Construction is planned to begin in fall 2016 with an anticipated completion in fall 2018.
“All of us at LHM are excited to bring this highly anticipated attraction to St. Louis,” says Bob O’Loughlin, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Lodging Hospitality Management and owner of St. Louis Union Station. “The St. Louis Aquarium will anchor the development that will transform St. Louis Union Station and reposition it as a family attraction destination similar to Chicago’s Navy Pier.”
The 75,000-square-foot St. Louis Aquarium will be located in the former mall area within St. Louis Union Station. The $45 million attraction will feature one-of-a-kind exhibits and tanks with one million gallons of water housing thousands of aquatic species.
A Shark Tank holding one of the largest collections of sharks in the Midwest will be a highlight of the new attraction. The exhibit features a Shark Bridge, a unique V-shaped rope bridge that will suspend visitors just inches above the 385,000-gallon shark-filled tank. For guests brave enough to walk across, the Shark Bridge will offer a thrilling vantage point above the sharks, stingrays and hundreds of fish.
The attraction will be open 365 days a year from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. One million visitors are expected annually.
The St. Louis Aquarium will be an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) which holds members to the highest standards in animal care and exhibition. The facility will employ an animal husbandry team of marine biologists and aquarists responsible for the long-term care of the animals in the exhibit as well as overseeing water chemistry, animal nutrition, veterinary care, education, staffing and safety.
The aquarium will be an exceptional educational experience for school groups and an entertainment destination for local and out-of-town visitors. An 8,500-square-foot private event space will feature the Shark Tank as a backdrop for weddings, social events and corporate parties.
The St. Louis Aquarium will be part of a $70 million family entertainment complex located at St. Louis Union Station.