Aquarium Designer Reynolds Polymer Technology Manufactures 16,000 Gallon In-Store Attraction for Scheels All Sports

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RPT provided R-Cast® acrylic for the aquatic entryway at the new Scheels location in Billings, Montana. This is the fourth such custom aquarium construction project to be completed by Reynolds Polymer for Scheels.

A visitor pauses at the entrance to the new Scheels All Sports in Billings, Montana. The custom-designed aquarium that greets shoppers is 43 feet long, 7 feet wide, and 13 feet tall.

The custom-designed aquarium that greets shoppers is 43 feet long, 7 feet wide, and 13 feet tall.

Scheels All Sports has yet again delighted customers by bringing the secrets of the deep indoors, this time to Montana. The new, 222,000 square foot facility in Billings includes a 16,000 gallon, 43-foot long saltwater aquarium. The aquarium project, which was completed in collaboration with ICM out of Grand Junction, CO, involved a total of 25,000 pounds of R-Cast® material. When filled with water, the structure tips the scales at a monumental 120,000 pounds.

The tank’s double-arch design is supported by three transparent columns. Though the columns are constructed from acrylic that is only 2.5” thick, they are still 17 times stronger than glass and four times stronger than concrete. Inside the aquarium, elaborate rockwork and theming replicate the natural habitat of over 650 species of coral reef. Scores of colorful fish complete the exotic ambience of the display. At seven-feet wide, and 13-feet tall, the aquarium must be cleaned by an underwater diver, which is often to the delight of curious shoppers.

“You hear this in many cases, but pictures just don’t do this project justice. They just don’t,” said Dan David, Director of Sales for Water Retaining Projects at Reynolds Polymer. “How many retail stores can you walk into and see a scuba diver swimming with tropical fish above your head? Not many.”

The first indoor aquarium built for Scheels was in 2008 at the Sparks, Nevada location. RPT has also provided acrylic for stores in Sandy, Utah and Springfield, IL. These and other attractions that can be found in Scheels stores, such as sports simulators, a 65-foot tall Ferris Wheel, and shooting galleries have helped to secure the company’s place as a premiere sports retailer.

“Scheels provides a shopping experience, not just a location. Just going inside one of these stores is enjoyable in its own right,” said Matt Houlihan, Executive Vice President of RPT. “We enjoy working with organizations that like to go beyond the ordinary.”

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