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Aquarium Reports Loss of $2.2 Million Over 9 Months

September 27, 2000

LONG BEACH — The Aquarium of the Pacific, a cornerstone of the city's effort to remake itself as a major tourist destination, lost $2.2 million for the nine-month period ending in June, the most recent financial reports show.

The attraction has been suffering a steady decline in attendance and revenue since its strong opening two years ago. Aquarium officials predict the facility will attract about 1.1 million visitors for fiscal 2000, well below initial projections of 2 million visitors a year.

Between Oct. 1, 1999, and June, the aquarium had expected total revenue from attendance and other sources to be almost $17.9 million. But the attraction's quarterly report shows that total revenue reached only about $12.3 million.

Despite the setbacks, aquarium officials say they are optimistic because the report does not reflect the summer months, which are the busiest. Attendance and revenue figures for that period are being complied and will be released in the months ahead.

Tammy Brailsford, the aquarium's chief operating officer, said the facility has been cutting costs, creating new events and seeking alternative sources of revenue, such as state grants.

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