DRAPER, Utah -- Loveland Living Planet Aquarium recently celebrated a big milestone, and big changes are coming to the facility.
“We’re about to reach our 3 millionth visitor sometime in the month of July,” Brent Andersen, founder and CEO of Loveland Living Planet Aquarium.
It was a prediction made earlier this month and a milestone reached three years after the aquarium opened its doors in Draper.
“We hit our 3 millionth visitor, which is a major milestone for us, I mean, when you put it into perspective it’s the population of the entire state of Utah,” said Caroline Raltson with Loveland Living Planet Aquarium.
The aquarium celebrated that 3 millionth guest with a burst of confetti and a special thank you gift for the guest of honor.
“We came here today, and we are the 3 millionth customer and won a five-year membership, and we're so excited,” said Janice Williams.
Williams and her kids are regulars at the aquarium, sometimes going to see the exotic animals and fun exhibits twice in one week.
The volume of visitors is one of the reasons the aquarium is expanding into a 9-acre lot just south of the aquarium, adding a brand new science leaning center.
“Everybody cares about their kids and wants them to have the best possible resources for learning, and we’re a part of that solution,” Andersen said.
The new 80,000 square foot building will connect to the existing building by an enclosed breezeway.
“It’s got an interesting facade and architectural shape that is meant to mirror, as you’re standing there, you’ll see the Rocky Mountains behind you, it mirrors those Rocky Mountains," Andersen said.
Other features include 16 state of the art classrooms and eight high-tech labs for students to study STEM subjects.
“Anything that can develop their imagination and help them think, prepare them for later in life, any science exhibits are always fascinating to children,” said Marcie Larsen, a visitor to the aquarium.