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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

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Association News

IAAPA Attractions Expo 2014 Platinum Sponsors
Thank you for your support: accesso, Dalian Wanda Group, Evermore Park, Garage Graphics & Visuals, LDP, Pictureworks Pte Ltd., Pucuda-Leading Edge, S&S - Sansei Technologies and Thinkwell Group.

And the winners are ... 2014 IAAPA Awards
Innovation and excellence drive the success of the attractions industry, and IAAPA will recognize those who stand out during IAAPA Attractions Expo 2014. IAAPA Hall of Fame inductees will be announced at the Kickoff Event, Tuesday, Nov. 18. On Wednesday, Nov. 19, IAAPA Service Award recipients will be revealed at the GM and Owners' Breakfast, then IAAPA will recognize the best of 2014 at the IAAPA Brass Ring Awards ceremony.

Access BIG information at your fingertips
Download the IAAPA Expos Mobile App to your smartphone or tablet now and start planning for IAAPA Attractions Expo 2014. Access on-the-go information, exhibitor maps, updates and social media -- FREE!

Amusement and Theme Parks

Dubai Parks and Resorts to sell 40% of shares in IPO
Dubai Parks and Resorts announced that it would sell 40% of its shares, which will amount to Dh2.5 billion. The proceeds from the initial public offering, which will run from Monday through Nov. 30, will be used along with a Dh4.2 billion loan arranged by Goldman Sachs to build a Dh10.4 billion theme park complex in Dubai, UAE. The complex will include Legoland Dubai, Motiongate and Bollywood Parks. The National (Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates) (11/11), Reuters (11/11)

Dailan Wanda's theme park, theater in Wuhan, China, are presented ahead of opening
Dalian Wanda Group showcased the Han Show Theatre and Wanda Movie Park in Wuhan, China, ahead of their Dec. 20 debut. Wanda Movie Park is an indoor facility offers six major attractions including the "Hubei in the Air" flight simulation and a 3-D "Journey to the West" interactive ride. "We think (capacity) will be about 8,000 people at one time," said Aaron Soo, general manager of the park. "During the first year we are projecting 3 million visitors and for revenue RMB800 million." The Dalian Wanda Group is planning to develop 13 major theme parks in the next three years. Variety (11/7)

"Rewind Racers" shuttle coaster coming to California's Adventure City
Adventure City in Anaheim, California, will unveil "Rewind Racers," a family shuttle coaster, early next year. The $2 million, Gerstlauer Amusement Rides-made attraction will span 190 feet, stand 45 feet tall and include seven two-seat cars. "It's not going to be super fast or super tall or scary. For our crowd we are just looking for fun, and going backward on a roller coaster is fun," General Manager Allen Ansdell said. The Orange County Register (Santa Ana, Calif.) (free content) (11/11)

Authorities suspect fire at Six Flags Great Adventure in New Jersey was intentional
Authorities believe that arson is involved in a fire that destroyed a barn Monday at "Safari Off-Road Adventure" at Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, New Jersey. The fire erupted after 10 p.m., and responding firefighters also had to control four other minor blazes in a wooded area near the park. "No animals were injured, and all are safely inside the safari," a park spokeswoman said. "The safety of our animals and team members is our top priority." WCAU-TV (Philadelphia) (11/11), Asbury Park Press (Neptune-Asbury Park, N.J.) (tiered subscription model) (11/11) 

Other News
Holiday preparations at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida are highlighted
WOFL-TV (Orlando, Fla.) (11/7)

SeaWorld's Christmas Celebration to open Nov. 22 at SeaWorld Orlando in Florida
Orlando Sentinel (Fla.) (tiered subscription model) (11/6)

Dollywood in Tennessee hosts Veterans Ceremony for 10th year
WATE-TV (Knoxville, Tenn.) (11/9)

Chinese theme parks without originality could be vulnerable to new competitors
WantChinaTimes.com (Taiwan) (11/9)

Water Parks

County officials approve operator deal for water park in Fort Smith, Arkansas
Justices of the peace of Sebastian County, Arkansas, approved an agreement on the operator of a water park being built at Ben Geren Regional Park in Fort Smith. The court failed to reach the necessary votes for the deal last month, but voted 8-4 on Monday in favor for the deal. The agreement will allow American Resort Management to manage the $10.9 million facility. Southwest Times Record (Fort Smith, Ark.) (11/11)

