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Aquariums: SEA LIFE Celebrates Newest Aquarium and Arizona’s Treasures in Kick-off Event


SEA LIFE, the world’s largest aquarium brand, celebrated its newest aquarium, SEA LIFE Arizona, scheduled to open in Tempe, Ariz. in June 2010. 

The new 26, 000 square foot aquarium is a $15 million dollar undertaking and investment in the state of Arizona.

"We searched long and hard to find the most suitable location for our first stand-alone SEA LIFE attraction in the U.S. Given its large population of families and high volume of vacationers, Arizona, and the city of Tempe, are a great fit for our second U.S. SEA LIFE aquarium, " said Glenn Earlam, Merlin Entertainments managing director for midway attractions. "We fully expect SEA LIFE Arizona to be our best aquarium to date. We are excited to bring the ocean to the desert."

SEA LIFE Arizona is built specifically to provide a fun, interactive and educational experience for kids. It will host more than 30 display tanks in 12 different habitat zones for more than 5, 000 sea creatures including those native to Arizona.

To celebrate the arrival of SEA LIFE Arizona at its kick-off event, representations from the state’s most well-known treasures, from the Grand Canyon to the Phoenix Suns, were collected and placed by local Tempe students in SEA LIFE Arizona’s Treasure Chest. The chest will be publicly displayed at SEA LIFE Arizona at the grand opening in June for all to enjoy.

"SEA LIFE Arizona is truly Arizona’s newest treasure, but there are so many treasures, both here in Tempe and throughout the state, that make this a unique and amazing place, " said Chris Spaulding, senior curator of SEA LIFE North America. "We want to celebrate those treasures today by placing them in our SEA LIFE Treasure Chest, to commemorate the people, places and organizations that make Arizona so special. The treasure chest will be on display right here in SEA LIFE Arizona when we open our doors this summer."

The SEA LIFE experience focuses on a voyage to the depths of the oceans, and exhibits are designed to be enjoyed from a child’s perspective. The voyage begins in the Arizona park lakes and travels through a deep-sided river canyon, into a partially submerged cave and to the shoreline of Cabo San Lucas. The journey continues into the harbor, wharves and on to the ocean deep. Visitors will enjoy a coral shoaling ring, ray exhibit, sea horse display and an ocean tunnel, providing a 360 degree viewing experience.

SEA LIFE Arizona will be the second SEA LIFE aquarium launched in the U.S. and the 33rd to open worldwide. As of its opening in June 2010, SEA LIFE aquariums around the world operate in 11 countries on two continents. SEA LIFE is owned by Merlin Entertainments, the UK-based owner of the LEGOLAND amusement parks and Madame Tussauds wax museums. Merlin Entertainments Group is the second largest visitor-attraction operator in the world.

About SEA LIFE Arizona

SEA LIFE Arizona is a 26, 000 square foot aquarium designed with children in mind. Based in Tempe, Ariz., the unique and interactive aquarium provides visitors with a fun and educational underwater experience showcasing some of the world’s most thrilling sea creatures. SEA LIFE Arizona includes more than 30 display tanks in 12 different habitat zones featuring more than 5, 000 sea creatures.

SEA LIFE Arizona is the second SEA LIFE aquarium launched in the U.S. and the 33rd to open worldwide. As of its opening in June 2010, SEA LIFE aquariums around the world operate in 11 countries on two continents. SEA LIFE Arizona is located at Arizona Mills entrance one, 5000 Arizona Mills Circle in Tempe. For more information, visit

About Merlin Entertainments

MERLIN ENTERTAINMENTS GROUP is the leading name in location-based, family entertainment, and has seen the most successful and dynamic growth of any company in the sector over the last five years. The world’s second largest visitor attraction operator, Merlin has 59 attractions, six hotels and two holiday villages in 13 countries, across three continents. The company aims to deliver memorable and rewarding experiences to its 35 million visitors worldwide, through its iconic global and local brands, and the commitment and passion of its managers and 13, 500 employees.

Merlin Entertainments operates the following attractions — SEA LIFE — the world’s biggest aquarium brand, Madame Tussauds, LEGOLAND, The Merlin Entertainments London Eye, Dungeons, Gardaland, LEGOLAND Discovery Centres, Alton Towers Resort, Warwick Castle, THORPE PARK, Chessington World of Adventures & Zoo, Heide Park, and Earth Explorer. All brands which are distinctive, challenging and innovative — and which have great potential for growth in the future. Visit for more information. 

See also:
Family Entertainment: AnimaLive ChatterBox at Sea Life, Brighton, UK
Aquariums: Merlin Entertainments Plans New $15M Sea Life Aquarium for Phoenix

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