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Wednesday, December 3, 2014

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Association News

Tour Atlantis in Dubai!
Explore Atlantis, one of Dubai's luxury resorts, during IAAPA Leadership Conference 2015, March 10-12. Be inspired by its impressive architecture, award-winning restaurants and must-visit aquatic attractions. Register now and save 25%.

U.S. Members: It's time to update your PAC Prior Approval form!
Updating the form allows us to send you information about IAAPA's U.S. political activities. The PAC Prior Approval is available on IAAPA's website. E-mail gr@IAAPA.org for more information.

Amusement and Theme Parks

Merlin Entertainments predicts strong results for the year
Merlin Entertainments, which became a publicly listed firm this year, expects strong profits for 2014. The company said the success of "The Lego Movie" and warm autumn weather in the U.K. helped its parks attract guests. Merlin looks to announce more than £407 million in profits for 2014. "The performance this year has benefited from a number of one-off factors and whilst we remain positive on the outlook for 2015, our expectations remain unchanged," CEO Nick Varney said. The Telegraph (London) (tiered subscription model) (12/2), The Independent (London) (tiered subscription model) (12/2)

Features of "Laff Trakk" roller coaster at Pennsylvania's Hersheypark are highlighted
"Laff Trakk," coming to Hersheypark in Pennsylvania, is being called the country's first indoor, spinning, glow-in-the-dark roller coaster. The $14 million ride's 1,400-foot-long track will offer camelback airtime hills, high-banked curves, a slalom section, a half loop-half twist Immelman turn and a 360-degree carousel. The Raven Sun Creative-designed and Maurer Sohne-built ride will honor five previous funhouses at the park when it debuts next year. Los Angeles Times (tiered subscription model) (12/1)

Sally Corp. CEO discusses "Justice League: Battle for Metropolis 4D"
"Justice League: Battle for Metropolis 4D," a dark ride coming to Six Flags Over Texas next spring, will include motion responsive vehicles with laser guns. "We are for the first time utilizing a motion-based ride vehicle and we're creating a virtual experience with 3D projections throughout the ride," Sally Corp. Chairman and CEO John Wood said, noting that the attraction is challenging because cart motion must be timed correctly with on-screen action. Dallas Observer/Geek-Offs blog (12/2)

Drayton Manor Theme Park in England touts waste-reduction practices
Drayton Manor Theme Park in Staffordshire, England, is celebrating after becoming the first family-owned U.K. amusement park to send no waste to the landfill. Among its environment friendly policies are onsite crushing of cardboard for recycling and the conversion of waste cooking oil into biofuel for trucks. "As a family-owned and run attraction, Drayton Manor is able to implement, adapt and run a variety of environmentally friendly initiatives," said Marc Tierney, catering and waste operations general manager. "We firmly believe in operating a sustainable, green business and are committed to helping save energy and protect the environment." Loughborough Echo (U.K.) (12/2)

Other News
Universal Orlando Resort in Florida files state documents for new project
Orlando Sentinel (Fla.) (tiered subscription model) (12/2)

22 rides debut at Sky Ranch Pampanga in San Fernando, Philippines
ABS-CBN Interactive (11/28)

Expert: Hollywood Studios at Florida's Walt Disney World Resort is in transition
Orlando Sentinel (Fla.) (tiered subscription model) (12/1)

Kings Island in Mason, Ohio, seeks applicants for seasonal posts in 2015
Dayton Daily News (Ohio) (12/2)

Nags Head, North Carolina, plans for new Dowdy's Amusement Park
The Virginian-Pilot (Norfolk) (12/2)

Water Parks

England town council supports expansion plan of West Midland Safari Park
The Bewdley Town Council in England approved an £80 million expansion at West Midland Safari Park. The project will feature an indoor water park, a 1,000-capacity conference center, a 250-room hotel and a spa facility. The town council will recommend the plan to the Wyre Forest District Council. Kidderminster Shuttle & Times (U.K.) (11/28)

$1 million water park yet to officially open in Jamaica
Wata Land, a $1 million water park in St Mary, Jamaica, is still working on its license despite launching in August. The 20-acre park offers the Caribbean's largest pool-lake, an aqua park and water slides. Gobind Dansinghani, owner and managing director, said staff training must also be finished before a grand opening or major marketing event takes place. Jamaica Gleaner (11/29)

