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Cabarrus Magazine

Sea Life Aquarium Opens To Public

Feb 21, 2014 10:23AM ● By Jason Huddle
Concord – Amid a lot of  fanfare, speeches from elected and corporate officials and even a (non-alcholic) champagne toast complete with birthday cake, Sea Life Aquarium was finally opened to the public after months of planning and construction. Cabarrus County's newest tourist attraction is located in the former NASCAR Speedpark space at Entry 7 at Concord Mills. It is official's hopes that that "Sea Life Charlotte-Concord will further solidify Concord Mills’ position as a leading attraction for local shoppers and visitors from across the U.S. and beyond."

On hand to deliver welcome speeches were; Concord Mayor, Scott Padgett, NC Dept. of Commerce Secretary, Sharon Decker, Tom Murray, CEO, Charlotte Visitors Authority, Donna Carpenter, President/CEO of the Cabarrus County Convention & Visitors Bureau, U.S. Congressman, Richard Hudson (NC-08), Liz poole, Chairman, Cabarrus County Board of Commisioners, Scott Williamson, Global Head of Marketing, Merlin Entertainments, New Cabarrus Chamber CEO, Patrick Coughlin, Trisha Ruf, General Manager of the aquarium and Concord Mills General Manager, Ray Soporowski.

"Concord Mills is thrilled to celebrate the grand opening of Sea Life Charlotte-Concord, which adds another dimension to our unique brand of shopping with great retail, dining and entertainment all under one roof,” Soporowski stated.  “This much-anticipated family attraction is the perfect fit for Concord Mills, enhancing our already celebrated shopping experience with more stores, more value and more fun.”

The new Sea Life Charlotte-Concord will provide a fun, interactive and educational experience for kids and adults with more than 5,000 sea creatures and more than 20 spectacular displays of diverse marine life with everything from shrimp and starfish to seahorses, sharks and rays.  The aquarium also features a shoaling ring, an indoor play area and a 360 degree viewing tunnel surrounded on all sides by water. According to officials, there are also plans to obtain certification to house, exhibit and care for Sea Turtles.

Those plans may come to fruition as early as next year. “Sea Life Charlotte-Concord is proud to join the incredible group of shopping, dining and entertainment options at Concord Mills,” said Ruf. “We look forward to providing families visiting the mall with an interactive, educational experience they won’t find anywhere else in our area."

For more information on Sea Life, you can visit For More pictures from the day (courtesy Michael A. Anderson Photography) please click HERE.

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