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Newport's Oregon Coast Aquarium to Open Up After Five-Month Closure

Published 08/06/20 at 6:24 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Newport's Oregon Coast Aquarium to Open Up After Five-Month Closure

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(Newport, Oregon) – For five months, one of Oregon’s largest and most revered attractions has been shut down, but on August 10 the Oregon Coast Aquarium (OCA) in Newport will finally open back up.

The aquarium made the announcement on Thursday, saying only its five outdoor exhibits will be available.

“We are thrilled to welcome our guests back to the Aquarium.” said Carrie Lewis, President/CEO of the Oregon Coast Aquarium. “The visitor experience will be different but unique. Due to State Guidelines and while our county is in Phase I, we will have visitors explore our outside exhibits only. While this is a different model than what we are used to, we are focusing on the best experience that we can provide our guests. A greatly reduced admission price, enhanced safety protocols and a less crowded venue will create a special and safe experience for our guests.”

What you’ll find now is a one-hour facilitated outdoor encounter with each of their prominent open air exhibits: Vultures, Otters, Seals and Sea Lions, Seabird Aviary and a Rocky Habitat exhibit. Each station will be hosted by interpretive experts who will share fun and interesting information about the featured animals.

“Our animals are also eager to see our visitors again,” said marketing director Julie Woodward. “They often peer from the edge of their habitats presumably wondering where everyone has gone.”

Lewis said the health, safety and well-being of its guests as well as staff and volunteers is a top priority. There will be a limited number of guests each day, all tickets must be purchased online, and social distancing and face coverings are required.

According to state guidelines, groups will be limited to 10 people, with one group admitted every 15 minutes - that's 40 guests per hour, or about 240 a day, a drastic reduction from the aquarium’s typical daily summer traffic of thousands.

In addition, all high touch areas, playgrounds and the café will be closed at this time. Visit www.aquarium.org for more information about the visitor experience. For this new and revised experience, Oregon Coast Aquarium admission will be reduced to $15 per person and all tickets must be purchased online.

Woodward said the reopening follows new guidance released by the Oregon Health Authority on Tuesday allowing zoos, museums, drive-in movie theaters, raceways, outdoor gardens and aquariums to open non-interactive outdoor exhibits during phase one of the state’s reopening plan. Previous guidance did not allow such facilities to reopen until phase two.

Oregon Coast Aquarium is at 2820 S.E. Ferry Slip Rd., Newport, OR. aquarium.org, 541-867-3474. Hotels in Newport - Where to eat - Newport Maps and Virtual Tours











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