The Planet Aqua Group, the company managing Louisiana’s newly opened Shreveport Aquarium, is reportedly in financial difficulties.
According to online news channel, KTBS 3, seven subcontractors have filed liens for non-payment of invoices totalling $261,799.
A spokesman for Planet Aqua, Jake Wood, apparently told the channel that the company is working to ensure all liens are paid as soon as possible. He added that construction costs were higher than originally planned due to ‘unforeseen needs, as well as additions made to the plans to enhance the visitor experience’.
Taxpayers stumped up $1.5 million dollars towards the $4.3 million dollar project. The city council has also leased the site to Planet Aqua for a peppercorn rent of $1 per year.
Planet Aqua is upbeat about visitor numbers which totalled 28,000 in its first month, exceeding expectations.
The group was orginally understood to be managing another Shreveport attraction alongside the aquarium – the financially troubled Sci-Port Discovery Centre.
Planet Aqua no longer managing Sci-Port Discovery Centre
However, another report in the Shreveport Times suggests that this is no longer the case.
Sci-Port had announced in August that it had reached an agreement with Planet Aqua Group to take over management of the science museum.
Both parties are being tight-lipped about the situation.
Sci-Port will apparently be presenting ‘new ideas’ at the centre’s Toast event on Dec. 31 with the first changes due to be rolled out in early 2018.
Wood has denied that the two have parted company and said: ‘Planet Aqua Group and the Sci-Port Board of Directors are continuing our aligned directive of providing entertainment through highly interactive, education based, and family friendly offerings for all who visit Downtown Shreveport.’
Image courtesy Shreveport Aquarium
Planet Aqua deep in debt to aquarium contractors as it prepares to take over Sci-Port | 3 Investigates | ktbs.com