CEO Tours ‘Immensely Modern’ New Attraction
BLOOMINGTON, Minn., Nov. 17 /PRNewswire/ — Underwater Adventures, the world’s largest underground aquarium, today welcomed the country’s newest aquarium attraction as “an exciting addition to the fabric of aquariums around the world.” The Georgia Aquarium is scheduled to open in Atlanta on Nov. 23.
Todd Peterson, CEO of Underwater Adventures, located entirely under The Mall of America in Bloomington, MN, previewed the new Atlanta facility Tuesday and said, “The Georgia Aquarium is an immensely modern aquarium, which is an exciting addition to the fabric of aquariums around the world. Every aquarium develops a distinct personality. Ten years after our own opening we’ve become the place to go for sharks. It will be fun to see what guests like best about the Georgia Aquarium.”
Named “The World’s Best Shark Encounter” by Discovery’s travelchannel.com and “the best shark exhibit on the planet” by Animal Planet, Underwater Adventures boasts more than 100 sharks in nine species, which can be viewed from a 300-foot glass underground tunnel. Known for its aquatic breeding skills, Underwater Adventures has shipped dozens of its shark hatchlings to aquariums around the world.
Total population of the 1.2 million gallon Underwater Adventures, which opened in 1996, has grown to 4,500 animals of 350 species, including 30 stingrays in three species, 13 eels, 5 barracuda, and 4 endangered sea turtles, in addition to the 100 sharks.
The Minnesota aquarium’s newest residents are two endangered green sawfish, which traveled more than 10,000 miles from Australia to their new home. Underwater Adventures plans to use its breeding expertise to mate the new sawfish and become the first aquarium in the world to successfully breed sawfish in captivity.
Beyond viewing this wide array of fish, visitors to Underwater Adventures can actually Swim with the Sharks (one of only two facilities in the country to allow SCUBA certified divers dive unfettered in the aquarium) and Sleep with the Sharks (a slumber party event in which participants spend the night in the glass tunnel where sharks swim overhead).
The marriage of a SCUBA certified couple in Underwater Adventures’ largest Shark Cove exhibit was carried live on NBC’s TODAY show last Valentine’s Day.
“Encountering creatures from the sea is a stimulating, entertaining and educational experience that Minnesotans can enjoy right in their home state,” said Peterson, who took over the privately-built Underwater Adventures in 1999.
Underwater Adventures ticket prices are $14.95 for adults (18-61), $12.95 for teens (13-17) and seniors (62+), $8.95 for kids (3-12) and children age two and under are free. Aquarium hours are Mon-Thu 10:00 am-8:00 pm, Fri-Sat 9:30 am-8:30 pm and Sundays 10:00 am-7:00 pm. For more information, visit http://www.sharky.tv/ .