Biologist David Gross has moved on a bit since he had a 55 gallon aquarium in his frat house room at college, for he now finds himself in charge of 500 Species of fish, 37 exhibits and 75 thousand gallons of water as the Via Aquarium in Schenectady, NY opens.
The new aquarium is home to over 2, 000 freshwater and saltwater animals, a 360-degree ocean tunnel, a stingray touching tank and the opportunity to experience a live piranha feeding. “Unless you travel to Boston or Niagara Falls or down to Coney Island. There aren’t any aquariums in this area, ” said Gross.
Turkish company Via Port bought the mostly empty shopping mall which houses the aquarium last year for $9.25 million and plans to refresh the customer experience by offering visitors entertainment, including the aquarium and a sports bar/arcade. The expectation is that this will generate the foot traffic needed to entice back national retailers.