Herschend Enterprises acquires Vancouver Aquarium
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Herschend Enterprises acquires Vancouver Aquarium

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Herschend Enterprises has acquired Vancouver Aquarium from the Ocean Wise Conservation Association, adding the attraction to the group's growing portfolio of properties.

The aquarium has been hit particularly hard by the pandemic and the resulting lockdowns, losing millions of dollars since the start of the coronavirus outbreak in March 2020.

The agreement will see Herschend take over 100 per cent ownership of the site and the deal is the result of a process initiated by Ocean Wise to save the Aquarium from permanent closure.

Vancouver Aquarium will continue to be led by chief operating officer, Clint Wright, who has been with the attraction for more than 30 years.

Herschend is a leading US-based attractions and tourism operator, and the owner of two aquariums – Adventure Aquarium in New Jersey and Newport Aquarium in Kentucky.

The group also owns – and partners with – a number of theme parks, including Silver Dollar City in Branson, Missouri, and Dollywood in Tennessee’s Great Smoky Mountains.

Clint Wright said: “This is a very positive outcome that secures both the future of the 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.”

Andrew Wexler, CEO of Herschend Enterprises, said: “This is a thrilling and humbling day for our company as we begin our relationship with such a renowned institution.

“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.

"It is also important to us that Vancouver Aquarium is exactly that – Vancouver’s aquarium, offering a unique, local and authentic experience that is not available anywhere else."

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Herschend Enterprises has acquired Vancouver Aquarium from the Ocean Wise Conservation Association, adding the attraction to the group's growing portfolio of properties.
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