Tuesday, December 8, 2009
The prestigious Thea Awards recognize and honor excellence in the creation of outstanding visitor experiences, attractions, exhibits and places. Truly international in their recognition of outstanding productions, the Thea Awards focus international attention on innovation within the Themed Entertainment and Experience Design Industry. The awards were created in 1994 by TEA to recognize and honor excellence all up and down the chain of creative production. The Theas honor the vision and dedication of the project owner while bestowing and recording credits for the work of the designers, technicians, vendors and suppliers who realize the project.
The Thea Awards Nominating Committee (listed below) recommended the current slate of 12 Thea recipients, with final approval by the TEA International Board of Directors. The Awards will be formally presented March 6, 2010 at the 16th Annual Thea Awards Gala, to be held at Universal Studios Hollywood and sponsored by Economics at AECOM. The Awards Gala is a formal black-tie dinner event and is open to the public. Tickets/more information: www.teaconnect.org.
Recipients - 16th Annual Thea Awards
Thea Lifetime Achievement Award: Mark Fuller, WET Design
Thea Classic Award: Coal Mine, Chicago Museum of Science and Industry
Thea Awards for Outstanding Achievement (AOA):
Toy Story Midway Mania, Disney's California Adventure and Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World (Attraction)
Dragon’s Treasure Show, City of Dreams, Macau (Attraction)
Disaster! Universal Studios Hollywood (Attraction Rehab)
The Museum at Bethel Woods, New York USA (Museum)
Please Touch Museum, Philadelphia USA (Museum)
America I Am: The African American Imprint (Traveling Exhibition)
Skyscraper! Achievement & Impact, Liberty Science Center, Liberty State Park, Jersey City USA (Science Center Exhibit)
McNeil Avian Center, Philadelphia Zoo (Zoo Attraction on a Limited Budget)
Tea Show @ OCT East Resort, Shenzhen, China (Live Show)
Heineken Experience, Amsterdam (Brand Experience)
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
“SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment” replaces “Busch Entertainment Corporation” with the closing of the sale announced jointly today by Anheuser-Busch InBev and The Blackstone Group.
SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment operates 10 parks across the U.S.: SeaWorlds in Orlando, San Diego and San Antonio; Busch Gardens parks in Tampa, Fla. and Williamsburg, Va.; Discovery Cove and Aquatica in Orlando; Sesame Place near Philadelphia, Pa.; and water parks Adventure Island in Tampa and Water Country USA in Williamsburg.
The new name reflects the prominence of the SeaWorld brand in both the family travel industry and among the company’s portfolio of parks.
“It is one of the world’s most widely recognized and respected family travel brands,” said Jim Atchison, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment President. “SeaWorld has been a brand associated with quality family entertainment since SeaWorld San Diego opened its gates for the first time in March 1964.”
Despite the new name, little else about the company changes with today’s acquisition by Blackstone, Atchison said. The leadership team, park portfolio, operating philosophy, commitment to quality and workforce is unchanged: “While this is the start of an exciting new phase in our evolution, we remain dedicated to the same values and principles that have been the foundation of our success for five decades.”
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Day one on the trade show floor…pretty busy, actually, especially towards the end of the day. There seems to be a big international contingency here at the show, and many of them are infatuated by the campfire “flame” at the center of the CAMP InPark booth! I probably could have sold half a dozen of those flames today had I brought some to sell. Nonetheless, it brings people over to the booth to check out CAMP InPark, especially people that have not heard of the magazine before. This makes me happy.
TEA announced their Thea Award recipients for the year at their annual champagne gathering in their booth. Or, rather, TEA President Steve Thorburn read off the recipients and then those who couldn’t hear a thing because of the typical IAAPA din read the results on the subsequently handed out press release.
Visitors to the CAMP InPark booth have been encouraged to pose for a camp picture, which I am providing here for your (and hopefully, their!) enjoyment.
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Can you identify the 10 potential points of failure inherent in traditional audiovisual classroom systems?
“It's primarily a matter of good planning and design,” says Thorburn, whose Planning For Classroom Technology Workshop, Nov. 2 in Denver at the Curtis Hotel, will address these issues and more.
