Monday, February 28, 2011

Minnesota History Center and Risdall McKinney Public Relations Join Forces to Celebrate 1968

Robert F. Kennedy sitting in the Cabinet Room at the White House, Washington, DC. Jan. 1964. Courtesy LBJ Library. Photo by Yoichi R. Okamoto.
NEW BRIGHTON, Minn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--After developing an award-winning campaign for the Minnesota launch of the “Vatican Splendors” exhibit in 2009, Risdall McKinney Public Relations (RMPR) and the Minnesota History Center are once again joining forces – this time for the national launch of the much anticipated “1968 Exhibit.”

An ambitious, multimedia project, “The 1968 Exhibit” explores how the events of the year fueled a persistent, if often contradictory sense of identity for the people who were there, defined a generation and changed the world. 

What’s really striking about the discussion surrounding the events of 1968 are the parallels to today. From the war in Iraq to same-sex marriage, we are experiencing some of the most significant changes in our country now, just like they were in ’68 which makes this exhibit incredibly relevant to every generation. 

Developed by the Minnesota History Center, in partnership with the Atlanta History Center, the Chicago History Museum and the Oakland Museum of California, “The 1968 Exhibit” will begin its national tour in St. Paul, Minn. in October 2011. This exhibit is going to be the largest exhibit that the Minnesota History Center has developed to date.

RMPR will be working with the Minnesota History Center to identify and connect with online and offline influencers, encourage “Share your Story” contributions for the website, cultivate spokespeople, develop partnerships, launch a national media relations initiative, coordinate behind-the-scenes publicity opportunities and connect the Minnesota History Center with potential sponsors. 

“‘Vatican Splendors’ was the largest and most highly-attended exhibit that the Minnesota History Center has ever seen and we were thrilled to be a part of that success,” said Rose McKinney, president of RMPR. “This exhibit will evolve the reputation for the History Center as a significant exhibit developer and partner with a nationwide network of museums.” 

About Risdall McKinney Public Relations
Risdall McKinney Public Relations, a division of Risdall Marketing Group, LLC, is an integrated, marketing-oriented PR agency headquartered in New Brighton, Minn.  

The Henry Ford Selects SIGMA as Marketing Partner

Montage of exhibit images from The Henry Ford
ROCHESTER, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--SIGMA Marketing Group announced that it has been retained by The Henry Ford to help build stronger relationships with current and prospective members, using data-driven insights and advanced marketing technology to develop a comprehensive member engagement plan. 

SIGMA will partner with The Henry Ford to develop insights about key member and visitor groups to understand how well the attraction’s membership communications serve their needs. Building from these insights, SIGMA will work with The Henry Ford to develop new strategies which will enable more personalized communications and lay the groundwork for innovative programs in the future. 

SIGMA will also support The Henry Ford as they assess which combination of marketing automation and database technology can best empower and transform their future marketing efforts. 

“At The Henry Ford we are trying to make sure our members have the most outstanding experience every day, and SIGMA stood out for their focus on using valuable customer insights to make our member communications more relevant, effective and cost-efficient -- helping us find just the right innovative mix of technology to serve our members and improve the ways we engage with our membership over time.” said Betty Speyer, team leader for membership at The Henry Ford. “They will be a partner through every step of the process as we fine-tune our efforts and investments in building great member relationships.”

About The Henry Ford
The Henry Ford, in Dearborn, Michigan, is a National Historic Landmark that celebrates American history and innovation. Five distinct attractions at The Henry Ford draw more than 1.5 million visitors annually: Henry Ford Museum, Greenfield Village, The Ford Rouge Factory Tour, The Benson Ford Research Center and The Henry Ford IMAX Theatre. 

About SIGMA Marketing Group
SIGMA Marketing helps clients like Xerox, Nationwide, AAA and Citizens Bank engage with their customers through Analytics + Strategy + Technology with direct and digital solutions that focus on multichannel marketing strategies, data and technology integration, web analytics and sales enablement. 

Top Ten IPM News Stories in February 2011

Presented in descending order, ranked by number of page views.

