Add yet another item to your “things to do in Cleveland” list. The first phase of the new Cleveland Aquarium, previously set to open in October, then December, now has a firm opening date of January 28, 2012. Passholders will get early entry on the 26th and 27th. It is currently being built in the Powerhouse building on the west bank of the flats, and will serve as yet another attraction bringing people into the heart of the city.
The main attraction will be the Sea Tube, a long underwater tunnel made of see-through glass offering an up close view of sea life – including sharks. When complete the aquarium will feature 70,000 square feet of exhibits, many educational and hands on. It will also host a restaurant and banquet facilities for special events. I wonder if they’ll open up the Sea Tube for small wedding parties.
The new Cleveland Aquarium will fill a void left when the aquarium at Gordon Park closed in 1985. Until now, the only one in town was at the Cleveland Zoo. The zoo exhibit is nice, but small. The new aquarium is huge, family oriented and will make a great tourist attraction for people visiting our city. Along with the East Bank development, the new casino and the medical mart the Cleveland Aquarium is going to play a vital role in attracting people downtown to both live and visit. They’re hoping to attract as many as 500,000 people a year, generating around 40 jobs.
Season passes are on sale now.