Tennessee Aquarium Welcomes 25-Millionth Guest, Reflects On Impact

Saturday, November 24, 2018 - by Thom Benson
Amanda Roe from Bristol was the Tennessee Aquarium’s 25-millionth guest on Saturday afternoon. They came to Chattanooga this weekend to visit the Tennessee Aquarium for the very first time. Shown are Michael, Amanda, Tyler, Jacob, and Michael Roe.
Amanda Roe from Bristol was the Tennessee Aquarium’s 25-millionth guest on Saturday afternoon. They came to Chattanooga this weekend to visit the Tennessee Aquarium for the very first time. Shown are Michael, Amanda, Tyler, Jacob, and Michael Roe.

On Saturday the Tennessee Aquarium celebrated the passage of a major milestone with the arrival of its 25-millionth guest since opening in 1992.

 

Amanda, Michael, Michael, Jacob, and Taylor Roe from Bristol, came to Chattanooga to visit the Tennessee Aquarium for the very first time. Ms. Roe was surprised to learn she was the aquarium’s 25-millionth guest. “We wanted to come down to Chattanooga to spend the weekend with our family,” she said.

“We had never been here before, so we were so surprised to win.”

 

In recognition of their important place in the 26-year history of the Aquarium, the lucky group was surprised in the River Journey building with a collection of prizes valued at more than $1,000 and guaranteed to inspire a return visit. The reward package included complimentary tickets to the Aquarium and IMAX 3D Theater, $250 toward purchases in the Aquarium gift shops, a special behind-the-scenes tour, a VIP pass to more than 20 Chattanooga-area attractions and a voucher to return to Chattanooga to stay in the new Edwin boutique hotel.

 

The Roe’s trip began with an unlucky delay that ended up working out quite well. “We got in the car to come here, but the battery was dead,” said Mr. Roe. “We would have been here a lot earlier today and would have missed out if we didn’t have to replace the car’s battery.”

 

The Tennessee Aquarium opened its doors on May 1, 1992. In the years since, the non-profit organization has achieved remarkable success without drawing on city or county tax money. The Aquarium consistently receives top ratings in customer satisfaction on TripAdvisor and was listed as one of the world's top aquariums in 2018. 

 

Since opening, the Aquarium has contributed more than $3.3 billion to the local economy through non-local visitor spending.

 

Families like the Roes, who come to Chattanooga to enjoy the Aquarium, create cherished memories together while generating a $115 million dollar annual impact on the city and county.

 

Celebrating the Aquarium’s 25 millionth guests also honors the generations of visitors who preceded them and who experienced countless unforgettable moments of their own, says Aquarium President and CEO Keith Sanford.

 

“The Aquarium and Chattanooga have come to hold a special place in the hearts of millions of people,” Mr. Sanford said. “As we always have, we strive every day to earn their support, to inspire others and to show how connected we all are to the natural world.”


Kayaker Dane Jackson Makes The 2nd Tallest Waterfall Descent On Record

Ruby Falls Debuts New Tour And Cinematic Experience

"Turtle Nursery" In Tennessee Aquarium's Upcoming Gallery Exhibits Hatchlings


Tennessee-born Dane Jackson , already one of the greatest whitewater kayakers of all time, has accomplished what could be recognized as the landmark achievement of his stellar career by descending ... (click for more)

As part of the multi-year milestone transformation of historic Ruby Falls, a new cinematic experience debuts Thursday, followed by the launch of a new specialty tour March 1. The additions bring ... (click for more)

From pallets of plushes and roses by the gross to chocolate in every imaginable shape, there are a lot of go-to options for Valentine’s Day gifts. But what to give the animal care specialist ... (click for more)




Travel

Kayaker Dane Jackson Makes The 2nd Tallest Waterfall Descent On Record

Tennessee-born Dane Jackson , already one of the greatest whitewater kayakers of all time, has accomplished what could be recognized as the landmark achievement of his stellar career by descending the 134-foot Salto del Maule waterfall. Mr. Jackson, who routinely launches himself into first descents of waterfalls while racking up first place finishes in competitions around ... (click for more)

Ruby Falls Debuts New Tour And Cinematic Experience

As part of the multi-year milestone transformation of historic Ruby Falls, a new cinematic experience debuts Thursday, followed by the launch of a new specialty tour March 1. The additions bring new opportunities for guests to discover adventure at the home of the tallest underground waterfall open to the public in the United States. “The Story of Ruby Falls” is a short-film ... (click for more)

Breaking News

Jacob Coyne Guilty Of Murder, Robbery; Gets Life In Prison In Slaying Of Jalen Little

A Criminal Court jury on Friday night found Jacob Coyne guilty in the March 2017 slaying of 19-year-old Jalen Little, who was shot down in the driveway of his home on Oak Tree Drive. Coyne was ruled guilty of first-degree murder, felony murder and especially aggravated robbery. He was sentenced by Judge Tom Greenholtz to life in prison on the two murder charges. He will be ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Airport Board Gives Go-Ahead For $25 Million Parking Garage

The Chattanooga Airport Board on Friday unanimously approved the awarding of $25 million to Hoar Construction in order to design and build a new four-level parking garage for the airport. While the current lot can house around 500 vehicles, the proposed parking garage will almost double the amount of spaces available. If all goes well, the project could be finished by next ... (click for more)

Opinion

Good Urban Design

Chattanooga is enjoying a robust movement to plan developments in a number of downtown neighborhoods, and there is good reason to believe that well designed development should be welcomed. The opposite is also true, that bad or poorly designed development should not be welcomed, especially if it seriously degrades the existing neighborhood. In the case of a sought after rezoning ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Saturday Funnies

At a recent self-help workshop for adult trauma victims, the main group was split into teams of eight for lunch. Each table was assigned a question, “What was your worst moment in your comeback?” At our table, everyone laughed about each other’s life-changing event but a beautiful girl, who had been a surgeon before a rare eye disease quickly took her sight, was dazzling. Currently, ... (click for more)