9. Allure of the Seas cruise ship from Royal Caribbean features 3D cinema

8. Much-anticipated Dr Who Experience Opens in London

5. Visual Effects Society honors King Kong 360 3D (Universal Studios) with VES Award

4. Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen presents "Titanic - The Exhibition" April-December 2011

3. PGAV's Georgia Aquarium Dolphin Expansion lands “Best Cultural Project” 2010 Award from Southeast Construction Magazine 

1. 4D cinema experience, "Splash Cinema," designed specially for waterparks by Kraftwerk and Polin

Harold Mayne-Nicholls to Deliver Insight Into Qatar's Successful bid to host 2022 FIFA World Cup

DUBAI, UAE, February 28, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Since securing the 2022 FIFA World Cup(TM), Qatar has generated a great deal of international intrigue and attention. How can this tiny Gulf state deliver a monumental FIFA World Cup, although much larger countries with existing sporting infrastructure sought to win the Bid to host one of the most sought after global sporting events? Qatar has pledged to design and construct nine new fully enclosed, air conditioned stadiums as well as retrofit three existing stadiums. 

Harold Mayne-Nicholls, head of FIFA's Inspection group closely examined every aspect of each bidding nation's proposals to generate the Bid Evaluation Reports. The reports cover everything from the hosting concept itself to sustainable social and human development, stadiums, safety and security.  

Mayne-Nicholls will deliver an exclusive keynote presentation on this bid report at Stadium and Venue Design and Development Qatar taking place 22-26 May 2011 in Doha, Qatar and organized by IQPC.

At the same event, Danny Jordaan, CEO, FIFA 2010 South Africa World Cup Organising Committee will present a case study on learning how to plan stadium developments for global sporting events; and Axel Beinhaus of architecture firm Albert Speer and Partners will speak on Qatar's stadiums of the future. 

About IQPC
IQPC produces more than 1,700 business events and conferences annually around the world. Founded in 1973, IQPC now has offices in major cities across six continents including: Bengaluru, Berlin, Dubai, London, New York, Sao Paulo, Singapore, Sydney, and Toronto. IQPC leverages a global research base of best practices to produce an unrivalled portfolio of conferences.

Kathryn Shubert Joins Disney Institute as Regional Sales Manager for Chicago

Kathryn Shubert. (PRNewsFoto/Disney Institute)
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., Feb. 28, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Disney Institute announced today that Kathryn Shubert has joined the company as regional sales manager for Chicago. In this role, Shubert will be responsible for cultivating relationships with Illinois and Wisconsin companies interested in developing or enhancing a corporate culture that is focused on leadership, customer service, innovation and creativity.  

Shubert joins Disney Institute from Better Communications in Boston where she was sales vice president. Prior to that position, Shubert worked for Ninth House, a blended leadership, learning and development company based in San Francisco.  She also served as regional vice president for Wilson Learning, where she created the Pharmaceutical Practice Group. 

Shubert began her career at Pfizer Pharmaceuticals, where she worked in sales, management and sales training. "Kate brings a wealth of experience and much passion to her new role," says Kevin Harry, managing sales director for Disney Institute. "We're thrilled to have her join our team." Shubert was awarded a Bachelor of Science degree from Eastern Illinois University in Theatre and Speech in 1973. She is based in Chicago.

Disney Institute, the professional development and consulting arm of The Walt Disney Company, draws on more than 80 years of experience in a variety of industries, including hospitality, entertainment, and food and beverage. The company offers engaging seminars, workshops and presentations, as well as fully customized programming in the areas of leadership, people management, quality service, brand loyalty and innovation/creativity. 

Programs are available at client locations in cities around the world, or at Disney destinations in the Americas, Europe and Asia, enabling participants to go behind the scenes and see firsthand how business theory drives operational excellence. Private, customized programs blend the unique strengths and challenges of the client with best practices from The Walt Disney Company for a targeted, effective message that can be easily and quickly adapted to individual organizations.

The Disney Institute client roster includes Fortune 500 companies as well as a wide range of small businesses, non-profits and government agencies.  To learn more about Disney Institute, visit

Nordstrom and Disney Celebrate 45th Anniversary of 'it's a small world' With Kid's Fashion Apparel and Accessories Collection

Photo: Disney Consumer Products
SEATTLE, USA Feb. 28, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Nordstrom and Disney Consumer Products (DCP) will celebrate the 45th anniversary of the beloved 'it's a small world' attraction at Disneyland® park with a whimsical collection of stylish children's apparel, accessories and footwear beginning today.  The collection is inspired by world-renowned Disney artist Mary Blair's original mid-century artwork created for the attraction, and by Walt Disney's belief that we are united in our love of children and our dreams of a better tomorrow.

