Loveland Living Planet Aquarium
As a 5 year old boy, Brent Andersen was given a Time-Life book about the sea. Little did his grandmother know how much her gift would inspire him as he spent hours and hours reading it. The underwater world fascinated him and he continued to learn more about it as he grew older. After earning a degree in Marine Biology, he became determined to build the first world-class aquarium in Utah.
In 1999, Andersen began transporting educational exhibits to Utah schools in what was known as the “Aqua Van”. The visits were thrilling for students and teachers, and as popularity grew, his desire for a centralized facility grew as well.
In 2004, he opened a preview exhibit of The Living Planet Aquarium at Gateway Mall. Local freshwater animals and marine life from around the world were on display and it offered an experience never before seen in Utah.
Then, in 2006, the preview exhibit was moved to a much larger facility in Sandy. With over 1,700 animals and 340 freshwater, saltwater and rainforest species, it remained there until 2014. In March of that year, with helpful donations from the Loveland family and others, the Loveland Living Planet Aquarium opened in Draper.
At the aquarium, the animals are given prime care. They are well-fed, inventoried daily, and kept in environments optimized for each individual animal. The Loveland Living Planet Aquarium also protects some endangered species and gives them a safe place to reproduce.
On some occasions, injured animals arrive at the Loveland Living Planet Aquarium after having been rescued. The highly trained staff helps in their rehabilitation and some miraculous stories are displayed each day.
In different sections of the facility, guests experience actual ecosystems from around the world. The animals and plants live in real humidity and climate controlled conditions that are natural for them. While touring, guests learn about the different ecosystems and how humans affect the Earth and its many different species.
In its first year, 1.1 million visitors attended the new Draper location. That was more than double the projections and the average number of visitors continues to increase each month.
There are now plans to grow the facility after the vacant lot directly south of it was acquired. Soon, more about the underwater world Brent Andersen fell in love with as a young boy will be displayed. His dream to create the first world-class aquarium in Utah has been accomplished, and we encourage all to visit the Loveland Living Planet Aquarium.