Odysea Aquarium set to break ground; folks can win memberships

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By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The new Odysea Aquarium in Scottsdale is one step closer to becoming a reality.

The Visitor Center at the new Odysea Aquarium recently opened. They will break ground in August and will open in December 2015.

"This is going to be a state-of-the-art aquarium," says spokesman Ran Knishinsky. "People who come to this aquarium can expect an underwater experience. We have something called SeaTREK, which is like no other. Individuals who are not certified can actually experience marine life underwater."

Visitors will also be able to take an elevator ride through tunnels, and the restroom will have a view into the shark tank.

So why Scottsdale? "Scottsdale-Phoenix is that last major metropolitan area in the country without a major aquarium," he says. "Odysea Aquarium is going to be 200,000 square foot aquarium. So think of two Costcos, stacked on top of each other."

In the meantime, a 28-day treasure hunt around the State is underway, that allows people can win year-round and lifetime memberships. The lifetime membership is valued at almost $1,000, so Valley residents can really win big!

For those with a brain for puzzles and a quest for adventure, however, the aquarium is making 28 of its sought-after Lifetime and Annual Memberships available for free through an epic Desert Dive for Treasure.

The quest will send Indiana Jones wannabes throughout the Phoenix area, identifying landmarks and deciphering clues that will lead them to their prize.

For the next three weeks, we have treasures planted all over the Valley, from Flagstaff to Tucson," he explains. Through July 13, daily clues will be posted on the aquarium website at www.odyseaaquarium.com; conveyed via text messaging, email and social media; and mentioned on the KEZ 99.9 and MIX 96.9 Radio.

Seekers who succeed in locating the hidden treasure will find instructions there on claiming their prize that range from Family and Individual Lifetime Memberships to Family and Individual Annual Memberships to the new OdySea Aquarium (valued from $99-$995.) A total of 28 such prizes will be awarded.

For more information, visit the new OdySea Visitors Center, located at 9500 E. Via de Ventura, Scottsdale, AZ,  85256. Or call 480-313-8837

You can also go online at www.odyseaaquarium.com.

About OdySea Aquarium

Poised to be one of Arizona's premiere attractions, OdySea Aquarium is slated to break ground summer of 2014. Opening December 2015, it will be the largest aquarium in the southwest and promises a high-tech, high-entertainment, oceanic educational adventure like no other in the industry--all in the unlikely setting of the Sonoran desert.

The 16-acre attraction, designed to accommodate up to 15,000 visitors daily. OdySea Aquarium will be a two-level facility that will span over 200,000 square feet.  Visitors will move to each level via acrylic tunnels while viewing some of the most fascinating animals of rivers and oceans in the world! 

Among some of the unparalleled features will be the SeaTREK experience that will allow guests to descend deep into the "ocean" where they will be surrounded by sea creatures on all sides. Even the restrooms will have floor-to-ceiling windows for aquatic life views.

Other features will include a state-of-the-art 3D theater, staffed presentations, and a visitor experience that has never been accomplished in any aquarium in the world.  The OdySea Aquarium will be located at Via de Ventura and the 101 Freeway in Scottsdale at the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community-adjacent to Butterfly Wonderland and the OdySea Mirror Maze.

About OdySea in the Desert

OdySea in the Desert is a 35-acre, multi-million-dollar entertainment complex.  Butterfly Wonderland, the largest butterfly pavilion in America, was the first phase of this project opening May 2013 followed by the OdySea Mirror Maze. 

Groundbreaking for the OdySea Aquarium is forthcoming and scheduled to open December 2015.  Other upcoming attractions will include an IMAX Theatre; an "Arizona Experience;" distinctive retail shops; and a "Taste of the World" culinary showcase with distinctive international restaurants.