Call it a golden oppor-tuna-ty for ocean lovers.
The Monterey Bay Aquarium, one of Northern California’s top visitor attractions, will reopen in May, 14 months after it closed due to the COVID pandemic.
The facility draws roughly 2 million visitors a year to Monterey’s Cannery Row to see exhibits of pulsating jellyfish, frolicking sea otters, waddling penguins, and cruising sharks.
The aquarium will reopen to members only for two weeks starting May 1, and then to the general public on Saturday May 15. Admission for members and the general public will be by advance reservation only at the aquarium’s website, www.montereybayaquarium.org
“We are super excited about having people back in the building,” said Julie Packard, the aquarium’s executive director. “It’s not just right to have the building be empty.”
During the pandemic, with no visitors, the aquarium suffered a major financial setback. To offset $55 million in losses over the past year, aquarium managers laid off about 40% of their staff of about 560 people to conserve enough money to continue to properly care for the animals and maintain the facilities.
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