Conceived in the mid 1990's, Mandalay Bay was destined to be different from the moment the concept was born. Included in the initial discussions and designs was something totally different from a Las Vegas perspective - an aquarium - a full size aquarium with cutting edge technology which would prove to be an excellent platform for research, conservation and education. This addition to the property would be recognized as something quite different in the middle of Nevada's high desert.
Completed at a cost of nearly $60 million, the fully themed facility was designed with the idea of immersing the visitor into this underwater world in the desert. Since opening on June 20, 2000, Shark Reef Aquarium has inspired nearly a million visitors a year, and tens of thousands of the Las Vegas Valley's school children have had the opportunity to visit Shark Reef under the school group program.
In March 2003, Shark Reef Aquarium became the first animal care facility in the State of Nevada to be accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. We continue to hold this distinction as first and only to this day.
Shark Reef is dedicated to establishing and maintaining the highest standards of animal care, to providing its visitors with an entertaining and educational experience, and to the practice of meaningful research and conservation initiatives.