Tennessee Aquarium plays huge part in downtown Chattanooga tourism
CHATTANOOGA, Tennessee (WDEF)-David and Donna Epps are tourists visiting Chattanooga to see the outdoors, site see, and of course, visit the aquarium.
“We like Chattanooga a lot. The downtown area has things that we appreciate like the aquarium, like the bridge; walkability,” said the Epps.
They aren’t the only ones. As the economic impact of the Tennessee Aquarium for Chattanooga and Hamilton County, according to the aquarium is $146 million each year.
“Survived competitive aquariums, such as ones in Gatlinburg and Atlanta and other places and it’s still regularly ranked one of the top five aquariums in the country,” said White.
The aquarium has changed the entire landscape of Chattanooga tourism downtown.
“When it was built, it was the anchor and the catalyst for the economic development and the growth result and experience in the city. It was built for residence it was not built as a tourism attraction but it became a part of our culture,” said White.
White says the Tennessee aquarium also has established itself as part of the area’s tourism legacy.
“Ruby Falls, Rock City, those real legacy attractions were around in the 30s and then the aquarium came in and really just put the downtown investment gave another option for visitors to enjoy,” said White