LAYTON, Utah -- The Layton Hills Mall is about to get a whole new group of tenants consisting of fish, sharks and stingrays.
Brad Boyle and his team are in the process of transforming 20,000 square feet of mall space into an underwater experience called Seaquest.
"We want people to go on a quest, go from the gift shop into the Amazon, the Amazon into the California coast line, the Bahamas, Egypt, the Cayman Islands -- the whole idea is to take people around the world," said Boyle, Seaquest owner.
Layton City said it’s the biggest entertainment development in Davis County since Lagoon.
The $2 million dollar project will be divided into several themed exhibits, from land and sea.
Seaquest will feature more than 1,500 animals. Visitors will have the opportunity to touch and feed many of them, and can even swim with the stingrays in a 40,000 gallon tank.
"We're going to have walk-in aviary areas where the kids will actually be able to go in, put bird seed on the palm of their hand and the birds will come down and land on their hands and be able to feed," Boyle said.
Boyle lives in Bountiful with his wife and four children. He said Davis County families, like his own, have been in need of this sort of attraction. His children have participated first hand in making this dream come true.
Layton City expects the aquarium to bring an additional half a million people to the mall and the city each year.
"This is a destination is how we look at it, so we are going to see people coming from all over the place," said Kent Andersen, economic development manager for Layton City. "A lot of the services and these types of opportunities go down to Salt Lake County and so to have the opportunity to have a project like this, people are just thrilled."
Seaquest is scheduled to open on Pioneer Day.