Four seasonal collections for newborns, infants and toddlers will hit Nordstrom stores nationwide and throughout 2011, each delivery representing an individual country: 'Japanese Spring' launches the line on February 28, followed by 'Indian Summer' in June, 'Scottish Fall' for September, and 'Russian Holiday' in November.  Each collection includes items priced from $18 to $169 from collaborators such as Petunia Pickle Bottom, TOMS Shoes, FEED, Trumpette, Baby Nay and Mighty Fine.

"When Disney shared Blair's original artwork with us from its archives, we were excited about how well it would translate into quality merchandise," said John Hunt, Nordstrom merchandise manager for infants and toddlers.  "We hope our customers will love this art-driven collection as much as we do."

In 1964, Walt Disney introduced a nine-minute boat ride– It's a Small World - a Salute to UNICEF– dedicated to children around the world at the 1964 New York World's Fair.  In 1966, the attraction opened at Disneyland and today continues to carry guests past familiar miniature scenes of world's monuments, animals, birds and children all singing and dancing to the unified tune of "it's a small world."  Among all of Disney's theme parks, there is not a moment of the day the song is not played.

"Our creative team here at Disney Consumer Products has always been inspired by the original Small World art and wanted to draw upon the magical story, prints and patterns, and diverse iconography to create this design-driven contemporary children's collection that brings beauty, meaning and the legacy of 'it's a small world,'" said Robert Oberschelp, director, Disney Collections, DCP.  "This collection is especially great for gift-giving and keepsakes as the story of Walt Disney's 'it's a small world' is truly timeless."

To give back, Nordstrom and Disney are teaming with TOMS Shoes and FEED Projects to offer philanthropic pieces in the collection.  TOMS Shoes will give a pair of new shoes to a child in need, while FEED Projects Small World items will benefit UNICEF, which was the ride's original 1964 beneficiary.  Funds raised from the sales of FEED's collection of items will enable UNICEF to provide vitamin supplements to children in need.  FEED Projects Co-Founder and CEO Lauren Bush will also make a special appearance to help promote the collection at Nordstrom at The Grove in Los Angeles on Wednesday, February 16 from 3:30- 5 p.m.

Customers can receive a collectable, limited-edition lithograph of Mary Blair's artwork each season with any purchase from the line (one per customer, while supplies last).  There will also be special Disney character artists drawing at Nordstrom Downtown Seattle on March 19, Nordstrom Pleasanton (Pleasanton, Calif.) on March 20, Nordstrom Oakbrook Center (Oakbrook, Ill.) on March 26 and Nordstrom NorthPark Center (Dallas) on March 27.  Further information on in-store events is available at

About Nordstrom
Nordstrom, Inc. is one of the nation's leading fashion specialty retailers, with 204 stores located in 28 states.  Founded in 1901 as a shoe store in Seattle, today Nordstrom operates 115 full-line stores, 86 Nordstrom Racks, two Jeffrey boutiques and one clearance store.  Nordstrom also serves customers through its online presence at and through its catalogs.  Nordstrom, Inc. is publicly traded on the NYSE under the symbol JWN.

About Disney Consumer Products
Disney Consumer Products (DCP) is the business segment of The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS) and its affiliates that extends the Disney brand to merchandise ranging from apparel, toys, home decor and books and magazines to foods and beverages, stationery, electronics and fine art. This is accomplished through DCP's various lines of business which include: Disney Toys, Disney Fashion & Home and Disney Food, Health & Beauty. Other businesses involved in Disney's consumer products sales are Disney Publishing Worldwide, the world's largest publisher of children's books and magazines, and www.DisneyStore.comand, the company's official shopping portals. The Disney Stores retail chain, which debuted in 1987, is owned and operated by Disney in North America, Europe, and Japan

Sunday, February 27, 2011

March 2011: Cluster of themed entertainment industry events in Los Angeles and San Diego

Thea Awards trophy (Themed Entertainment Association)

Society for Environmental Graphic Design Conference+Expo+Awards June 1-4 in Montreal

Message from SEGD, the Society for Environmental Graphic Design, about the SEGD conference in Montreal, 1-4 June 2011:

"For the first international SEGD Conference+Expo+Awards, speakers from around the world and from diverse disciplines will discuss how the integration of science, technology, academia, new media, innovative approaches, and concepts can influence design, and how design communicates this to the world. 

The perfect setting for a conversation on diversity is Montreal, a city that has embraced it throughout its history. A multicultural and cosmopolitan city, it showcases the beauty of diversity and reflects our conference theme, 'Vive La Diversité – Designing the Difference.'"

