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(Al Hartmann | Tribune file photo) People watch as sharks swim by just inches away in the Shark Tank at the Loveland Living Planet Aquarium.
Gallery: Loveland Living Planet Aquarium opens with a splash

First Published Mar 25 2014 01:29 pm • Last Updated Apr 01 2014 09:12 am

In a steady stream, thousands of Utahns toured the new Loveland Living Planet Aquarium on opening day Tuesday, where the Draper facility’s 300-space parking lot was at capacity by midafternoon, said Suzy Broadbent, marketing and public-relations director.

By 2:45 p.m., the aquarium had counted about 2,500 visitors.

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"I think people have been waiting so long, they just can’t wait to see what’s inside that big, glowing building," said Broadbent of the aquarium, formerly located in a much smaller space in Sandy.

A lot of the visitors were children, who mostly appreciated the viewpoint they received of the 5,000 animals, thanks to the clarity of the facility’s large glass windows.

"There were some screams of excitement, and some screams of ‘I think the fish is going to touch me,’ " Broadbent said.

To celebrate the aquarium opening, visitors buying admission before April 15 ($15.95 adults, $12.95 students/teens and $10.95 kids) will receive a free second pass.

On Tuesday, Broadbent said, the highlight of the aquarium seemed to be the shark tunnel, where visitors were able to watch sharks, turtles and other sea life swim right over their heads.

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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