Industry Update: St. Louis Aquarium at Union Station

Construction at St. Louis Aquarium, which is part of LHM’s $187-million family entertainment complex in and around the historic Union Station building, is well underway. Halfway through the two-year project, which began in November 2017, MM&E staff had the opportunity to participate in the media hard hat tour and gain insights into what the newest attraction in Downtown St. Louis will offer when its doors finally open in late 2019. While there is not yet one sea creature on the premises, we could get a really clear idea of what it will be like, the unique hands-on experience of touching river otters in their natural habitat, feeding sea turtles, and receiving a manicure from the doctor fish.

Aside from a gift shop, a restaurant, and – of course – lots of ocean life, the aquarium will have meeting space available for rent. How would you like to hold business in the room right next to the Shark Canyon? Seriously, one wall of the main meeting room is also one of the walls of the shark habitat, so if discussions in your meeting get heated, attendees’ focus can be directed towards tranquil, majestic sharks swimming by. Who wouldn’t be calmed by that? Provided, of course, that the wall is thick enough to offer some sense of security. Luckily, the project manager at McCarthy Building Companies, Shawn Brinker, assured us that the acrylic glass was engineered to keep both sharks and people safe. And maybe after the meeting is over, the group can head over to the ropes course, for a team-building experience.

By the time this project is completed, St. Louis Downtown will have not only one of the most unique aquariums in the world, with extra sensory rooms for children who are sensitive to excessive sensory stimulation, but also a new ropes course, a mirror maze, minigolf, carousel, a 200-ft ferris wheel, as well as several new dining options. All of this will be located at St. Louis Union Station. There’s your best reason to already look forward to next winter and icy temperatures!

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