By: Thomas I. Likness
EBC News Service
(Eagle News) — The Vancouver Aquarium has a new owner.
Ownership of the aquarium has been transferred from the Ocean Wise Conservation Association to US-based Herschend Enterprises, the association said Thursday in a release.
It says the transfer was the only way to save the aquarium from permanent closure. It has suffered severe financial problems as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Chief Operating Officer Clint Wright, who has been with the aquarium for more than 30 years, will remain at the helm.
“This is a very positive outcome that secures both the future of the Vancouver Aquarium and the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre,” said Wright. “I have been fortunate to spend almost my entire career at the Vancouver Aquarium and I look forward to continuing to lead the organization as we emerge from the challenges of the pandemic and write the Aquarium’s next chapter.”
Herschend is a leading US-based attractions and tourism operator, and the owner of two aquariums accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums
“I have known the Herschend team for many years, they share our values, and I am extremely optimistic about the new and exciting opportunities that will be open to us with Herschend’s financial and creative support, said Wright.”
Since the pandemic began, the aquarium has been largely closed, other than a short period where it reopened at 25% capacity.
Ocean Wise forecast that it would run out of cash to operate by this spring.
The Vancouver Aquarium opened in 1956 and is located in Stanly Park. It is home to thousands of species of marine life.
(Eagle News Service)