21 Apr 2021

Kanada: Vancouver Aquarium and Herschend Family Entertainment Announce New Ownership Agreement

To save the Vancouver Aquarium from permanent closure, Herschend Family Entertainment, operator of numerous leisure destinations throughout the USA including Silver Dollar City, Dollywood and Kentucky Kingdom (cf. EAP News of 25 Feb 2021), has acquired 100 percent ownership for the aquarium from the Ocean Wise Conservation Association. The financial problems of Vancouver Aquarium have been a result from huge visitor losses due to the Covid-19 pandemic. As part of the new ownership agreement, Herschend will pay one percent of annual gross revenues from the operation of the aquarium to Ocean Wise to support the organisation’s conservation program. Clint Wright will continue managing the aquarium in his positions as Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer.

“This is a very positive outcome that secures both the future of Vancouver Aquarium and the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre. 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. 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,“ says Wright.

“[…] As a long-time aquarium operator, we have always admired the Vancouver Aquarium as the gold standard in the industry for its combination of animal care, educational focus and exceptional family experience. We intend to build on this track record, enhancing the Vancouver Aquarium as an attraction for local and international visitors, and continuing to support the dozens of initiatives that make the aquarium such a vital part of the local, national and international community. […],“ comments Andrew Wexler, CEO of Herschend Enterprises.

The Vancouver Aquarium is the third facility certified by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums in Herschend’s leisure destination portfolio. (eap)