NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WIVB)– Among the many businesses looking to bounce back from the financial strain of the pandemic is the Aquarium of Niagara.
“It’s been a really challenging year for us. We saw about a 64 percent decrease in attendance from the prior year,” says Gary Siddall, President and CEO of the Aquarium.
Which, comes down to about a million dollar loss from the last fiscal year. The Aquarium of Niagara received a grant from the East Hill Foundation earlier in 2020, which went towards food for the animals.
“Our diet and nutrition program, as you can imagine, is very expensive, with all the mouths we have to feed here at the aquarium,” says Siddall.
But that’s just a small portion of their budget. Siddall says they also have to take into account veterinary services, exhibition maintenance, and the electric from lights and special filters.
Looking to bring families and friends through their doors, they started yule-tide days.
Employees say for a limited time, there is a $5 discount for children’s admission, and many interactive adventures for the whole family.
“They’ll receive a free cup of hot chocolate with that, access to an aquarium wide scavenger hunt, as well as cookie sales, and promotions in our gift shop as well,” says Sabrina Mistriner, an aquarium employee.
You’ll also be able to incorporate some education into a day of fun.
“Learning a little bit about all our different species that we have here at the aquarium, and of course, offering that same socially distant way to learn an enjoy our animals.”
The aquarium of Niagara is following all COVID-19 safety guidelines by enforcing socially distant viewing spots, having a limited capacity, and encouraging hand washing throughout the building.