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Monday August 15, 2016

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Association News

New in 2016! Game Changer: Zappos, Using Culture to Create Exception Customer Experiences
The new IAAPA Attractions Expo 2016 Game Changer session allows you to step outside the attractions industry and learn how other businesses focus on delivering exceptional experiences to their customers. Featured speaker Jon Wolske, Zappos culture evangelist, will share how the company delivers superior customer service and rewards employees who exceed expectations each day and each shift. Register early and save 40%!

IAAPA Online Learning Center -- Anytime, anywhere access!
Train your frontline employees, new hires or employees returning for the new season on Serving Guests with Disabilities, with IAAPA's online course. This course explores how attractions employees can effectively serve guests with disabilities. Other topics of interest include Guest Relations, Games Operations, Ride Operations and more. View all courses and register today!

Webinar: Intellectual Property Issues in the Live Entertainment Show Development Process 1 p.m. ET Aug. 24
Join music lawyer Tamera H. Bennett as she guides entertainment producers through show development process from an IP perspective. She will examine the IP rights as they apply to concept development, production, rehearsal and performance phases of live entertainment and show production. Participation in the IAAPA webinar program can earn 1 credit toward IAAPA Certification. Webinars are free to IAAPA members; registration is required.

Amusement and Theme Parks

VR experience coming to Florida's Universal Orlando Resort for Halloween
Among the attractions guests can try during this year's Halloween Horror Nights event at Universal Orlando Resort in Florida will be an interactive, virtual reality (VR) experience called "The Repository." Designed in partnership with VRStudios of Bellevue, Washington, "The Repository" will feature interactions with real-life characters and exploration of "highly thematic physical environments," the park said in a statement. The attraction opens to guests Sept. 29 and will be available through Oct. 31. Orlando Sentinel (Fla.) (tiered subscription model)

Refurbishment continues at Long Beach Amusement Park in Washington
Long Beach Amusement Park in Washington is undergoing a makeover under its new owners. New parts have been installed on classic rides including "Rock-O-Plane," "Midge-O-Racer" and the "Octopus," which are waiting for final inspection before reopening to the public. Owners Chris Summerer and Russell Maize say they are planning to acquire new rides after the refurbishment project has been completed, including a Ferris wheel. The Daily Astorian (Astoria, Ore.)

Coaster at Idlewild theme park in Pennsylvania is studied by state inspectors
The "Rollo Coaster" ride at Idlewild & Soak Zone in Ligonier, Pennsylvania, was put through a series of tests by inspectors from the state Department of Agriculture on Friday, the day after an incident that injured a 3-year-old boy. Bureau of Ride & Measurement Standards Director Walter Remmert said one of the issues the investigation will focus on is whether additional safety measures such as seat belts could have prevented the incident. The park said in a statement that it "will be evaluating all aspects of 'Rollo Coaster's' operation." Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Fire near Diggerland Durham in England leaves guests stranded
A fire Friday at a factory building on Langley Park Industrial Estate in Durham, England, caused roads in the area to be shut down and left guests at the nearby Diggerland Durham park unable to leave. One man required treatment due to the effects of smoke. Authorities reopened the roads while warning drivers to be careful amid the low visibility caused by the smoke. BBC

Other News

Water Parks

Water park in Qom, Iran, is now open
A 3-hectare complex in Qom, Iran, that includes the country's first water park, a mall and a restaurant has opened to the public. The water park, which can accommodate 2,000 guests at once, features several water slides, including a 15-meter-tall slide, and advanced water purification equipment. Sputnik News

Indoor aquatic facility could be coming to Round Rock, Texas
Officials of Round Rock, Texas, are considering an investment of up to $31 million in a new indoor swimming complex. A feasibility study conducted by the firm Counsilman-Hunsaker presented a $31 million plan with a dive pool and a 50-meter pool; and a project with a lap pool and a 50-meter pool that would cost between $24 million and $25 million. KXAN-TV (Austin, Texas)

Developers start bidding for water park project in Canyon, Texas
The bidding process for a proposed aquatic facility in Canyon, Texas, began Thursday, with at least 13 companies expected to present their bids. The project has led to the council approving a $6 million bond for construction and the closure of the existing facility. Construction is expected to begin in mid-September, and the facility is expected to open to the public next June. KAMR-TV/NBC 4 (Amarillo, Texas)

Other News

Family Entertainment Centers

"REALiTEE Golf" indoor center project seeks first location
A developer is looking for a 100,000-square-foot space to build the first indoor "REALiTEE Golf" complex. The expected $30 million facility would feature 12 golf simulators connected to artificial turf for real-life putting. The complex would also include shops, club fitting areas, a pro shop and a restaurant and sports bar.
The Orange County Register (Santa Ana, Calif.) (subscription required)

The Escape Hunt Experience in Houston, Texas, is now open
A new escape room attraction in Houston, Texas, called The Escape Hunt Experience recently opened to the public. The 5,000-square-foot facility offers challenging puzzles inside two themed rooms: "Theft of the Texas Lone Star" and "Murder in Marylebone," with plans to add a space-themed experience in the future.
Houston Chronicle (tiered subscription model)

Go Bounce trampoline park debuts in Doncaster, England
A Go Bounce indoor trampoline facility opened this month in Doncaster, England. The £500,000 facility offers interconnected trampolines that can accommodate 70 guests at a time, slam dunk hoops and space for dodgeball and parkour running.
The Star (Sheffield, England)

Other News

Zoos, Aquariums, Science Centers, and Museums

Plans for COGnition children's museum in Beulah, Michigan, move forward
A nonprofit group has decided on a former bowling alley in Beulah, Michigan, as the site for its COGnition children's museum project. The 10,000-square-foot interactive center would include tabletop exhibits for teens and activities lower to the ground for toddlers. The first wing of the facility is expected to open by October.
Traverse City Record-Eagle (Mich.) (tiered subscription model)

Makeover concludes at North Carolina Aquarium in Roanoke Island
The North Carolina Aquarium in Roanoke Island has emerged from a $6.5 million renovation, holding a grand opening ceremony Wednesday. The revamped facility now features new exhibits such as "Delicate Drifters," "Ironclad Sanctuary," "Sea Treasures" and "Seven Rivers." WTKR-TV (Norfolk, Va.)

Hogle Zoo in Utah partially shuts down over chemical leak
A leak of hydrochloric acid below a building that houses the indoor lion enclosure at the Hogle Zoo in Utah prompted the facility's temporary closure Sunday. The spill was discovered by an employee and was removed by being washed down a drain or neutralized with soda ash. There were no reported injuries among animals and humans.
The Salt Lake Tribune (Utah)

Other News

Related Industry News

Kansas governor discusses possible tightening of amusement park regulations
Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback said the death of a 10-year-old boy at a water slide in Schlitterbahn Kansas City has prompted him and other state leaders to look at possible changes to existing regulation of the amusement park industry in the state. He said Kansas may take cues from the regulations in other states. Currently, the state requires yearly inspections and random audits of inspection records for permanent rides, but these can be carried out by private inspectors instead of state officials. KSHB-TV (Kansas City, Mo.)

Inspectors point to worn-out rivets as cause of Tennessee Ferris wheel incident
Inspectors have discovered worn out rivets at the bottom of a Ferris wheel gondola that overturned last week at Tennessee's Greene County Fair, injuring three girls. The attraction's owner, Family Attractions Amusement, has had its permit to operate renewed. The Ferris wheel has been dismantled and is on its way to its manufacturer for repairs. ABC News/The Associated Press

Other News