DULUTH (AP) -- The Great Lakes Aquarium will remain open on weekends this winter instead of closing to save money as planned, Mayor Gary Doty said Friday.
Doty said he decided to keep the aquarium open weekends in response to "many good suggestions and offers of support," including a Duluth company's donation of an executive to manage the facility full time for at least two months.
The Great Lakes Aquarium is the only freshwater aquarium in the country.
Earlier this week, the city had said it would close the aquarium for the winter to stem losses and save taxpayers money. The city took control of the attraction Oct. 22 and is required by law to cover the aquarium's unpaid debts and operating shortfalls.
The executive who will temporarily oversee the aquarium is John Driscoll of ZMC Hotels, which owns several hotels in Duluth and Superior, Wis., and has ownership or management interests in about 30 others across the country.
Doty said the offer of Driscoll's services came from Manley Goldfine, a director and founder of the company, which was formerly Zenith Management. Goldfine has been a longtime benefactor of the aquarium, Doty said.
Another donor -- who refused to be identified -- agreed to pay for the city's costs to keep the facility open on the first weekend, Nov. 9-10, Doty said.
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