Pier aquarium tanks move to Madeira Beach – for now - FOX 13 News

Pier aquarium tanks move to Madeira Beach – for now

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MADEIRA BEACH (FOX 13) -

A banner for Secrets of the Sea is still hanging in Johns Pass, but that'll eventually go away as the plans for the attraction have been tanked.  

"It was just upsetting; we were looking forward to it," said Taylor Tablott, a manager at Addicted to the Bean. 

It is a coffee shop that would've been neighbors with the aquarium. It was expected to bring in 250,000 visitors a year, which likely would've meant a lot business and a lot of coffee. 

"Would've been amazing, slow season wouldn't have been so horrible," Tablott said. 

Secrets of the Sea was going to open next month, but money issues between the Aquarium and AEGON USA Realty Associates broke down, and AEGON pulled the lease. 

"They're looking elsewhere; there's a site in Treasure Island, a site in St. Pete Beach," said city manager Shane Crawford. "I'm doing whatever I can to see if I can find something in Madeira Beach."

"Quarter of a million people to visit that attraction every year is an economic impact to Madeira Beach that we're going to miss out on," he added.  

Already, the aquarium has invested $500,000 in the project.  It was supposed to be a new and improved facility.

After more than 20 years, the aquarium lost its original home inside the St. Pete Pier when it was forced to close earlier this year.

All of the fish were carefully taken out and brought to foster tanks around the area, including USF. 

The board of directors for the aquarium says it's continuing to evaluate its options, and that includes looking for new locations.

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