Aquarium, Reptile Den Coming to Marketplace at Steamtown

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SCRANTON — A new wet and wild attraction is slated to open at the Marketplace at Steamtown this fall.

Fish and reptiles from around the world will soon occupy space in the Marketplace at Steamtown that once housed clothing retailers.

Almost 17,000 square feet will be renovated to accommodate the tanks and enclosures required for aquatic and land displays.

It will hold a collection of over 1,000 specimens of fish and reptiles, and will be open for visitors daily during regular Marketplace hours.

“The Electric City Aquarium and Reptile Den is a huge development for the city of Scranton and for the Marketplace,” said John Basalyga, owner of the property, in a press release.

The aquarium and reptile museum is the brainchild of Cliff Grosvenor, a businessman and fish and animal enthusiast from Susquehanna County. Mr. Grosvenor is making his own extensive collection the basis of the attractions, and plans to add to it extensively before opening.

According to Mr. Grosvenor, the Electric City Aquarium and Reptile Den will offer visitors the chance to see many exotic varieties of both saltwater and freshwater fish, in tanks that will range in size up to 30,000 gallons.

One of the most popular displays is expected to be a “touch pool,” where visitors will have the opportunity to put their hands in the water and pet such species as rays.

The aquarium will host school field trips and birthday parties, and will offer regular educational programs each day in its 40-seat theater space.

Approximately 8,000 square of the facility will be dedicated to reptiles, the largest of which will be alligators and crocodiles.

“We see a great deal of synergy with the Steamtown National Historic Site and the Electric City Trolley Museum adjacent to our property. This corner of downtown will be a major draw for tourists and visitors,” Mr. Basalyga said.

 

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