Lev Bely, 21.01.2013 23:26
North America's largest indoor butterfly pavilion Butterfly Wonderland is being constructed in the Salt River Reservation, AZ (US) as a part of a larger entertainment complex called Odysea in the Desert. The pavilion will include a theater, chrysalis room and a conservancy area with butterflies freely flying around until they get released into the wild.
Butterfly Wonderland, which is to be opened in the second quarter of 2013, is just a first phase of the Odysea in the Desert construction that required 35-acres of land and $170 million. About 50 workers are on site every day at the northeastern corner of the Pima Freeway and Via De Ventura. The very pavilion that spread to 5 acres is scheduled to open in late April. This project makes up an addition to the chain of already existing the Salt River Fields spring-training baseball complex, two golf courses and the Talking Stick Resort and Casino.
Amram Knishinsky, the principal partner funding the Odysea, says that Butterfly Wonderland visitors will “embark on an enchanting journey through the life of a butterfly” via educational and interactive exhibits, leading up to the experience of walking among thousands of butterflies inside a glass atrium with tropical plants and waterfalls.
“We plan to import the butterflies from various tropical rain forests throughout the world, but that is going to take place closer to the opening date,” Knishinsky said. “We're going to bring them from Costa Rica, Brazil, the Philippines and some areas of Africa. They come in cocoons and go through the process in our laboratories.”
Some domestic butterflies from Florida will be also brought to the pavilion.
Knishinsky noted that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has approved the design of the pavilion, as well as the procedures for bringing the butterflies into the country.
In addition, Butterfly Wonderland will include a 3-D, stadium-seating butterfly theater, as well as aquarium displays, a children's play area, retail shop and cafe, Knishinsky said.
The Central Arizona Butterfly Association is excited about Butterfly Wonderland, said Adriane Grimaldi, a member.
“It gives another opportunity for the public to learn about the wonders of butterflies,” she said. “They are truly amazing — their life cycle, the process they go through. This type of facility gives people of all ages the chance to see butterflies up close all year long.”
The Scottsdale Convention & Visitors Bureau expects Butterfly Wonderland will be a positive addition to the area's tourist offerings.
“We are thrilled to welcome Butterfly Wonderland to the greater Scottsdale area in 2013,” said Megan Neighbor, the bureau's communications coordinator. “Much like the Musical Instrument Museum or Taliesin West (architect Frank Lloyd Wright's winter home), Butterfly Wonderland promises to be another world-class attraction that will serve as a strong economic driver for the tourism community.”
The Republic, http://www.therepublic.com
Photo: Butterfly Wonderland construction in Scottsdale, AZ, CTVNews.ca, http://www.ctvnews.ca
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