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9 millionth visitor to Loveland Living Planet Aquarium wins free trip to Cancun

Posted at 4:55 PM, Jun 17, 2024

DRAPER, Utah — Elizabeth Larson, an academic librarian who lives in Layton, has a ritual of going to the Loveland Living Planet Aquarium in Draper every Monday.

“We just moved up from southern Utah, and part of getting a new job, I was like, 'I need to find places that I love,'" Larson said. "First on the list was the aquarium. So, every Monday after work, I come here. I just love learning about the different animals.”

But this Monday was particularly special for Larson — she just so happened to be the 9 millionth guest to ever come to the aquarium since opening its doors in Draper 10 years ago. Larson will receive a trip for two to Cancun, Mexico. This travel package includes a four-night stay at an all-inclusive Hyatt beach resort and free airfare.

“The aquarium has grown so much in the past 10 years here at Draper and the past 25 years since starting in 1999, and we really want to honor our guests that come and support our organization,” said Karmel Harper, director of marketing and public relations for Loveland Living Planet Aquarium. “It's really the community that has helped us grow. And so, every millionth milestone, we celebrate them and we give them an amazing trip.”

Monday's festivities included a confetti-filled celebration with the presentation of a giant ticket to Cancun.

The win on this day was fitting for Larson as she was surrounded by family.

“She loves this place,” said Kathleen Kinney, Larson's grandmother. “She has a season pass. She comes at least once a week. What a fabulous thing for her."

While Larson says she loves visiting the aquarium to see and learn about the fish and animals, particularly sharks, she says she is excited to experience these beautiful creatures in the wild.

“I just love learning about the different animals, so the opportunity to go see things actually out in, like the ocean, is going to be incredible,” Larson said with a big smile. "I am really looking forward to it. I mean, I love the sharks here, but I don't think I would really love to see a shark in the ocean, and so, we'll stick with like the fishes. That sounds safe and good.”