AV in the classroom is continually changing, and the Planning for Classroom Technology Workshop is targeted to benefit CIO’s, IT Directors, facility managers, interior designers, architects and anyone who is involved in the planning or design of formal or informal learning spaces, or responsible for AV presentation technology. The workshop runs 8:30-4:30 pm. Attendees will earn 6 AIA Certified Continuing Education Units or 6 InfoComm Renewal Units, and receive a detailed workbook to keep. The workshop’s title sponsor is Crestron Electronics. The Nov. 2 workshop takes place just prior to the Educause conference, Nov. 3-6 in Denver, Colorado.
For those not working on a classroom building, the information in the workshop is easily applied to the same issues, goals and concerns encountered in corporate and public meeting, training and conference spaces.
To register or get more information, contact Christina LeClerc, at Thorburn Associates, 510-886-7826 ext 205, email email@example.com or visit the workshop website at www.ta-inc.com/planning.
Friday, May 8, 2009
Eck had been serving as the Sales and Marketing Director for the Wilderness Hotel & Golf Resort for nine years.
Eck serves on the Board of Directors for the Wisconsin Dells Visitor and Convention Bureau, and is a member of the Marketing Committee for the Wisconsin Dells Visitor and Convention Bureau. He is a member of Meeting Planners International (MPI) and Wisconsin State Association of Executives (WSAE).
Prior to joining the Wilderness, Eck served as an Associate Buyer for Sax Fifth Avenue regional headquarters in Milwaukee, Wis.
Eck has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business with a minor in Public Relations from UW-Whitewater. He and his wife, Sue, reside in Wisconsin Dells with their two children.
The Wilderness Territory, which consists of over 600 wooded acres in Wisconsin Dells, is the perfect destination for a fun-filled family vacation, meeting or special event. The Territory is home to Wilderness Hotel & Golf Resort, which features 444 guest rooms, 40 vacation villas, 76 Frontier Condominiums and 35 cabins. It is also home to Wilderness on the Lake which features 108 luxurious two and three bedroom condominium units overlooking Lake Delton; and Glacier Canyon Lodge, which features 448 upscale condominium units.
Combined, these three properties offer four indoor and four outdoor waterparks that total nearly 500,000 square feet – that’s over 12 football fields of water fun! The Territory is also home to Wild Rock Golf Club, The Woods 9-Hole Family Course; Dodge ‘Em City; Timberland Play Park, a 30,000 square-foot, four story adventure with ball blasters, slides and crawl spaces; the OK Corral Lazer Tag Arena; and The Wild Abyss and Wild Buccaneer 3-D black light mini golf courses.
Limited (VRL:AU), a publicly traded global entertainment and media company based in Melbourne, Australia, and leased the park back to that entity to operate under a long-term lease. Park operations will not be impacted by the transaction.
Nestled amid the sunny slopes, cliffs and natural beauty of West Oahu, Hawaiian Waters is
Hawaii’s only water park. The park opened in 1999 and was acquired by Village Roadshow in
2008. Covering 29 acres in West Oahu, it can accommodate 6,000 guests, making it a significant
water park by world standards. Attractions include Shaka, “the world’s wildest half-pipe;”
Volcano Express, a 5 ½ story slide where four riders race to the finish line; and the Tornado, a
130-foot tunnel with a 50-foot drop, installed by Village Roadshow last summer as part of a
multi-million dollar expansion.
Effective this summer, Village Roadshow will rebrand the park as Wet ‘n’ Wild Hawaii, and will
also open a second Wet ‘n’ Wild water park in Phoenix, Ariz.
“This transaction is a homerun for both sides,” said Byron Carlock, president and CEO of CNL
Lifestyle Properties. “Village Roadshow is a major force in the entertainment industry. We were
looking for a vibrant operating partner with which to grow our portfolio of properties. Hawaiian
Waters is exactly the kind of quality attraction we look for, where families can make lasting
memories, and we look forward to working with Village Roadshow in the future.”
Graham Burke, managing director of Village Roadshow Limited said, “CNL Lifestyle Properties is the perfect partner for us as we grow our highly successful water park business in the United
States. This transaction provides us with financial flexibility, and a partner that shares our core
values and aspirations.”
Village Roadshow, founded in 1954, is a leading international entertainment and media company with its core businesses of Theme Parks, Film Distribution, Cinema, Radio, Film Production and Music. It is best known in the United States for its Los Angeles-based movie production business, which produced films such as the Matrix trilogy, the Oceans trilogy, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Happy Feet, I Am Legend and Get Smart. The company is Australia’s largest theme park owner, with extensive holdings including: Sea World, in Queensland; Warner Bros. Movie World; Wet ‘n’ Wild Water World; the Australian Outback Spectacular; and the Sydney Aquarium, among others.
