The guests who are lined up for rides and noshing on sweet treats at Granja Villa Amusement Park might not be aware of the work that goes on behind the scenes to ensure their experience is top notch – and that doesn’t bother Cecilia Chavez.
For Chavez, managing director for Granja Villa Amusement Park and Giva SAC Group, an FEC and bowling chain in Lima, Peru, watching guests enjoy the park is reward enough.
“We are very happy when we read the reviews on Facebook or when families in the park congratulate us for the continuous improvement,” she says. “What more can you ask for?”
Chavez joined Giva SAC Group in 1995 and Granja Villa in 2002. Her duties are split between office work and park operations. For both attractions, Chavez is responsible for the planning and implementation of new projects as well as establishing and monitoring operational policies and procedures. Her goal is to ensure that the new rides and games meet or exceed the expectations set during planning and the facilities meet guest expectations, all while sticking to a budget and meeting preset standards for environmental sustainability.
The ultimate reflection of her success, according to Chavez, is to “make the experience unforgettable and make the guest desire to return to the park.”
Although she has had a role in amusement operations for almost two decades, Chavez never intended to work for a theme park. She started her career in finance, working for large financial institutions. Her background in banking helped Chavez oversee budgets and revenue generation.
“We are very ambitious,” she says. “We do not stop investing in order to deliver a better product to our guests.”
In her role as managing director, Chavez understands that an investment in guest satisfaction impacts the suppliers and partners the park works with as well as the entire community.
“The community where we are located considers our coexistence is valuable because of the services we offer,” Chavez explains.
The coexistence helps Granja Villa Amusement Park and Giva SAC Group “achieve [the] sustainability and the profitability necessary to continue growing.”
In an effort to enhance her professional development and fuel the growth of the theme park and the FEC, Chavez joined IAAPA in 1998. She sings its praises as an organization that offers continuous learning.
“IAAPA keeps you updated in this always changing industry within the parameters that allow us to survive in this industry,” she says.
To ensure other amusement park professionals benefit from the resources and information offered through IAAPA, Chavez joined the Latin American Advisory Education Subcommittee. Her enthusiasm for her work is infectious.
“I love to think that we can sell happiness,” she says. “[T]he idea of containing happy moments in one place made me think that that would be a job that will make happy, that would [inspire my passions] and that I could do better and better every day.”