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Merlin Entertainments CEO Varney to Present Keynote Address at IAAPA Attractions Expo 2008

September 9, 2008


Merlin Entertainments CEO Nick Varney to Present Keynote Address at IAAPA Attractions Expo 2008

General Managers and Owners Breakfast 

Alexandria, Virginia (United States) – Nick Varney, CEO of Merlin Entertainments Group, will headline the General Managers and Owners Breakfast on Wednesday, Nov. 19 during IAAPA Attractions Expo 2008 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida.

Varney will talk about the history of Merlin, with a particular focus on the brands and the strategy the company has used, and will continue to employ to develop and grow its business. In addition, Varney will discuss the benefits of consolidation within the industry.

“Nick is always insightful, and he’s incredibly passionate about the attractions industry,” said Charles Bray, president and CEO of IAAPA. “His remarks will offer a great opportunity for other industry leaders to hear about the successful growth strategy Merlin has implemented since its founding and to open the discussion about industry consolidation.”

Varney founded Merlin less than 10 years ago and since then, the company has grown into one of the largest entertainment companies in the world with nearly 60 attractions on three continents. The company has a well-balanced portfolio, including brands such as London Eye, Legoland, and Madame Tussauds, and entertains more than 30 million guests annually.

Varney has 18 years of experience in the attractions industry, starting as marketing director at one of the United Kingdom’s most loved theme parks, Alton Towers. He also spent time at The Tussauds Group and Vardon Attractions before leading a management buyout of Vardon to form Merlin Entertainments Group.

Space is limited! The General Managers and Owners Breakfast, sponsored by Bears2Go.com, CNL Lifestyle Company LLC, and Smile-Expo, will be held from 8:30 a.m. - 9:45 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 19. The cost is $85 per person. Individual tickets and tables are available. IAAPA Attractions Expo 2008 registration is also required. Registration information for the General Managers and Owners Breakfast is available athttp://www.iaapa.org/expos/attractions/.

About IAAPA Attractions Expo 2008
The IAAPA Attractions Expo 2008 is the largest conference and trade show for the amusement park and attractions industry in the world. With its theme “Success in Every Direction,” the show will draw an estimated 25,000 participants, representing amusement and theme parks, family entertainment centers, waterparks, zoos, aquariums, museums, casinos, resorts, developers, themed entertainment designers, consultants, manufacturers, and suppliers, to the Orange County Convention Center from Monday, Nov. 17, through Friday, Nov. 21. The trade show floor will be open Tuesday, Nov.18 through Friday, Nov. 21.

IAAPA Attractions Expo 2008 offers a solid week of business and fun. More than 1,000 exhibitors will display their products and services in one million square feet of exhibit space. The event also includes educational sessions, behind-the-scenes tours, marquee social events, and networking opportunities. This is the marketplace where amusement and attraction industry leaders, decision makers and visionaries, gather to network, view the latest innovations, and plan for the future.

IAAPA, the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions is the premier trade association for the attractions industry worldwide. Founded almost 90 years ago, IAAPA is the largest international trade association for permanently situated amusement facilities and attractions and is dedicated to the preservation and prosperity of the amusement industry. IAAPA represents more than 4,300 attraction, supplier, and individual members from more than 90 countries.


Contact Information
Press Office: +1 703/299-5127
David Mandt: dmandt@IAAPA.org
Tiffany Fessler: tiffany.fessler@edelman.com
Nicholas Wolaver: nicholas.wolaver@edelman.com