Including Hawaiian Waters, CNL Lifestyle Properties owns 25 attractions properties, making it
one of the largest regional theme park owners in the United States.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Torrance, Calif. USA, 23 March 2009 – Wildfire, Inc., the industry leader in UV (aka ultraviolet or "black light") effects, fixtures and products, announced an exclusive sales and product development agreement with Modern Masters, a leader in the decorative paint market and subsidiary of Rust-Oleum.
Effective immediately, Modern Masters will take charge of all wholesale sales and distribution of Wildfire brand paint products. The arrangement enables Wildfire and Modern Masters to combine their resources to roll out new Wildfire products, improve existing products and increase their availability to customers. Wildfire will announce two new product lines within the next few months.
“We are very pleased to announce this agreement with Modern Masters,” said Wildfire president John Berardi. “We have partnered with Modern Masters in a variety of ways over the past 18 years. We take this next step knowing that Modern Masters understands our markets as well as our paint products. Modern Masters has the foundation and global resources of its well-known parent company, yet is still run by the family that originally founded it, which allows them to provide the same high-quality, attentive and efficient customer service that Wildfire customers know and expect from us.”
“Modern Masters is totally committed to the amusement park and themed entertainment communities,” exclaimed Jim Rogers, vice president of Modern Masters. “Wildfire paints are a perfect compliment to our existing product lines, including Modern Masters Theme Paint. We look forward to working with Wildfire on developing more innovative and exciting products for these industries.”
The Wildfire team at Modern Masters includes Russell Brasher, Global Sales Manager; Neil Cody, North Eastern Regional Manager; Diana Sartor, Western Regional Manager; Mark Mattei, Mid South Regional Manager; Scott Hutchinson, Southern Regional Sales Manager; Blanca Lopez, Customer Service Supervisor; Sulie Soto, Customer Service Representative; Joe Saenz, Technical Support/Studio Manager; and Joe Saenz, Technical Support/Studio Manager.
Monday, February 16, 2009
Themed Entertainment Association Hosts Annual Industry Summit and Thea Awards Gala March 6-7 in Anaheim
TEA website: www.teaconnect.org.
Tickets for both events: http://www.teaconnect.org/boxoffice_2008-12.php
or call 818-843-8497.
2009 TEA Summit, March 6 & 7, Disneyland Hotel
The 2009 TEA Summit is a TEA members' 2-day international think-tank for the attractions industry, held March 6 & 7 at the Disneyland Hotel. Sessions are geared to identify markers of success in business and project creation, this year stressing simple survival. The keynote is “Business Survival in a Challenging Economy,” presented by Barbara Lewis, president of Centurion Consulting Group. Advance tickets are necessary for the Summit; seating is limited.
or call 818-843-8497.
The Summit schedule also includes “Emerging Opportunities in a Post-Recession Entertainment Landscape,” with Michael S. Rubin, Ph.D., MRA International, “Built to Last, How Three Companies Have Withstood the Test of Time,” a discussion with Monty Lunde (Technifex), Jack Rouse (Jack Rouse Associates) and Julie Brinkerhoff-Jacobs (Lifescapes International). In the session “So What Now?” economic analysts John Robinett (Economics Research Associates) and Dave Schmitt (Management Resources) look at the future business landscape in the UAE, India, China, Europe and North America. “Celebrating the Magic of Placemaking” will feature Robert L. Ward, recipient of this year's Thea Award for Lifetime Achievement, and Norm Newberry, who both played major roles shaping Universal Studios parks, resorts and entertainment properties.
“Project Case Studies” will focus on several current Thea Award recipients, including the 2008 Olympics Opening Ceremonies, Jungala at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, Florida, The Newseum, the National Museum of the Marine Corps, Operation Spy, an Interactive Adventure at the International Spy Museum, and the Audubon Insectarium.
15th Annual Thea Awards Gala, March 7, Disneyland Hotel
The 15th Annual Thea Awards Gala, open to the public, celebrates excellence in the creation of compelling experiences and places with a gala black-tie dinner and awards ceremony, sponsored by Economics Research Associates (ERA). Truly international in their recognition of outstanding productions, the Awards will be formally presented the evening of March 7, 2009 in the Grand Ballroom of the Disneyland Hotel.
or call 818-843-8497.
