Aquarium In Denver -Life as “Ocean Journey”
Denver’s love affair didn’t last very long at all.
In the spring of 1999 Denver Colorado Aquarium began life as “Ocean Journey” and it was the talk of the town…land locked Coloradans marveled over the marine life on display and visions of busloads of school aged children going on field trips seemed reasonable. Denverites knew they had a sure thing…didn’t they?
Well..yes and no…
On the edge of downtown near I-25 and 23rd Street was the facility that housed the fish and sea creatures in 1,000,000 gallons of water.
Denver Colorado Aquarium fell on hard times after the novelty wore off and people discovered that after an initial visit there was little reason to return….
sort of a scenario of…”you’ve seen one fish, you’ve seen them all”
but within the first couple of years the whole future seemed to be in peril!
Word got out that Ocean Journey went bankrupt…and we were in danger of losing our very own Denver Colorado aquarium…reports of not being able to make payments began to appear and suddenly...the same aquarium that people stopped visiting..(which caused the bankruptcy) was becoming popular again and a bidding war ensued between Ripley’s Entertainment and Landry’s Restaurant.
Denverites thought it was quite odd…really..the 2 companies that might buy our aquarium were not what (or who) we expected…on the one hand the “Ripley’s Believe it or Not” folks were well known for freaks and oddities..maybe some museums…on the other hand was A SEAFOOD RESTAURANT!
People couldn’t help but wonder if the alliance between a restaurant chain and an aquarium was creepy…picture this:
A family out on a daytrip taking in the sights at the Denver Colorado Aquarium…and one of the kids says “Daddy that colorful fish over there…what kind of vegetable would you serve with that?”
But…eventually people just accepted that there was no problem at all…and that the Aquarium In Denver was not going to be a breeding ground for the restaurant’s kitchen. And fears of the aquarium only stocking lobster and salmon and other tasty seafood eventually went away. In fact, people were very grateful that the restaurant group rescued the Aquarium In Denver from oblivion!
The years between 2002 and 2005 saw the bankruptcy, change of ownership and remodel…all of which made the aquarium a frequent topic of discussion.
The exhibits frequently highlight conservation and features endangered species of various types...and not limited to fish only.
Visitors sometimes stay an hour or more and can enjoy the touch and feel tank where you can get up close with some fish…very popular with children.
The parking is about what you would expect for a tourist attraction…available if you don’t mind paying a premium for it…but that’s life in the big city I suppose.
The aquarium has taken turns focusing on various geographical areas during their exhibits one example is the one featuring Indonesia (complete with tigers).
Whether you go just once or as often as you can..you will have a memorable experience!
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