LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Could Louisville land an aquarium? A local businessman is floating the idea, and would love to see it located at Champions Park on River Road.
The idea comes from local businessman Ed Dana who believes an aquarium could be a year round attraction which will draw tourists from around the country to the Derby City.
While the city has acknowledged that they have had preliminary discussions with reps from the Kentucky Oceans project people I spoke with say they hope this dream becomes a reality.
Kina Roberts remembers her first trip to the aquarium as a kid.
"It was overwhelming at first because I've never seen something like that, but then being able to see the different creatures and different animals makes you want to learn more,” said Roberts.
While Louisville has a lot to offer, you won't find an aquarium experience within 100 miles.
"We have the science center, and the Louisville Slugger museum, but I can't imagine what it would've been like if we had an aquarium here,” said Adrienne Adams.
That's where developers with the Kentucky Oceans Project are hoping to fill a gap.
According to their website they're targeting the Champions Park area off River Road for a project similar to what you find around Newport, Ky.
"Not only would it bring more people in, which could in turn make some money for our city, but it would give the kids something to do instead of going on field trips to the mall,” said Adams. “We could actually take them somewhere they could learn something, have fun, and experience things that they don't have to leave our city to find."
“I'd be down there every day,” said Darius Brownley.
"I think it could help with diversifying,” said Tricia Burke. “Currently bourbon is big, so is the Derby, why not have aquariums?"
However the area around Champion's Park is in a flood plain, so there are a few concerns that could sink the project.
"They're planning on doing it at a park,” said Robert. “Some people can argue that they're taking away from our dog parks, or maybe children like to play at the parks, but I feel like that's a minor setback."
"The more we don't have to support initiatives that are privately funded, I'm all about it,” said Burke.
Of course it is worth noting that the Louisville Zoo is currently undergoing more than $100 million in improvements which include a shark tank that is scheduled to open in 2024.
Outside of Newport, which is just over 100 miles away, there isn't a stand-alone aquarium within 260 miles of Louisville.