“Because the Thea Awards Gala is open to the public, it is an ideal ice-breaker for newcomers to our industry and our association,” says TEA executive director Gene Jeffers. “In this most challenging year, the Thea Awards are are a vital, international opportunity to network - to renew old acquaintances, meet new contacts, and to be seen by our industry’s top people and decision-makers.”
The Awards stand as an important acknowledgement of the outstanding achievements of the international attractions industry. The Thea Awards Nominating Committee evaluated more than 120 nominations in order to recommend the current slate of 17 Thea recipients for the prestigious award, with final approval by the TEA International Board of Directors.
Like the TEA, the Thea Awards, sponsored by Economics Research Associates, were created to bring recognition to achievement, talent and personal excellence within the themed entertainment industry. From a modest beginning in 1994, the Thea Awards have become internationally recognized as a symbol of excellence. The name of the award is a play on three words: the first is "Thea," the Greek goddess from whom all light emanates. Thea was the mother of Helios (the sun), Eos (the dawn), and Selene (the moon). The second key word is "Theater," a word derived from the goddess Thea. The third word, of course, is TEA, the name of our association.
Recipients - 15th Annual Thea Awards
Thea Lifetime Achievement Award: Robert L. Ward
Thea Classic Award: EPCOT, Walt Disney World, Orlando, FL
Thea Awards for Outstanding Achievement (AOA)
Attraction: The Simpsons Ride at Universal Studios Florida and Universal Studios Hollywood
Attraction Limited Budget: BeWILDerwood (Norwich, UK)
Attraction Limited Budget: Molenheide The Forgotten Mine (Molenheide, Belgium)
Museum: The Newseum (Washington DC, USA)
Museum: National Museum of the Marine Corps (Quantico, VA, USA)
Museum Exhibit: Operation Spy, an Interactive Adventure at the International Spy Museum, (Washington DC, USA)
Museum Exhibit, Limited Budget: Forces of Nature at Arizona Science Center (Phoenix AZ, USA)
Learning Experience: Air Force One Discovery Center at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library (Simi Valley CA, USA)
Technical: Muppet Mobile Lab (Hong Kong Disneyland, China)
Science Center: Audubon Insectarium (New Orleans LA, USA)
New Theme Park Land: Jungala at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, Florida
Event Spectacular: 2008 Olympics Opening Ceremonies (Beijing, China)
Live Show: Finding Nemo The Musical (Walt Disney World, FL, USA)
Live Show: The Legend of Mythica, Tokyo DisneySeas, Japan
Casino Attraction: Wynn Macau's Tree of Prosperity, Macau, SAR, China
Thursday, February 5, 2009
Thorburn Associates Designs AV Systems for Historic 1829 Jeffersonian Courthouse in Madison County, VA
“Like most of the judicial facilities our company has designed for, the Madison County Courthouse called for a combination of sound recording, sound reinforcement, and video display,” says Thorburn Associates' Senior Consultant Lance Sturdevant, CTS-D. “But the layout of the main courtroom here is quite different from what people generally expect. The jury box is located directly in front of the judge's bench facing into the room, and the witness stands at a podium facing the judge and jury (instead of sitting to the judge's left). Hiding the audio system components in this space was relatively simple, but video systems presented a special challenge.”
“The sightlines for projectors or other visual aids presented some unique circumstances to design around,” concurs Eric W. Amtmann, AIA, partner with Dalgliesh Gilpin Paxton, PLLC Architects, which brought Thorburn Associates onto the project. “The boilerplate solution for a courtroom didn't fit. This is Thomas Jefferson's courtroom layout and you only find it in Virginia.”
Thorburn Associates' design locates microphones for recording and speech reinforcement at the normal positions (judge, witness and counsel tables). As in all courtrooms, attorneys occasionally get up and address the jury directly. Small, surface-mounted microphones will be mounted in the railing in front of the jury box to pick up the voices of these wandering attorneys. The ability to record court sessions is also provided, via an automatic microphone mixer/DSP (digital signal processor) plus a wall-mounted audio connector.
