October 27, 2014
Million dollar contribution from Whataburger aids fundraising effort for Aquarium’s Caribbean Journey expansion
CORPUS CHRISTI, TEXAS – The Texas State Aquarium is excited to announce another significant gift for Campaign Caribbean, the Aquarium’s capital campaign which will fund the largest expansion in its 24-year history. Today, longtime partner Whataburger announced a generous $1 million gift to Campaign Caribbean. The gift is earmarked for the naming of a 4D theater in the Caribbean Journey experience – the first theater of its kind south of San Antonio.
“Whataburger and the Dobson Family are proud to support the construction of the 4D theater which will be named after our mother and the woman who grew Whataburger into the company it is today, Grace Dobson. She had a deep personal commitment to the Corpus Christi community and incredible passion for this place,” said Whataburger Chairman and TSA Board Member Tom Dobson. “I know she would be very proud.”
Texas State Aquarium President & CEO Tom Schmid commented, “Whataburger and the Dobson family have been steadfast Aquarium supporters and partners for many years. Thanks to their generous continuing support, we are going to be able to bring the Coastal Bend area its first 4D theater. 4D will bring guests the richest theater experience possible – the action spills out of the screen over the audience with thrill-enhancing sensory special effects—from water mist and smoke clouds to tremors beneath the feet.”
The Texas State Aquarium’s Whataburger 4D Theater will be developed by SimEx-Iwerks, which specializes in designing, building and operating 4-D Experiences® that feature blockbuster content licensed from the world’s major studios. SimEx-Iwerks is an expert in integrating the highest quality 3-D high definition projection with in-seat and in-theater effects to create fully immersive experiences. Their 4-D theaters include a variety of special effects, including bubbles, snow, scent, FX lighting, water mist, seat vibrations, and wind.
The $50 million Caribbean Journey addition will introduce Aquarium guests to the sights, sounds, and vibrant wildlife of the Western Caribbean. Its construction will complete the final two phases of the Aquarium’s original master plan and will transform the Texas State Aquarium from a leading regional aquarium to one of the top aquariums in the nation.
In late 2012, the Texas State Aquarium launched the leadership phase of Campaign Caribbean, a capital campaign to raise the necessary funds for construction of the Caribbean Journey wing. At 65,000 square feet, the new Caribbean Journey wing will be significantly larger than the original Gulf of Mexico exhibit building. “The new wing will be 50 percent larger, however, in terms of indoor exhibit space. It will more than double what we currently have,” said Aquarium President & CEO Tom Schmid. “This is going to be a multi-level, highly immersive, state-of-the-art experience.”
Visit texasstateaquarium.org/caribbean to take the Caribbean Journey.
Whataburger has focused on its fresh, made-to-order burgers and friendly customer service since 1950 when Harmon Dobson opened the first Whataburger as a small roadside burger stand in Corpus Christi, Texas. Dobson gave his restaurant a name he hoped to hear customers say every time they took a bite of his made-to-order burgers: “What a burger!” Within the first week, people lined up around the block for his 25 cent, 100-percent beef burgers served on five-inch buns. Today, the company is headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, with more than 760 locations in 10 states with sales of more than $1 billion annually. Visitwww.whataburger.com for more information on the company or become a fan on Facebook athttp://www.facebook.com/whataburger.
Texas State Aquarium: Connecting people with nature and inspiring conservation of the Gulf of Mexico.
The Aquarium is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums
and the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums.