After months of research and analysis, a consultant has concluded that an aquarium in downtown Punta Gorda is a viable proposal, based on location and future population projections, but the cost to pull it off might be too steep to handle.
In a 96-page report released Thursday, ConsultEcon — the firm hired by the Charlotte Harbor Aquarium committee to investigate the feasibility of an aquarium in various location across the county — determined that the former City Marketplace site in downtown Punta Gorda is a suitable location for a 50,000-square-foot aquarium with 250,000 gallons of water, given the site’s proximity to Charlotte Harbor and the interstate. An aquarium that size in that location, the study found, could generate between 134,000 and 341,000 attendees annually, with a mid-range annual attendance of 238,000 made up of local residents, as well as out-of-town visitors.
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