IAAPA Hall of Fame Inducts Mack and O’Brien

On Tuesday, IAAPA inducted two new members into the IAAPA Hall of Fame as part of the Kickoff Event for IAAPA Attractions Expo 2016.

The inductees were Roland Mack of Europa-Park/Mack Rides and industry journalist Tim O’Brien.

The IAAPA Hall of Fame honors individuals for their significant and lasting contributions to the worldwide attractions industry.

Park Co-Founder and Innovative Manufacturer: Roland Mack, Europa-Park/Mack Rides, Rust, Germany

Roland Mack, the eldest son of IAAPA Hall of Famer Franz Mack, was born into the attractions business. After receiving his graduate engineering degree in 1974, Mack co-founded Europa-Park in 1975. In recent years, he has transformed Europa-Park into the largest resort destination in Germany by adding five world-class hotels. Through his guidance and vision, the park attracts more than 5.5 million guests per year. Additionally, under his leadership, the family’s manufacturing company, Mack Rides, has a worldwide reputation for the quality of its workmanship and high level of innovation.

Mack is also a founding member of the German Association of Amusement Parks and he has received numerous awards and honors including the German Tourism Medal and the Innovation Award for the German Tourism Industry. During 2012, as IAAPA Chairman of the Board, Mack helped the association enjoy significant growth in the European market.

“I’m so honored … my father would be proud,” Mack said upon his formal induction during Tuesday’s Kickoff Event. “To all of you in this great industry, we have one common language understood worldwide: the smile on the face of a child.”

Attractions Industry Journalist: Tim O’Brien, Nashville, Tennessee, United States

Tim O’Brien is a journalist and award-winning photographer who has been instrumental in capturing and preserving the history of the global attractions industry for almost four decades.

He has written more than a dozen books about some of the industry’s most legendary members, parks, and places. O’Brien has also published more than 5,000 articles and 3,000 photos featuring the outdoor entertainment industry, with a focus on amusement parks, rides, and manufacturers. He continues to write a regular column for IAAPA’s Funworld magazine and contributes additional stories throughout the year. For 18 years he served as senior editor of Amusement Business magazine and the guidance and perspective his stories provided were respected and appreciated by industry leaders worldwide. Since the 1980s, O’Brien has contributed his colorful journalistic style to IAAPA, covered industry news, and chaired the IAAPA Hall of Fame and Archives Committee. O’Brien is the 100th person to be inducted into the IAAPA Hall of Fame, and the first journalist.

“Journalism is an occupation where you don’t often get a lot of thank-yous, so this is the ultimate thank-you,” O’Brien said Tuesday. “My dad always asked me when I was going to get a real job. Luckily, I’ve never had to!”

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