Mystic Aquarium off the hook for millions in debt

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Mystic Aquarium, one of the biggest tourist attractions in southern New England, is getting a major break.

Citibank has agreed to forgive $15 million of the organization's $34 million debt. And if the aquarium can raise an additional $4 million, another $5 million will be lopped off the amount they owe.

Peter Glankoff, senior vice president of the Sea Research Foundation which operates the aquarium, called it a "transforming settlement."

"In our non-profit world $34 million dollars of debt for a $22 million dollar a year operation is sizeable and not sustainable. So in our world this is a transforming settlement," says Glankoff.

The aquarium has been hurt by the recession, he says, and an overly ambitious expansion.

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