Local News

Fayetteville Officials May Build Aquarium To Boost Tourism

Posted June 29, 2001 1:00 a.m. EDT

— City officials are considering plans to build a freshwater aquarium along the Cape Fear River.

The city hired a consultant to review the plans. The consultant, Hammer, Siler, George Associates of Silver Spring, Md., estimated it would cost between $10 million and $12 million to build the aquarium. Annual operating costs would be between $250,000 and $400,000.

The study was based on a 30,000-square-foot aquarium constructed on a site of about 12 acres. The state operates three saltwater aquariums, all along the Atlantic coast.

Dave Slater of Hammer, Siler, George Associates says the city's next step should be looking at possible sources of funding. The city budget that was passed for 2001-02 does not include money to develop an aquarium.

Officials say it could help Fayetteville's tourism efforts, attracting more than 125,000 visitors a year.