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Natural History Museum of Utah’s Rio Tinto Center Entertains Public

Nearly 20,000 people have visited the Museum in its first two weeks.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

SALT LAKE CITY – The Natural History Museum of Utah’s new home, the Rio Tinto Center, opened its doors to the public on Nov. 18, and the interest in the building, the exhibits and the collection has been tremendous.

“It’s terrific to see people walking the galleries in the Museum again,” commented Executive Director Sarah George. “We’ve been busy since we opened on Nov. 18, and I’ve even seen return visitors! I talked with two families who were enjoying their third visit to the Museum on just our ninth day open.”

In the first two weeks, the Natural History Museum of Utah welcomed around 20,000 visitors through the door, inviting them to discover natural history and the place of humans within it. On Thursday, Dec. 1, the Museum entertained more than 100 grade-schoolers as six different classes hosted the first field trips to the Museum since the Rio Tinto Center opened.


“Today is the first day we’ve had school groups visit the Museum, and it’s exciting to see the school buses rumble up the hill and drop off loads of kids excited to see the galleries.
“Overall, it just feels great to have people in the building. The people interacting with the exhibits are exactly what we wanted to see when we opened.”

The Natural History Museum of Utah houses the state’s world-class collections in new exhibitions designed by Ralph Appelbaum Associates (RAA) and offers more than 41,300 square feet of gallery and education space.  By embracing the tools of modern architecture, exhibition design and media, the re-envisioned Museum presents a fresh, fascinating and immersive journey through the natural formation of life and land around Salt Lake City and throughout the state of Utah.

The Museum is open every day (except Thanksgiving and Christmas) from 10 a.m., to 5 p.m., and it’s open until 9 p.m. every Wednesday. Admission is $9 for adults, $7 for youth and seniors, and $6 for children.

The Natural History Museum of Utah is one of the leading scientific research and cultural institutions in the country. Established in 1963, the Museum‘s collections contain over 1.2 million objects and offers innovative exhibitions and educational programs to thousands of residents and visitors each year, including traveling and permanent exhibits, special events and other programs. With an expected attendance of 180,000 visitors a year, the Museum also offers a variety of outreach programs to communities and schools throughout Utah, reaching every school district in the state annually. The Museum has an active science program with more than 30 scientists and 10 field exhibitions each year.

For more information or to visit the Museum, find the Natural History Museum of Utah on the Internet at