Wednesday, October 1, 2014

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Association News

Funworld water park issue online now
The October issue of Funworld dives into the world of water parks. Explore Six Flags Over Georgia's new Hurricane Harbor water park and Cowabunga Bay, the latest attraction to make a splash in Vegas. Refurbishing, adding water features to dry attractions and RFID technology are also covered in this issue.

Amusement and Theme Parks

Theme park design firms, suppliers find business in Asia
IDEAS and ITEC Entertainment are two theme park-related businesses based in Orlando, Florida, that are courting growth in Asia and other international markets. "International projects are primarily driving our short-term growth," ITEC Vice President Jerry Pierson said. IDEAS and ITEC both have projects in China. Also, accesso Technology Group has partnered with a South Korean firm to help broker deals. Orlando Sentinel (Fla.) (tiered subscription model) (9/28)

Hello Kitty theme park opening in Anji, China, to include hotel
A Hello Kitty amusement park opening in Anji, China, later this year will also include Yin Run Jin Jiang Resort Anji luxury hotel. The property, which will be Jin Jiang's first theme park hotel, will look like a European castle and include 343 rooms and suites, 43 of which will be Hello Kitty-themed. Travel Daily Media (9/30)

SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment hires Van Scoyoc Associates
SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment has chosen Van Scoyoc Associates to lobby on its behalf. Forms show Van Scoyoc lobbyists will be involved with "issues related to display, research and public education about cetaceans." SeaWorld suffered an attendance drop in 2013 since the release of documentary film "Blackfish," which the firm says is "inaccurate and misleading." The Hill (9/30)

Guest charged with child abuse after go-kart incident at Wisconsin amusement park
A 24-year-old woman, Victoria M. Walker, is facing one felony count of child abuse with the intention to cause harm after she slapped a minor in June at Wisconsin's Mt. Olympus Theme and Water Park. Walker admitted to slapping a 15-year-old girl whose go-kart struck the go-kart in which Walker's 3-year-old daughter was riding. If convicted, Walker could pay $10,000 in fines and serve a maximum of six years in prison. Wisconsin State Journal (Madison) (9/29)

Other News
Orlando, Florida, theme parks part of "Deals Made for Canadians" campaign
Yahoo/Agence France-Presse (9/30)

Updates, maintenance work ongoing at Florida's Walt Disney World Resort
American City Business Journals/Orlando, Fla./The Buzz blog (9/30)

Cable network to launch new series touring U.S. theme parks
Akron Beacon Journal (Ohio)/Airtime blog (9/30)

J-World Tokyo in Japan to host Halloween-themed "Kurobas Matsuri" event (9/30)

Water Parks

Carroll County, Virginia, board seeks funding for water park
Carroll County, Virginia, is looking for a grant that could fund a water park or pool. The county, which closed its pool in 2009 because of budget cuts, is considering hiring a grant writer to help. The Carroll News (Hillsville, Va.) (9/25)

SplashDown Beach Water Park in New York to appeal jury decision on 2007 incident
Steve Turk, owner of SplashDown Beach Water Park in New York, said he plans to appeal a jury verdict over a 2007 incident at the Fishkill park. The verdict requires SplashDown to pay more than $1.9 million in damages for the injuries incurred by Anthony Mussara on one of the park's rides. "This case was dismissed by the Supreme Court, Dutchess County in 2011 ... [but that] decision was modified on appeal, and the court this time prohibited us from introducing evidence of the safe operations by SplashDown," Turk said. "I have run my water park without any serious incidents flawlessly for the past 10 years. I feel confident that when we appeal we will be allowed to show all the evidence needed to have a fair decision in this case." Poughkeepsie Journal (N.Y.) (9/30)

Other News
Soaring Eagle Water Park in Michigan to host "Spooktacular Weekends"
WOOD-TV (Grand Rapids, Mich.) (9/30)

Closed Rushmore Waterslide Park in Rapid City, South Dakota, auctions off equipment
KEVN-TV (Rapid City, S.D.) (9/30)

Family Entertainment Centers

Stars and Strikes FEC to launch next year in Woodstock, Georgia
Next spring, Stars and Strikes will unveil a 50,000-square-foot family entertainment center in Woodstock, Georgia. The facility will include a two-story laser tag arena, a laser maze, 20 bowling lanes, a game room, bumper cars, projection screens, a bar area, a "classic American grill" restaurant and more. Cherokee Tribune (Canton, Ga.) (9/28)

Other News
Jump trampoline facility debuts in Hamilton, New Zealand
Stuff (New Zealand) (9/29)

Auction held for equipment at closed go-kart track in Anderson, Indiana
The Herald Bulletin (Anderson, Ind.) (9/27)

Zoos, Aquariums, Science Centers, and Museums

South Carolina Aquarium to open sea turtle hospital and exhibit space
The South Carolina Aquarium in Charleston will launch a $5 million, first-floor hospital with exhibit space for sea turtles in 2016. The attraction, which will be privately funded, will include an operating room, a glass-walled exercise pool, a window showing a portion of the treatment center and interactive displays. The Post and Courier (Charleston, S.C.) (free registration) (9/30)

Imagination Station in Ohio will unveil Dinosaurs Unearthed exhibit
The Dinosaurs Unearthed exhibit will open Oct. 25 at the Imagination Station for the Toledo, Ohio, science center's fifth anniversary. The exhibit, which will run through April 12, will showcase fossils, skeletons and 14 animatronic dinosaurs. The Blade (Toledo, Ohio) (10/1)

Gaza zoo animals in dire condition after 50-day war
War has led to difficult conditions for animals at Al-Bisan zoo in Gaza, according to Amir Khalil of the Four Paws International welfare group. Khalil said that 80 animals died during the fighting and that the zoo was severely damaged. Three lions, two males and one pregnant female, were sedated and moved from the zoo to a wildlife sanctuary in Jordan. The Rapid City Journal (S.D.)/The Associated Press (9/30)

Other News
California's Six Flags Discovery Kingdom introduces 2 Bengal tiger cubs
KPIX-TV (San Francisco) (9/30)

Attendance drops at Sea World in North Jakarta, Indonesia, amid management contract dispute
The Jakarta Post (Indonesia) (10/1)

Related Industry News

House of Horror launches for the season in Doral, Florida
House of Horror has opened for another season at Miami International Mall in Doral, Florida. The Halloween amusement park includes a haunted house with more than 30 themed rooms, animatronics, motion-activated props, rides, carnival games and more. The attraction will run through Nov. 2. WPLG-TV (Miami) (9/26)

Waikiki, Hawaii, resort seeks to add zipline
Waikiki Beach Activities Ltd., service provider for Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort, wants to offer a zipline over the property's oceanfront lagoon. The developer expects up to 250,000 guests annually for the attraction. "Due to the growing popularity and demonstrated safety of zipline activities throughout the Hawaiian Islands, WBA (Hilton) proposes to operate a daytime zipline experience that would provide the general public with a one-of-a-kind sightseeing experience," according to the firm. The Washington Times/The Associated Press (9/27)

"Life appears to me too short to be spent in nursing animosity, or registering wrongs." -- Charlotte Bronte, British author