Leaders with the Tennessee Aquarium said they are expecting their 20 millionth visitor on Sunday, a big milestone that also ties into the city's tourism success.
"The aquarium's success and Chattanooga's prosperity go hand in hand," Charlie Arant, president and CEO, said in a prepared statement. "Admissions allow us to provide a top-rated visitor experience that draws people to the city. And, thanks to ongoing community support, we're able to keep creating new and exciting exhibits and expand our education and conservation programs in the region."
The aquarium's development was a catalyst for the city's downtown economic development and tourism draw.
It's the world's largest freshwater aquarium, and it has had a direct economic impact of more than $77.4 million each year, leaders with the aquarium said in a news release, citing a recent independent study.
To celebrate the milestone, leaders are offering a gift package for the 20 millionth visitor. It will include a one-year aquarium membership, passes for the IMAX 3-D Theater and River Gorge Explorer, a behind-the-scenes tour and a Chattanooga VIP pass to other area attractions.
Leaders will also offer all visitors special discounts on 20 Million Day.
Adult aquarium tickets and adult tickets for the River Gorge Explorer will be $20 on Sunday.
Visitors will also save when they choose to add IMAX tickets for $5 each.
And leaders are also hosting a giveaway contest to kick off the next group of visitors.
Anyone can go to the aquarium's Facebook page and register to win the Big Tanks Sweepstakes.
The winner, chosen at random from online entries, will receive a one-year family membership, tickets for the River Gorge Explorer and IMAX, a two-night hotel stay in Chattanooga and a Chattanooga VIP pass to other area attractions.
Entries will be accepted through March 28.
The winner will be posted on the aquarium's Facebook page the following day.