 1998 by founder and CEO, Brent Andersen, a Utah native and marine biology graduate from the University of California Santa Barbara. The initial plan was to build a 100,000 sq ft aquarium that showed ecosystems from around the world, and help make the connection with visitors that these ecosystems are actually one global ecosystem, the Living Planet. Locations for the aquarium were considered in Salt Lake County and Utah County, and feasibility studies indicated downtown Salt Lake City would be the best location. As the fundraising campaign for the aquarium began, the education component of the Aquarium was launched in February 1999 when the Aquavan was outfitted with educational portable marine exhibits and began visiting Utah schools.In December 1999, a second outreach program as added, (the Rain Forest Van) and in May 2002 a third program, the Utah Waters Van was launched. Each program focused on concepts that are part of the State Office of Education's core curriculum, and collectively began reaching students at every elementary school in the state. While the education programs were growing rapidly, funding for the then $40 million aquarium was much not advancing. A different strategy was created to first build a small "preview exhibit" as a way to stimulate interest.In June 2004, the Living Planet Aquarium Preview Exhibit opened in The Gateway mall, a 10,000 sq. ft. exhibit with freshwater fish, sharks, stingrays, eels, a coral reef, giant octopus a small theater and other interactive exhibits. The public response was overwhelming, attendance was at capacity with over 150,000 visitors per year the first two years and the small space was quickly outgrown. The Aquarium capitalized on that success to relocate in June 2006 to a much larger 43,000 sq ft space in Sandy, Utah. Attendance continued to climb each year to reach 460,000 visitors per year and leadership kept reinvesting in growth of the facility. By this point the concept and business model had been proven and the public demand firmly established.

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725 E 10600 S
Sandy, UT
84094

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