City officials have chosen the company that will develop and manage the city’s planned $80 million Mississippi Aquarium in Gulfport, USA – David Kimmel and Georgia-based Kimmel Management Services.
Kimmel will be the aquarium consultant. As such, he will provide development and project management services together with operational planning through the pre-opening phase of the aquarium. Since announcing the role in August, five applications were considered.
Kimmel said, “I am excited to have been selected as the aquarium consultant. The city and the Gulfport Redevelopment Commission should be commended for their dedication to this project. It will be a game changer for the city of Gulfport, the Mississippi Gulf Coast and the state of Mississippi. I have enjoyed working with them over the last two years. I’m thrilled to now dedicate all of my time to implementing the vision for the Mississippi Aquarium.”
David Kimmel and Georgia Aquarium
Kimmel was president and chief operating officer of the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta from 2010 to 2014. Before that he managed the development, design and construction of the aquarium as VP and then director of program management at Atlanta based architecture firm Heery International.
Mayor Billy Hewes said, “Mr. Kimmel possesses a unique skillset of knowledge and expertise when it comes to aquarium construction and operation. This, combined with David’s global contacts in the aquarium industry, brings even greater credibility to our Mississippi Aquarium project as we move into the construction phase.”
The aquarium’s ground-breaking design is by St. Louis-based architects PGAV Destinations.
The firm has extensive theme park expertise but in addition with great expertise in the aquarium industry. PGAV designed, among many others, Ocean Kingdom in China, the world’s largest aquarium.
Highlights of the $80 million aquarium will include exhibits focusing on the Mississippi Sound, the Gulf of Mexico and beyond. It is set to open in early 2019.