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Wonders of Wildlife’s aquarium is voted as the best in the United States by USA Today readers.
SBJ photo by Christine Temple
Wonders of Wildlife’s aquarium is voted as the best in the United States by USA Today readers.

WOW earns back-to-back USA Today honors

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Officials with Johnny Morris’ Wonders of Wildlife National Museum & Aquarium this morning announced the attraction was voted by USA Today readers as the best aquarium in the United States.

The honor follows WOW topping USA Today’s poll of the best new attractions in January.

The latest national public poll from USA Today ranked the top 20 aquariums nationwide. WOW opened in September after nearly 10 years in the works.

Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris, who was on a pre-planned fishing trip at the time of the announcement, called in to congratulate the staff.

“I’m very proud and happy to be there with you in spirit,” Morris said. “Thank you again to the great team who made it all possible.”

He referenced former SeaWorld executive Bryan Nadeau, who in March was named WOW aquarium director and vice president of conservation attractions for the Johnny Morris Foundation.

“Buddy, it’s an honor to have you here with us,” Morris said of Nadeau.

Nadeau said the latest award is more meaningful than January’s best new attraction honor because it evaluates the company against its peers.

“The awards like this validate everything we do,” he said.

On the list, WOW was followed by Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies and The Florida Aquarium.

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