Reed Travel Features
MAALAEA, Hawaii -- The Maui Ocean Center, a marine park at
Maalaea, will open by mid-February, developer Coral World
International announced. Construction started on the $20 million,
five-acre attraction last February.
The attraction, which will be the sixth aquarium built by Coral
World, based in Ramat Gan, Israel, will be the centerpiece of the
planned Maalaea Harbor Village, an 18-acre commercial development.
The development, also under construction, will include shops,
restaurants, activities and services. The site is between
Honoapiilani Highway, the route between Central and West Maui, and
Maalaea Boat Harbor.
Benjamin Kahn, Coral World president, said the marine park will
be a "truly Hawaiian aquarium, where visitors can explore the
marine environment surrounding the Hawaiian Islands." Kahn, based
on Maui for the past three years, added that, because of the
company's experience in developing similar marine attractions, it
can produce the center less expensively than other marine parks
proposed for Hawaii.
Maui Ocean Center's components will include:
* The Reef Building, divided into three areas, featuring
shallow, middle and deep marine life, each with one large tank and
* The Pelagic Building, containing a 750,000-gallon tank
featuring sharks and other marine life, with visitors walking
through a see-through acrylic tunnel. The building also will
feature the Whale Discovery Center, with models of the humpback
whale and interactive displays.
* Outdoor pools, including a reef surge, touch, turtle and ray
pools. For dining, the Seascape Cafe and Bar -- three adjoining
oceanview pavilions -- will hold 150 people and be available for
evening functions. Light lunches and snack items will be served at
the Reef Cafe in a courtyard in the center of the park.
The center is planning a shuttle service from West and South
Maui resorts. Admission will be $17 for adults and $12 for children
ages 3 to 14. The center will be open daily, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Coral
World opened its first facility in Eilat, Israel, 25 years ago.
Others owned by the company are in Sydney and Perth, Australia. For
further information, agents can call Maui Ocean Center at (808)
875-1962; fax (808) 874-5963.