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Sunday Poll: Aquarium A Good Fit For Union Station?

August 14, 2016 Downtown, Featured, Sunday Poll 3 Comments
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Last week LHM, owners of Union Station, announced plans to add an aquarium as par of the remake of the property. The 1985 mall under the train shed failed, but the hotel portion has continued to do well.

Developers are planning to build a $45 million aquarium is [sic] Union Station near downtown St. Louis and they say it will feature one of the largest collections of sharks in the Midwest.

The 75,000-square-foot St. Louis Aquarium will display thousands of aquatic species, such as stingrays and fish in 1 million gallons of water in the complex’s former mall area. A planned v-shaped rope bridge will suspend visitors above the shark tank. It will also include a gift shop, 8,500- square-feet of private event space with the shark tank as a backdrop, and possibly a themed restaurant in the old Houlihan’s space. (An aquarium for St. Louis is part of the redesign for Union Station’s former mall)

Thinking many of you have opinions, it’s the poll topic this week.

The poll will close at 8pm.

— Steve Patterson


Currently there are "3 comments" on this Article:

  1. Sgt Stadanko says:

    Unfortunately, though I believe it is a good idea, as with most things around downtown, you have the crime element. After witnessing a purse snatching in Union Station of an elderly female, I lost hope that anything can go into that space. Crime has too strong a foothold – mostly due to being near the housing projects. Sorry to be a party pooper but Union Station is not a place I would bring my children. Thanks, Sarge

  2. JZ71 says:

    Unless we can pull off a world-class facility (like Georgia, Monterey or the Shedd Aquarium [in Chicago]), it’ll just be another marginally profitable regional attraction, kinda like our convention center. Which raises the next question – how big is the proposed public subsidy?!

  3. Mark-AL says:

    Aquariums tend to do well when they’re located among other major (interesting and/or fun) tourist attractions. Seldom are stand-alone aquariums successful. Berlin’s AquaDom, for example, is a prime example of a successful aquarium, because it is physically located close to 55 other free or group-rate attractions. The AquaDom in and of itself is a unique experience, housing over 2500 species, and it attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors every year. So in addition to offering a unique learning experience for inquisitive minds (when we visited a year ago, my then 12 year old was as intrigued as my 17 year old) part of its attendance draw is explained because Berlin itself is saturated with historical significance, with ghosts and legends hidden in just about every nook and cranny of the city, and most adults and most kids who have been exposed to the study of even the most elementary level of history would probably find Berlin a fascinating city to visit. So the AquaDom is just another positive for Berlin. But a family might not choose to visit Berlin if Sea Life Berlin were the only feature, but because the city offers so many theaters, monuments, gardens,castles, heritage sites, major universities and colleges, etc, etc, etc, the aquarium does well. And x-day passes can be purchased that will allow families to visit multiple attractions on a single pass. St Louis does offer multiple attractions, including the Arch, the Zoo, Science Center on Oakland, incredible museums, one of the finest universities in the nation, cathedrals and historic churches, a major botanical park, etc, etc etc. Let’s hope the St Louis Visitors Bureau can get together with all the major attractions, package a deal for visiting families, orchestrate an effective PR program to give the new aquarium the shot in the arm that it deserves and will need if it is to survive.

    I agree with Sarge. If Union Station becomes a hangout for thugs and unruly group behavior, no attraction will survive.


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