Aquarium to extend hours for summer crowds

MARYLAND WATCH

March 14, 1997

Hoping to lure visitors to the Inner Harbor at night, the National Aquarium is extending its summer hours for the first time in its 16-year history.

In July and August, the aquarium will sell tickets until 8 p.m. -- instead of 6 p.m. -- and keep the attraction open until 10 p.m.

It's all part of "Nautical Night," a program to bring more people downtown in the evening by offering discounts and special events.

As of yesterday, 17 hotels, restaurants and attractions had joined the effort. Their patrons will get $2 or $3 off an $11.95 aquarium ticket, and aquarium-goers will get discount coupons for some establishments.

"A person could come to the aquarium, enjoy themselves, then also go to dinner," said Denise London, senior director of marketing. "It will be a reciprocal situation. We'll have their discount coupon, and they'll have ours."

Longer days should translate into shorter lines at the aquarium, which draws about 250,000 each July and August, London said. Evening hours will also coincide with the opening of the Hard Rock Cafe in the Power Plant and longer hours for water taxis and trolley buses.

Pub Date: 3/14/97

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