Sioux Falls, South Dakota, to create committee for indoor aquatics center
Ten people will be selected by Sioux Falls, South Dakota, officials to help in designing an indoor aquatics center planned for Spellerberg Park. The $19.4 million center, which will be unveiled in the fall of 2016, will include water slides, a lazy river, a zero-depth-entry pool with play features, a recreation pool, lap pool and a therapy pool. The city will also host open house meetings regarding the center in 2015. Argus Leader (Sioux Falls, S.D.) (tiered subscription model) (11/10)

Family Entertainment Centers

Two trampoline facilities to open next month in North Carolina
Next month, Sky Zone and DefyGravity will unveil new trampoline parks in North Carolina. Sky Zone will open a facility in Durham, offering dodgeball courts, wall-to-wall trampolines, party rooms and more. DefyGravity will launch a 13,000-square-foot park in Wilmington and include extreme sports activities, an obstacle course, dunk basketball hoops and a dodgeball arena. WRAL-TV (Raleigh, N.C.) (11/11), Star-News (Wilmington, N.C.) (11/11)

Dust Bowl Lanes and Lounge to open in Oklahoma
Dust Bowl Lanes and Lounge is expected to debut next month in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The 25,000 square-foot facility will include a vintage bowling alley and the Fassler Hall beer garden upstairs. "I think what you see in a lot of bowling alleys across the country, you see a lot of higher tech with martinis and all of these things, and to me, bowling is about pitchers of beer and having a good time," said Elliot Nelson, CEO of developer McNellie's Group. KFOR-TV (Oklahoma City) (11/6) 

Owner seeks rezoning for proposed mini-golf course in St. Cloud, Minnesota
Property owners are applying for a zoning change for a mini-golf course in St. Cloud, Minnesota. The 18-hole attraction's application will be tackled Thursday by the city's planning commission. St. Cloud Times (Minn.) (tiered subscription model) (11/7)

Other News
LaserBlitz FEC opens in Cebu, Philippines
Sun.Star (Philippines) (11/11)

Rogue Bowling will launch Dec. 6 in Aylesbury, England
The Bucks Herald (U.K.) (11/7)

Blue Springs, Missouri, to renovate sports facility with mini-golf course
The Kansas City Star (Mo.) (11/11)

Zoos, Aquariums, Science Centers, and Museums

Shark Swim experience now available at Florida Aquarium in Tampa
Florida Aquarium in Tampa added a 30-minute swimming experience for guests who are not certified scuba divers. Shark Swim, which is offered twice a day, lets guests roam waters that house sand tiger sharks, barracudas, eels, a sea turtle, stingrays and more. "It does make you want to become scuba certified because it's so incredible to see. And that's the goal, to make people want to dive more, to become more aware of what's down there and become advocates of the ocean," said Katie Edmiston, the aquarium's marketing manager. Tampa Bay Times (St. Petersburg, Fla.) (11/10)

Sea lion injures trainer at Sea World Gold Coast in Australia
A trainer at Sea World Gold Coast in Australia was taken to the hospital after being bitten by a sea lion and suffering a "minor laceration" on the arm. The incident happened while the handler was weighing the animal during a routine check up. "As per normal safety procedures, an ambulance was called to attend to the trainer. Following the incident, both the sea lion and trainer are in a good condition. The sea lions are coming into their breeding season, which can lead to them being in an excited state," a park spokesman said. Brisbane Times (Australia) (11/12)

Other News
Florida's Madame Tussauds Orlando will include Ricky Martin wax figure
Orlando Sentinel (Fla.) (tiered subscription model)/Theme Park Rangers blog (11/11)

Kentucky Science Center in Louisville to become new home of "KentuckyShow!" production
The Courier-Journal (Louisville, Ky.) (tiered subscription model) (11/10)

Related Industry News

£17 million retail and leisure park in Morecambe, England, gets city's approval
Lancaster City Council approved a £17 million retail and leisure park proposal that will rise at the site of a former Wild West-themed amusement park in Morecambe, England. However, one critic said the plan, which also includes a pub and a hotel, was "disappointing" and "vague." The Secretary of State will need give final approval for the development. BBC (11/10)

Other News
Infographics offer facts on the IAAPA Attractions Expo opening this month
American City Business Journals/Orlando, Fla./The Buzz blog (11/11)

"Progress lies not in enhancing what is, but in advancing toward what will be." -- Kahlil Gibran, Lebanese artist, poet and writer