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Thursday, November 13, 2014

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Association News

IAAPA Attractions Expo 2014 Gold Sponsors
Thank you for your support: Allied Specialty Insurance, Best Lockers, BRC Imagination Arts, CNL Lifestyle Properties, CORE Cashless LLC, Falcon's Treehouse LLC, Flagship Carpets, Garner Holt Productions Inc., Guangzhou Zisen Animation Technology Co. Ltd., Holovis International Ltd., International Play Company, JRA, MACK Rides GmbH & Co KG, Pax Company Ltd., Picsolve, POLIN Waterparks & Pool Systems, The ACTIVE Network Inc., The Producers Group and Vekoma Rides Manufacturing B.V.

Amusement and Theme Parks

9 Angry Birds-themed parks coming to China
Rovio Entertainment announced that it would open nine theme parks in China by 2018. The eastern Anhui province is among the locations chosen for a facility. "China is an extremely important market for us and we're constantly looking for ways to provide innovative fan experiences by bridging the digital with the physical," said Chief Commercial Officer Pekka Rantala. "Through this partnership, we not only achieve that, but we set a strong foot in one of the world's fastest growing theme park markets with a key player in the industry." VentureBeat (11/12)

Cirque du Soleil, Grupo Vidanta to create a theme park in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico
An amusement park by Grupo Vidanta and Cirque du Soleil could launch in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico, by 2018. The project, which is still in its initial stages, may feature a nature park, a water park, an outdoor evening show for up to 5,000 guests and experiences that showcase Cirque du Soleil artists. The Globe and Mail (Toronto) (tiered subscription model) (11/12), Travel Weekly (11/12)

Winter attractions to debut at Six Flags theme park, LanierWorld in Georgia
Six Flags Over Georgia in Austell and LanierWorld in Buford, Georgia, will open holiday events for the first time. Six Flags Over Georgia will launch "Holiday in the Park" on Nov. 22, more than 1 million LED lights, 400 Christmas trees and a train ride to the North Pole. LanierWorld will become SnowWorld on Nov. 21, offering artificial snow and the "Lanier Islands Christmas" light show. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (free content) (11/12)

SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment reports decline in Q3 profits
SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment saw lower profits and attendance for the third quarter amid competition from Florida theme parks and negative publicity from "Blackfish." Profits fell from $120.7 million last year to $87.2 million, while attendance reached 8.4 million, down by 5.2%. The firm will boost capital spending next year, implement a $50 million cost-cutting plan and invest $10 million on a new marketing plan. Orlando Sentinel (Fla.) (tiered subscription model) (11/12), WKMG-TV (Orlando, Fla.) (11/12), San Diego Union-Tribune (11/12)

Other News
Diggerland USA in New Jersey performed well in inaugural season, spokesman says
WHYY-TV/WHYY-FM (Philadelphia) (11/12)

Holiday celebration to begin today at Disneyland Resort in California
KNBC-TV (Los Angeles)/Worth the drive blog (11/7)

New Year's Eve events at Florida theme parks, facilities are detailed
Orlando Sentinel (Fla.) (tiered subscription model) (11/12)

La Nouba's special Dinner & A Show package available at Florida's Walt Disney World Resort
Orlando Sentinel (Fla.) (tiered subscription model) (11/12)

Water Parks

Groundbreaking ceremony to be held Friday for aquatic center in Tampa, Florida
The Carol Kennedy Aquatic Center will hold a groundbreaking celebration Friday in Tampa, Florida. The $3.5 million facility, which will offer a water park, a lap pool and a warm water therapy pool, will take up to eight months. TBO.com (Tampa, Fla.) (11/12)

Spray water park among planned features at Alberta, Canada, resort
A spray water park is one of the features that will be included at Sundre River Resort in Alberta, Canada. Owners seek to create a "family playground" to attract more guests. Walking trails, a clubhouse with a pub and snack window, horseshoe pits, horseback riding and a soccer and baseball pitch are also among the planned amenities. Mountain View Gazette (Alberta) (11/11)

Other News
Trade Show Awards recognizes Cartoon Network Amazone water park in Thailand
Licensing.biz (11/12)

Adventure Island in Tampa, Florida, hosts Advanced Life Support event
The Tampa Tribune (Fla.) (11/12)

Planned soccer complex with water park in Mobile, Alabama, draws financing concerns
AL.com (Alabama) (11/10)

Family Entertainment Centers

Hill Country Golf and Guitar debuts in Bee Cave, Texas
Hill Country Golf and Guitar opened Saturday in Bee Cave, Texas. The facility includes an 18-hole mini-golf course, the Treehouse with video games, the Six String Grill eatery and a live music stage. Developer Rich Phillips said he would add a new 18-hole course in spring. Community Impact Newspaper (Pflugerville, Texas) (11/11)

Trampoline Zone to open in Bellingham, Washington
Developer Rajiv Malhan seeks to unveil Trampoline Zone in Bellingham, Washington, next month. The 18,000-square-foot facility will include a dodgeball court, a dunk court, foam pits, an area for younger children, a ninja course and four party areas. The Bellingham Herald (Wash.) (11/7

Zoos, Aquariums, Science Centers, and Museums

Calgary Zoo in Canada to unveil Zoolights next week
Zoolights will launch Nov 21. for its 17th season at Calgary Zoo in Alberta, Canada, offering more than 1.5 million lights. The event, which will run through Jan. 3, will include ice skating, a Singing Tree, Santa's Oasis in the Frosted and Sugar Plum Forests, a Santa Selfie station, Candy Land and a kids' zone. Calgary Sun (Alberta) (11/12)

Metal Arts Education Facility to be built in California's Antique Gas & Steam Engine Museum
The Metal Arts Education Facility will be built at the Antique Gas & Steam Engine Museum in Vista, California, using a grant from the Rhynard Foundation. The new facility will allow the museum to add new areas to its blacksmithing program such as coppersmithing, pewtersmithing and casting, fabricating ferrous metal and artisan classes. San Diego Union-Tribune (11/12)

Other News
Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum in Illinois adds "Rainforest Adventure" exhibit
Chicago Tribune (tiered subscription model) (11/12)

San Francisco Zoo in California hires outside investigator to review death of young gorilla
San Francisco Chronicle (free content) (11/11)

Related Industry News

New attractions are opening at ski resorts around the world
Several resorts worldwide are launching attractions for the new ski season. Renovations, expanded areas, new features at facilities in France, Colorado, Utah, Canada and Japan are highlighted. The Daily Telegraph (Australia)/Escape (11/9)

Entertainment industry in Mexico shows decline amid economic downturn
Lower attendance and economic weakness have caused declining profits and financial losses from 12% to more than 70% among entertainment operations in Mexico. American Entertainment Corporation (CIE), which does business in concert and theater sectors, reported a drop in profits from January to September of this year by 71.2%. Group Diniz, which operates and manages Recórcholis, said that this year there was a loss of 7,215,000 pesos, while in 2013 the business generated a profit 13,948,000 pesos. Diniz Group noted that the decline could be attributed to three causes: the decrease in the number of visitors to its complex, the slowdown of the Mexican economy and the remodeling of its entertainment centers and rotation games. Xavier Lopez of family entertainment center Kidzania said that the company has seen two consecutive years with no growth in the number of visitors. Milenio.com (Mexico) (Spanish-language content) (11/5)

Other News
Photos reveal progress of the "Orlando Eye" in Orlando, Florida
WESH-TV (Orlando, Fla.) (11/12)

"It is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves." -- Edmund Hillary, New Zealand mountaineer