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Is the Shreveport Aquarium Already in Trouble?

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A lot of people were super excited about having a brand new Aquarium in downtown Shreveport. On paper, an aquarium with a trendy restaurant attached seems like a must visit destination for adults and families both. And, the facility is truly stunning. However, according to several reports, things may not be as good for our new aquarium as citizens may have hoped.

Over 28,000 visitors have stopped by the new Shreveport Aquarium located in the old Barnwell in its first month of operation. However, it has recently come to light that all maybe isn’t going quite as swimmingly as they may appear on the surface.  Some sub-contractors are claiming that they have not been paid for their work on the facility. It also was announced that an overhaul of the aquarium’s restaurant is in the works.

It is being reported in the Shreveport Times that a group of subcontractors are alleging that they are owed more than $272,000 for their work. Seven liens were filed against Planet Aqua Group and the general contractor Wieland-Davco with the Caddo Parish Clerk of Court in October and November.

Spokesman Jake Wood emailed the Times and said “Planet Aqua Group has communicated with the city that we are working with Wieland to make sure that any liens or outstanding invoices are satisfied as soon as possible. It is our priority to ensure that all due parties are paid in full.”

However, that’s not the only issue the Aquarium has run into since opening. Less than 60 days after opening, Planet Aqua has decided to completely revamp SALT, the restaurant inside the Aquarium. The restaurant is getting a new menu, hours and leadership. They have also decided to add live music into the mix.

About the restaurant situation, Wood told the Times, “We’ve had the opportunity to take a sort of litmus test on what works well and what hasn’t been working. It’s a new concept for Shreveport, so we’re doing our best to adept what didn’t work and let what really did work shine.”

Wood went on to say that they took criticisms about SALT to heart and are using the feedback to “build the restaurant to what it can be to serve Shreveport in its best way.”

With all this taken into account, the question is where do we go from here? Are these just growing pains or signs of a long term problem? Because, remember, Planet Aqua is also in charge of revitalizing and managing Sci-Port.

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