Anyone hear about the "Scubaquarium" in the planning stages for construction in Bolingbrook, IL? It's supposed to be an indoor living reef designed for divers. Check it out at http://www.scubaquarium.com
It's an interesting idea, though I'm uncertain how feasible it will be to nourish this large of a reef system indoors on the money it will make. I'd think the various levels of lighting to truly replicate a natural environment would be enormous in physical size, wattage, and cost to sustain the livestock they're planning. I think even Shedd uses artificial coral & rock in its large tanks. There's also the issue of some divers damaging the living coral. Not that this can't happen in the ocean, but maintanance and replacement costs just add to the questionmarks.
I'm also curious as to how many people would be willing to pay the monthly membership fees. The individual membership rate is $88/mo (plus a onetime start-up fee of $149), which gives the person use of a fitness facility as well as three dives per month. Additionally, there's a charge of $12 for weights and tanks (unsure if you can use your own). I believe a family rate also exists. While the costs aren't that far out of bounds when compared to gyms like Lifetime Fitness, I'd rather spend the money diving in open water. Seems that this might be interesting a few times, and might work for winter training in the Midwest, but get mundane after a while from a membership perspective.
What does anyone else think?