Kansas City Zoo to Add Aquarium

The Kansas City Zoo is planning to add a $75 million saltwater aquarium, according to a resolution sponsored by Kansas City Councilmember Alissia Canady and Councilmember Kevin McManus. To fund the project, the councilmembers have proposed the City of Kansas City contribute $7 million to supplement both private and philanthropic donations, and the use of 1/8th cent Zoological District sales tax, which is collected in Jackson and Clay counties. According to the resolution, “This project will be a significant additional economic generator for the City by drawing a significant number of new visitors to the Kansas City Zoo and the City as a whole.”

Randy Wisthoff, zoo director, says the aquarium would  provide a tremendous draw value to tourism. “Aquariums are very popular and the scope of this would provide an exhibit that people would really love and drive a fair distance to see,” Wisthoff said. “Secondly, the way we would build it, we would design it with the intent of being able to host fairly good sized receptions and dinners for special groups, conventions, and provide a unique experience setting in Kansas City that would give travelers, convention delegates another opportunity within the city.”