February 21, 2012
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – The Texas State Aquarium is pleased to report that in 2011, more than 540,000 guests experienced the animals, exhibits and shows at the Aquarium, and close to 60,000 students participated in various education programs. In addition, more than 13,000 guests visited the Aquarium during Dollar Days in January and December. “More people visited the Aquarium last year than any other year since grand opening,” says Kristin Bell, Director of Marketing and Communications for the Texas State Aquarium.
Aquarium officials credit their success to the opening of the extremely popular HEB Splash Park and Owen’s Paleo Park. In addition, great summer weather, no hurricanes, and an improving regional economy also positively impacted visitation. Every day during the summer, thousands of children cooled off with water cannons, dump buckets and lots of splashing water at the HEB Splash Park. This new addition not only improved visitor experience during the hot summer months, but increased the length of stay, giving families yet another way to enjoy and experience the Aquarium.
Officials also reported that the Aquarium had a $43,000,000 economic impact on Corpus Christi in 2011. The report, provided by Impact DataSource (Austin, TX) also indicated that the Aquarium supported 747 area jobs and salaries of $15 million during the year. “While our mission is certainly focused on environmental education, it’s important not to overlook the fact that the Aquarium, as the top cultural attraction in South Texas, is also an important economic engine for this community,” Aquarium President and CEO Tom Schmid.
The Aquarium has ambitious plans for 2012. Schmid says, “Our commitment and business strategy has always been to offer new programming every year, and for 2012, we are excited to announce the arrival of “Stingray Lagoon” a hands on experience where families can feed and interact with a large collection of cow nose rays, southern, and blunt nose stingrays.” The existing ray pool will be renovated and then filled with small species of sharks, and for those brave enough, opportunities to touch these amazing animals will be part of the program.
“There is so much enthusiasm and momentum in Corpus Christi right now, and I’m really optimistic about 2012. With some cooperation from Mother Nature, I think we’ll have another record year,” stated Schmid.
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 Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums.