/PRNewswire/ -- Tellus: Northwest Georgia Science Museum welcomed its 100,000th visitor on Monday, June 22, less than six months after the museum opened on Jan. 12, 2009.
Deb and Les Kalman and their three children were not expecting a big welcome when they walked through Tellus' front doors, and she had no idea what was in store for her when she stepped up to the front desk.
"It was pretty exciting," Deb Kalman said. "It was a very nice surprise. It was very cool."
The Kalmans hail from Chicago and were visiting friends in Atlanta who suggested they make the trip to see Tellus. The family received a gift bag full of Tellus merchandise, gift certificates as well as free admission into the museum.
"They told us we needed to come up here and see the museum," Deb Kalman said. "We weren't expecting this."
Tellus was originally projecting 150,000 visitors in its first full year of operation.
"It's an exciting milestone to have our 100,000th visitor," said Tellus Executive Director Jose Santamaria.
However, the museum is on track to exceed those predictions, despite the economic downturn.
"Despite the slow economy visitors from all over the state feel that we offer a great family value," Santamaria said.
Tellus opened on the site of the former Weinman Mineral Museum, which had built a reputation as a top-notch gem and mineral museum. Since its opening, Tellus has seen visitors from nearly every state in America and several foreign countries.
Tellus now sits in the location of the original Weinman and spans 120,000 square feet on more than 40 acres. The museum features four galleries: Weinman Mineral Gallery; Fossil Gallery; Science in Motion, a journey through the development of motorized transportation; and Collins Family Big Backyard, a hands-on activity gallery for children; and one of only two digital planetariums in Georgia.
With 100,000 visitors out of the way, Tellus is looking toward its next milestone.
"We have had some really great crowds since the opening, and we're now looking forward to our 200,000th visitor," Santamaria said.
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