January 2014

From Brent’s desk:

Re: LED wall installed and more tanks filled at The Loveland Living Planet Aquarium

It’s going to be an exciting year for all of us at The Loveland Living Planet Aquarium. We are busy putting the finishing touches on the aquarium and getting all the tanks ready for their new aquatic inhabitants. 

The new aquarium is on a world-class scale, and will be a top tourist attraction for our state and the Intermountain West. The Loveland Living Planet Aquarium will be 136,000 square feet. Most of the aquariums of this size have cost well over $50 million, but through innovation, value engineering and support from many local firms we have been able to reduce that by half, something never accomplished before.   

We recently tested our new LED building skin technology, which is on the south side of the building and is a one of a kind invention, unlike anywhere else in the country.  I conceived the concept in 2009 and built prototypes with our talented team and finally saw it installed a few weeks ago.   

Another visually intriguing feature that’s coming together at the new Aquarium is our 40-foot whale shark sculpture. It is a lifelike replica and is among the largest whale shark sculptures in the world. Local artist and sculptor Stephen Kesler is the creator of the sculpture, which will be suspended in the lobby of the Aquarium.  He was commissioned by the aquarium to concept, design, and sculpt this display featuring the whale shark as well as four 12-foot manta rays.  

We are hearing that everyone is very excited to come see the new aquarium, and we cannot wait to share it with you!  Thank you for your patience as we complete the aquarium, for your support for so many years and especially for believing in us.

Brent Andersen
CEO/Founder 
The Loveland Living Planet Aquarium

December 2013

From Brent’s desk:

Re: First tank is filled and thousands of new species arrive

As we get ready to wrap up 2013, I can’t help but reflect on some things that have been accomplished by our team at the aquarium this year.  We may not have realized when we started 2013 the scope of what we were getting ourselves into, but that may have been a good thing. This has been a huge undertaking with many unforeseen challenges; however, I know that after we open our doors, we will be able to sit back with a great feeling of satisfaction. We will know that our hard work and effort has brought a world class aquarium to Utah.

As you probably know, our Sandy location was open until mid-September.  We continued to have record attendance and we felt the growing pains.  Since then a flurry of activity has been happening as we have been creating our much larger space for our members and guests to explore.

We have received thousands of animals/species including two Zebra Sharks, Speckled dace (Utah native), Grayling (Utah native), Smokey Jungle Frogs, Thumbnail Imitator Dart Frogs, Powder Blue Tang and a Chevron tang to name just a few.  It is my hope that those who visit our new location will be inspired to appreciate and learn about life and eco-systems in a way that they have never before been able to experience here in Utah. 

As for updates in the last month, we saw our first tank filled.  This is our Giants tank, in the Journey to South America Exhibit.  The new giants tank is 8 times larger than the tank in Sandy and took three hours to fill.  We also received three semi-trailers of South American botanicals for that same exhibit.  It is truly amazing to see 30 foot palm trees and lush vegetation surround you as you enter that hall. Our guests will literally be immersed into the rain forest eco-system. 

Over the next few weeks we will be filling our other tanks, including our 300,000 gallon shark tank, and begin cycling the water through to prepare for our animals to be transported.  I look forward to my next update which should include many of the finishing touches in our new home and the announcement of the o-fishal opening date!

Thank you for believing in us,
Brent Andersen
CEO/Founder 
The Loveland Living Planet Aquarium

October 2013
 
From Brent’s desk: 
 
Re: A look back at how far we’ve come and a thank-you for your support.
 
I founded The Living Planet Aquarium in 1998 and began with just one van that visited local elementary schools to educate children about marine science.  Bringing the ocean to local school children to teach them about science, the earth’s diverse ecosystems and inspire them to continue to explore, discover and learn was the beginning of a much  larger goal, which has always been to bring a world class aquarium to Utah.  This was my dream, but my dream has been embraced by hundreds in our community- making it a reality.  Thank you for your help and support. 
 
We are almost there.  We grew from that one van to many and with your help moved into our “preview exhibit” in the Gateway in Salt Lake City in 2004.  It was 10,000 square feet that was bursting with visitors and quickly outgrown. With the support of the local community who believed in our vision we were able to move into the much larger Sandy location in 2006- just two short years later.
 
This is the 43,000 sq. foot aquarium that many of you look on fondly and that was a very important stepping stone on the way to our final destination.  We are now just a few months away from opening the new Loveland Living Planet Aquarium.  

It will be just over triple the size at 136,000 square feet.  The aquarium will feature a 40 foot tunnel that will allow you to walk through the 300,000 gallon shark tank holding 20 different sharks, various rays, multiple sea turtles and many other fish and sea creatures. 
 
The penguin habitat will also be expanded to quadruple the old size in order to allow for more species of penguins.  The river otter’s habitat will be tripled in size and include an outdoor pool for them.  There will be many new and exciting animals for our community to experience and enjoy.  
 
This would not have been possible without the support of the local community, volunteers and our corporate sponsors. Thank you for believing in us.  We look forward to sharing our ocean world with you in just a few short months. 
 
Thanks for your support,
Brent Andersen
CEO/Founder 
The Loveland Living Planet Aquarium
 

November 2013

From Brent’s desk:

Re: Updates as the Loveland Living Planet Aquarium takes shape

Next month will mark a significant milestone in the life of The Living Planet as we add a brilliant oasis of learning and adventure to the map. We will open the doors to the beautiful, new home of the Loveland Living Planet Aquarium in Draper, Utah.

We have made substantial progress over the past 30 days and I wanted to provide an update on our milestones and momentum.

You may have noticed our name is now prominently displayed on the side of the building facing I-15, but that is just the outside.

We have received 44 different species (fish, birds, amphibians, and reptiles) since October 1st, including: a Red Shiner (a fish found in Utah), a variety of tropical reef fish, hour glass tree frogs, a variety of dart frogs, wood ducks, and paradise tanagers, which are colorful birds from the northern regions of South America.

Many of the exhibits and future habitats are beginning to take shape. Our staff and volunteers have been invaluable and are working long hours to create the habitats for the new arrivals. We are fortunate to have such a talented team as they have designed and completed the work on the exhibits with their own hands.

It is inspiring to watch the renowned artist Billy Hensler hand paint the stunning murals that will grace the walls of the aquarium.

Many of the aquarium tanks are installed and the diving entry platform for the shark tank is in. We are looking forward to offering patrons the opportunity to dive with the sharks, which will be a chance of a lifetime activity that has never before been offered here in Utah. It will certainly be a memorable event for all who participate.

The world famous Boulderscape team has created the rockwork in the Otter’s indoor/outdoor river habitat, the stingray touch pools and the Journey to South America Exhibit. This adds elements of realism and variety to the aquarium’s interior.

As a reminder, we are still able to offer memberships for families and individuals on our website and a few sponsorships are still available for individuals, companies and foundations. We also have a new Corporate Membership program that allows you to give passes to your employees and have your annual event at the Aquarium.

We have received many encouraging calls, emails and social media comments from people throughout the community who share our excitement and anticipation of the opening of Loveland Living Planet Aquarium at the end of the year. The closer we come to opening our new doors, the more eager we are to share our world with you. Thank you for your support!

Thank you for believing in us,
Brent Andersen
CEO/Founder
The Loveland Living Planet Aquarium