Aquarium Swims into Mall Setting


In December of 2016 the new attraction “SeaQuest” opened at the Layton Hills Mall. The aquarium and petting zoo includes an interactive experience of feeding, touching, and learning about animals across the world in a friendly and captivating way.

SeaQuest initially planned to open in November of 2016, yet due to wildlife preservation the premiere date had been pushed to December.

“One of the challenges of being in a landlocked state is not only like construction itself is very difficult but being in a landlocked state getting these animals here is really really hard,” Guest Service Manager Shelbie Humenberger said. “We’re very very big on ocean life conservation so we didn’t want to take any animals from the wild. [This made] getting animals that had been bred inside other aquariums and then getting them shipped to Utah, which to most states sounds completely crazy, has been a challenge. Plus with these animals that we’re importing comes a lot of permitting that goes into it. So most of our delays were getting the animals here.”

With all of the animals there is a lot of maintenance involved with caring for the creatures ranging from cleaning tanks to feeding turtles. Though the employees are there to help and teach others about the animals, a great effort is put into supporting these creatures.

“Most of the people we have taking care of these animals have zoology degrees from Weber State, The U and that is the main effort of our business is maintenance,” Humenberger said. “I would say that 90% of our time is devoting to the care of animals.”

SeaQuest offers more than the typical zoo-like experience in that there are activities that go above and beyond the expectancy of the public. The aquarium provides activities that engage interactions further and assist those who need a little break.

“Services include swimming with the stingrays in a tank filled with hundreds of tropical fish, a fish spa where toothless feeders cleanse your feet, and a babysitting feature where parents can drop off their kids while they enjoy their mall experience,” said.