FOLSOM (CBS13) — SeaQuest Interactive Aquarium plans to open its fifth location in Folsom this fall. Some say it’s a welcome addition to the area, but others aren’t so sure it’s the right company for their community.
“I think it would be an excellent addition,” said Julie Sharp, a mom of two. “I think it would be fun for the family!”
The new attraction is coming to Palladio in Folsom. But locals like Alycia Morgan say putting an aquarium 100 miles from the beach is bizarre.
“I’m personally not pro-SeaQuest Folsom,” she said. “It just doesn’t really make sense, especially when our town tries to put such a focus on the gold rush and the river and the fact that we are an old mining town.”
But Joe Gagliardi, President of the Greater Folsom Partnership, says it’s the distance from the ocean that makes SeaQuest such a draw.
“Oh we’re delighted,” he said. “We have something that will go in Palladio, and it’ll be an attraction to the whole region and beyond.”
Zane Harrison, 12, lives in Placerville and says the only aquarium he’s visited was in Monterey.
“I think it’d be great for younger kids,” he said. “They would get to learn about wildlife that live in the ocean!”
Still, Morgan says she’s concerned about the company’s reputation.
“I read that they had some problems where large amounts of their animals died!” she told CBS 13.
According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, about a year ago, a former employee complained about a number of animal deaths at the SeaQuest Aquarium there. Metro police and animal control found minor violations that were immediately addressed by the company. OregonLive.com claims that 200 animals died in at the Portland aquarium run by the SeaQuest CEO after the publication requested the death-log. That aquarium is now closed.
But SeaQuest defends its business, saying “Animals within our exhibits have their own veterinarian, daily supervision…routine checkups and screenings for illnesses. Our husbandry team is highly skilled and loves these animals like family members.”
Construction is currently underway, and the aquarium is scheduled to open in September.