Other News
Waves of Glory music event to launch May 2 at Wet 'n Wild Orlando in Florida
Orlando Sentinel (Fla.) (tiered subscription model)/Theme Park Rangers blog (12/2)

Family Entertainment Centers

Bass Pro Shops to create a bowling alley in Memphis, Tennessee
Bass Pro Shops is working to open an outdoors-themed center with bowling alley at the Downtown Memphis Pyramid in Tennessee. The $180 million project, which will launch May 1, will include 13 Brunswick bowling lanes. American City Business Journals/Memphis, Tenn. (11/26)

Guests evacuated from Lakeside Superbowl in England after chlorine gas incident
Guests were evacuated Saturday from Lakeside Superbowl in Chichester after staff mistakenly created chlorine gas. "We received reports that two different chemicals were mixed together in a toilet," said a spokesman for West Sussex Fire and Rescue service. "The teams diluted the chemicals and also sought specialist advice on how to deal with the situation." Two workers were treated for gas inhalation by emergency personnel. Chichester Observer (U.K.) (11/30)

Other News Sky Zone trampoline facility is unveiled in Fargo, North Dakota
Prairie Business (Grand Forks, N.D.)/Forum News Service (11/28)

Zoos, Aquariums, Science Centers, and Museums

Oklahoma City Zoo in Oklahoma plans $13 million Asia exhibit project
The Oklahoma City Zoo in Oklahoma is working with Torre Design Consortium on a design for the second phase of its Asia exhibit. The $13 million project, which could seek construction bids next spring and summer, will debut in the spring of 2017. The project will include habitats for rhinos, red pandas and other animals, a centralized Asian lodge and a restaurant and areas that offer views of the whole exhibit. The Oklahoman (Oklahoma City) (12/1)

New executive director takes over San Antonio Zoo in Texas
Tim Morrow became the new executive director at the San Antonio Zoo in Texas this month after the retirement of J. Stephen McCusker on Sunday. "Steve's emphasis on financial stability and good business practice not only allowed the zoo to continue its amazing animal care, but exponentially increased the zoo's conservation and education programs," said David S. Herrmann, the president of the San Antonio Zoological Society's board of directors. "The selection committee is confident in Tim's vision to take the San Antonio Zoo to new heights, passionately implementing the zoo's mission to foster appreciation and concern for all living things, and attain the zoo's animal care, education and conservation goals." KSAT-TV (San Antonio) (10/29), KSAT-TV (San Antonio) (12/1) 

Tampa Bay History Center in Florida to open exhibit of WWII-era artifacts
Operation Drumbeat: Nazi Threat in the Gulf exhibit will launch Sunday at the Tampa Bay History Center in Florida. The exhibit will feature a 30-foot replica of a Seehund, a World War II-era German submarine and recovered treasure from the wreck of the Gairsoppa, a British merchant ship torpedoed by a German U-Boat in 1941. WFLA-TV (Tampa, Fla.) (12/2) 

Other News
SeaWorld San Diego in California welcomes birth of orca calf
KSWB-TV (San Diego) (12/2)

Related Industry News

IAAPA Attractions Expo 2014 showcases interactive, immersive attractions
Immersive experiences and interactive attractions were two of the trends highlighted during the IAAPA Attractions Expo 2014 in Orlando, Florida. "One of the trends I'm seeing on the show floor is immersion. Even parks that haven't historically been known for theming and immersion are getting into it," IAAPA President and CEO Paul Noland said. Several experiences that encouraged participants to interact with not only their environment and the ride, but with friends and family were also showcased, according to Jeremy Schoolfield, editor-in-chief of IAAPA's Funworld Magazine. The Expo drew more than 30,000 attendees and featured 1,000 exhibitors across more than 540,000 feet of exhibit space. USA Today (12/1)

Other News
Resorts World Sentosa in Singapore will offer Great World Cabaret production
Today (Singapore) (12/1)

Deal renewal allows "SkyView Ferris Wheel" to operate in Atlanta, Georgia, through 2015
American City Business Journals/Atlanta/Capitol Vision blog (12/1)

"The one thing all famous authors, world-class athletes, business tycoons, singers, actors, and celebrated achievers in any field have in common is that they all began their journeys when they were none of these things." -- Mike Dooley, American author