For the video display, small, individual monitors were considered but would have cluttered the “old world” look of the Jeffersonian design. Two large, wall-mounted, flat panel displays were also proposed, but one would have blocked a new window that the architect had carefully placed near the front of the room. Thorburn Associates' ultimate design solution was a large, fixed wall-mounted projection screen at one side of the room, and a wall-mounted video projector on the opposite wall, providing very good sightlines for judge, jury and counsel tables, and for most observers in the gallery. A 23-foot high ceiling prevented a more typical, ceiling-mounted, recessed motorized projection screen.
Now under construction, the finished project will add a total 15,020 square feet to the facility's core 3,260 square feet. Thorburn Associates provided audiovisual and acoustical design for the new construction spaces as well.
“The court needs to be able to conduct proceedings that are undisturbed by noise outside of the room, and have good audio intelligibility within the room,” notes Amtmann. Thorburn Associates' design includes ADA hearing assist systems and sound-dampening material that simulates the look of a plaster ceiling, plus suggestions for mounting equipment and insulating ductwork. Thorburn Associates will oversee and approve the installation of these systems when they take place near the end of the construction phase.
“Thorburn Associates was very adept at meeting our particular design needs on this unique and challenging project,” testifies Amtmann. “There are all kinds of things you encounter in an historic courtroom project and you need to do things in a sensitive way. They were successful in that, proposing various options for how to make things work. They were good at staying within the budget, too: We had a contract and they followed it.”
“This has been a remarkable project and we look forward to seeing the finished result,” says Thorburn Associates Principal Steven J. Thorburn, PE, CTS-D, CTS-I. “As audiovisual technology system consultants, we often have to wait two or three years for our designs to come to fruition. We believe that this particular courtroom project will be worth the wait.”
Thursday, January 8, 2009
Feb 13: The Living Building
presented by Metropolis magazine and Coalesse
"The Living Building" is a by-invitation event for the design community, focusing on the professional teamwork that created this breakthrough facility. This panel discussion takes place Feb 13 at the Academy. It is presented by Metropolis magazine and Coalesse, and the discussion will be led by Metropolis editor-in-chief Susan Szenasy. Katz is joined on the panel by Brett Terpeluk of Studio Terpeluk (architecture), Paul Kephart of Rana Creek (ecological design), and Jean Rogers of Arup (design & engineering). More info: visit www.coalesse.com or phone 866-645-6952.
Feb 27: Exhibitions: Experimentation, Risk & Reward
presented by the California Association of Museums
With the exhibits "Altered State," (executive produced by Katz) the Academy took an authoritative stance on the issue of climate change. The panel discussion, "Exhibitions: Experimentation, Risk and Reward," held Feb 27 at the Hotel Kabuki in San Francisco, will address, from the museum operator's viewpoint, the rewards and challenges of experimentation and risk-taking - daring to try something new in a community that is traditionally risk-averse. It is moderated by Ann Marshall of the Autry National Museum. With Katz on the panel are Kitty Connolly and Karina White of The Huntington Library and Jonathan Spaulding of the Autry. This session is part of the California Association of Museums Annual Conference running Feb 25-28. More info: www.calmuseums.org.
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
indoor waterpark at the Wilderness at the Smokies Resort.
The SCS structure that is featured in Wild WaterDome is a customized attraction called, “Washout Mountain” The wilderness themed structure integrates perfectly with the rest of the waterpark and its wide variety of interactives allows for a new experience each time you enter the structure.
“Washout Mountain is an asset to the park because it appeals to guests of all ages. The entire family can enjoy themselves as they climb in and around the structure and since this structure is in our indoor park, this attraction will draw people all year, no matter the weather.” says Joe Eck, director of sales and marketing for Wilderness Resort.
The structure has 10 climbable decks and two slides and is topped with a memorable 752 gallon tipping bucket that continually draws in a crowd. Come ready to get wet!
“It is always a pleasure working with Wilderness Resorts and this latest SCS attraction is sure to add an extra element of interactivity to the Wild WaterDome. SCS is happy to continually be able to provide Wilderness Resorts with great family attractions and we look forward to working with them again in the near future.” stated Bryan Merritt, president of SCS Interactive.
SCS partnered with the slide manufacturer, ProSlide, to complete this structure and worked with Aquatic Development Group, the park designers, to integrate its custom-themed waterfort with the resort’s overall theme. Other attractions at Wild WaterDome are; a see-through roof that allows for year-round tanning, a wave pool where you can ride the swelling waves in your Wilderness tube and the Smokies surf ride which combines the thrills and skills of surfing, skateboarding and snowboarding all in a wet, wild and (best of all) safe environment.