Originally set to open in 2014, Brockville’s Aquatarium got off to a rocky start.
After repeated delays, the multi-million dollar facility finally opened its doors last year.
But with nearly a full year in operation — it looks like Brockville’s attraction was worth the wait.
People love those otters.
Darryn Davis reports.
You are looking at the star attraction of Brockville’s Aquatarium.
The river otters are a big draw.
But there are other exhibits bringing in the crowds as well.
“They are having a blast. I think we’ve already been here for 2 hours and we’re not even halfway through. ”
“We find that the little areas that we stop in the time flies by because I mean you look at it, like oh that’s neat, oh that’s neat but the interaction with the staff members and stuff it’s great.”
Attendance at the aquatarium continues to exceed expectations.
“Before the facility was built they were predicting around 42 thousand, we had upped that projection to 55 thousand and we’re sitting around 76 thousand. ”
Staff are still crunching numbers for 2016 — but it appears the brockville business community is benefiting from the tourist draw.
“One of the interesting numbers that has come out is the hotel revenues the per room revenue for the first nine months in Brockville actually is increased over 30 per cent. ”
And a new marketing strategy is already in the works.
“Rogerson says one of the areas they’re focusing on expanding in 2017 is school trip visits through their education programs. ”
The plan was to attract 22 hundred students in 2016 — but the Aquatarium almost doubled that goal.
“Self guided visits or hands on visits all curriculum based, meeting the needs of teacher expectations and the provincial standards.”
The aquatarium also offers a range of camps during weekends and holidays… like march break and the summer.
And with more people expected to see these playful creatures –officials expect the business will go swimmingly in 2017.
Darryn Davis CKWS News Brockville.