The Living Planet Aquarium – Salt Lake City
Aquariums awaken a sense of wonder. Eyes widen at the blues and greens; nostrils fill with the scents of the ocean and ears catch splashes of earnest otters, penguins and children.
The Living Planet Aquarium has a continually evolving spirit that reflects its progressive past. In 1999, marine biologist Brent Andersen believed that Utah deserved a world-class aquarium. He founded The Living Planet Aquarium in the back of two “aqua vans” that contained the beginnings of exhibits. Andersen took his educational “aqua vans” on the road to various Utah schools and in 2004, The Living Planet Aquarium Preview Exhibit opened in The Gateway Mall in Salt Lake City. By 2006, the location moved to its current address in Sandy, accommodating the aquariums ever-expanding population of marine wildlife, exhibits and guests.
The current 43,000 square-foot property stands testament to Andersen’s original vision and Utah’s enthusiasm for marine biology. The aquarium receives over 375,000 visitors per year and has grown
50% thanks to donors, colossal growth, and inspired leadership. Andersen, still at the helm of the team as the aquarium’s CEO, has recently announced yet another exciting move for The Living Planet: a new aquarium will, in late 2013, open its doors. The new aquarium will offer a place for families to learn, have fun, and experience worlds like South American rainforests and Pacific Ocean marine life; bringing far away worlds closer to home for thousands of Utah residents and travelers. The two-story, 130,000 square-foot building, located in Draper City, will feature a 500-seat banquet hall, gift shop, café, party room, a 45,000 gallon shark tank, and a scale model replica of an ocean-going National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) research vessel.
So, head to The Living Planet Aquarium for piranha, anaconda, sting rays, seahorses…and the chance to investigate global ecosystems in your Utah backyard! 725 East 10600 South in Sandy, 801-355-3474, thelivingplanet.com