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Atlantic City Aquarium seeks $8M expansion

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The Atlantic City Aquarium is seeking an $8 million upgrade, including doubling the facility's size and adding a 200,000 gallon tank, in an effort to bring more tourists to the city who are looking for entertainment options other than gambling.

Jeffrey Vasser, president of the Atlantic City Convention and Visitor Authority, said this is exactly in line with what his organization is trying to do to make Atlantic City a destination resort that appeals to a wide range of market segments, including families.

"What we have been trying to do over the past several years is increase our offerings of nongaming attractions and amenities so that we can market Atlantic City as more than just a gaming destination," Vasser said. "That seems to be the perception that a lot of visitors have, that there is nothing more to do than gaming. Over the years, we have added a significant amount of retail, dining, entertaining, spa and golf options that we need to get the word out about. The more products like what the aquarium is trying to do, the better off we are."

He said the plans to expand the aquarium "will help us to reach out to different market segments such as families. And the more we can add to things that appeal to families, such as a much larger aquarium, the better we will be able to market to families and people who are interested in marine life."

Vasser said Atlantic City attracted 30 million visitors last year.

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Beth Fitzgerald

Beth Fitzgerald

Beth Fitzgerald reports on health care, small business and higher education. She joined NJBIZ in 2008 after a 34-year career at the Star-Ledger and has been reporting on business in New Jersey since 1978. Her email is beth@njbiz.com and she is @bethfitzgerald8 on Twitter.

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