Grand Junction firms to benefit from aquarium project in Brazil

Roger Reynolds, president and CEO of International Concept Management, left, Gov. Ciro Gomes of CearĂ¡, Brazil, center, and Grand Junction Mayor Tom Kenyon attend the signing of a $150 million business contract Friday in Grand Junction.

Grand Junction building and design firm International Concept Management (ICM) hopes to create at least 100 U.S. jobs and more in Brazil after the signing of a $150 million contract Friday.

The contract designates ICM the general contractor and project manager for the design and construction of Acquario Ceara, an aquarium-themed entertainment park in Fortaleza, Brazil. ICM, located at 2530 E. Foresight Circle, will send project managers and contractors to Brazil for the project.

Sister company Reynolds Polymer Technology, located across the street from ICM at 607 Hollingsworth St., will provide engineering support and manufacture acrylic aquarium windows for the project.

Getting the windows to Brazil, managing the project and constructing the large-scale aquarium building will help create the jobs ICM is hoping for, according to ICM Chief Operations Officer Peter DiGrazia.

ICM has worked on every continent but Antarctica, installing aquariums and other water features. This will be the largest such feature in South America and one of the largest in the world, with 4.5 million gallons of water, three-dimensional theaters and ride simulators, restaurants and a gift shop, Project Manager Nathan Reynolds said.

“We hope to start right away,” Reynolds said.

Reynolds Polymer has provided support for numerous ICM projects and worked on pretty much every large-scale aquarium in the world, Reynolds COO Joe Ondrus said.

“Pretty much anything you’ve ever seen with water in it in Las Vegas, we’ve done,” Ondrus said.

But most of the company’s work has been done overseas lately, he said, because companies in other countries, particularly in Asia and the Middle East, are the ones with money to spend on aquariums. Ondrus predicted exporting to other countries will be increasingly important to his business and others in the U.S. as the country works to climb out of a bad economy.

“(Exporting) is what we need to be doing more of,” he said.


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