Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

By Susan Shinn
Salisbury Post
ATLANTA ó The Georgia Aquarium and the World of Coca-Cola have had a close relationship from the start.
When Atlanta hosted the 1996 Olympics, the Coca-Cola Company acquired substantial acreage in downtown Atlanta.
The 20 acres are known as Pemberton Place, named for the inventor of Coca-Cola.
Coca-Cola donated land for the Georgia Aquarium, according to Petro Kacur, spokesperson for the World of Coca-Cola.
“There is that connection from the very beginning,” Kacur says. “We understood there would be a benefit to us both.”
A new and expanded World of Coca-Cola opened May 24 at Pemberton Place.
The original Coke museum was located at Underground Atlanta from 1990 through April.
During its nearly 17 years, the original museum served some 14 million visitors.
Kacur expects the new World of Coca-Cola museum ó twice as big as the first ó to welcome a more than a million visitors its first year.
“We’ve been pleased with the visitation,” Kacur says of the first month of operation. “We certainly expect visits to peak during the summer months.”
The Georgia Aquarium has welcomed its 5 millionth visitor, about six months ahead of schedule, according to Dave Santucci, public relations director.
“We didn’t expect to be at those numbers,” Santucci says. “We are gearing up for summertime. Our next six weeks will be the busiest of the year.”
The aquarium will open at 8 a.m. all summer. Santucci suggests coming early in the day, and visiting Monday-Thursday if at all possible.
He’s especially excited about Jazz Nights, which take place every Friday night from 7:30 to 10 p.m. throughout the summer. The music can be heard throughout the galleries.
The Coke museum, he says, has had a positive impact on all of downtown Atlanta.
A joint ticket for the Coke museum and the aquarium will be available soon.
Another option is a City Pass, good for nine days, to six area attractions: the Georgia Aquarium, the World of Coca-Cola, the High Museum of Art, the CNN studio tour, your choice of the Fernbank Museum of Natural History or the Atlanta Botanical Garden, and your choice of Zoo Atlanta or the Atlanta History Center.
Cost is $64 for adults and $45 for children ages 3-12. City Pass is sold at all of the above attractions.
Contact Susan Shinn at 704-797-4289 or