Speakers include:
  • Renée Daoust, Daoust Lestage 
  • Ramtin Attar, Autodesk Research 
  • Ruedi Baur, Integral Concept 
  • Brian Edwards, Edwards Technologies, Inc. 
  • Marie-Josée Frigon, Trafic Design 
  • David Gibson, Two Twelve 
  • Edwin Hofmann, Limited Brands 
  • Gregory Neely, Forge Media + Design Inc. 
  • Tony Reich, Reich + Petch 
  • Ana Serrano, CFC Media Lab 
  • Andreas Uebele, Büro Uebele Visuelle Kommunikation 
  • Mark VanderKlipp, Corbin Design
  • Garth Walker, Mister Walker Design
Related items from IPM News:

American Society of Landscape Architects 2011 annual meeting set for San Diego Oct 30-Nov 2

The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) will hold its 2011 Annual Meeting and EXPO October 30-November 2 in San Diego at the San Diego Convention Center. The theme of the meeting is "Landscape Architecture Rising: Knowledge Vision Leadership."

More than 6,000 attendees are expected and the meeting will feature a diverse spectrum of industry experts speaking on sustainability and design. Over 135 education sessions and field sessions will be presented during the meeting, providing attendees with the opportunity to earn up to 21 professional development hours under the Landscape Architecture Continuing Education System (LA CES).  

Many of the sessions will also qualify for continuing education credit with the Green Building Certification Institute (toward LEED AP credential maintenance), the American Institute of Architects, the American Institute of Certified Planners, and other allied professional organizations and state registration boards.

The 2010 Annual Meeting and EXPO in Washington, D.C., featured over 450 exhibits as well as 125 education sessions for the 5,465 registered attendees – the second largest attendance in ASLA history.

Ocean Park Hong Kong celebrates 100 millionth guest

Sea Life Carousel, Ocean Park Hong Kong
HONG KONG -- Ocean Park’s one hundred millionth guest since inception walked through the Park’s new entrance on 18 February 2011 to a welcoming party headed by Dr. Allan Zeman, Chairman of Ocean Park, who was accompanied by Whiskers and a group of exuberant performers. The history-making guest, Mr Leung Wai-man, was visiting the Park with his wife, two sons and relatives from Hangzhou, China. Not only is the attendance achievement a new milestone for both Ocean Park and Hong Kong, it is also a testament to their status as enduring international travel destinations. Having grown up with the community over the past 34 years, Ocean Park has seen its number of rides, shows and attractions grow from 12 to over 53 (and still growing), the number of animal ambassadors double, with a vastly wider variety of species, and its staff count expand from 300 to 1500. At today’s celebration, Dr. Zeman recognized 20 long-service staff members, who shared a number of touching stories from their over 34 years of service.

Dr. Zeman said, “I would like to thank the people of Hong Kong and visitors from around the world, the Government of Hong Kong and Hong Kong Tourism Board, as well as the Park’s dedicated staff for helping make this remarkable attendance achievement possible. Looking back, we can see that Park attendance grew steadily with an over 2.6 times increase in guest volume in the first 25 years, from 1.3 million in 1977 to 3.4 million in 1992. Excitement and attendance started climbing sharply, exceeding 5 million in 2007/08 and 2009/10, a few years after we embarked on our Master Redevelopment Plan (MRP) in anticipation of the demand for the unique combination of conservation advocacy and top-notch theme park experiences that Ocean Park offers. From what used to be almost exclusively a local attraction, the guest mix today is 60% from overseas and 40% local, which demonstrates Ocean Park’s appeal as an international attraction and destination.”

Mr Philip Yung Wai-hung, JP, Commissioner for Tourism, said, “Over the past 34 years, Ocean Park has shown to the world Hong Kong’s tireless spirit of self-betterment and put on display the wonderful support Hong Kong has received from tourists from around the globe. With this achievement of 100 million in attendance, Ocean Park has marked a new chapter in the history of Hong Kong’s tourism industry."

Mr Anthony Lau, Executive Director of the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB), congratulated Ocean Park on receiving its 100 millionth visitor. Mr Lau said, “This is such an important milestone for Hong Kong’s tourism.  As one of Hong Kong’s most visited tourist attractions, Ocean Park brings together elements of entertainment, education and conservation. Through these years, the park has enjoyed huge popularity among visitors from the Mainland , as well as short- and long-haul markets, especially among the family segment. With the completion of new facilities at the attraction, the HKTB will join hands with the Park to strengthen promotions, attracting more visitors and further enhancing the city’s appeal as a family destination.” 

For staff members who have been working at the Park since before it first opened in 1977, their most significant memories almost always revolve around special relationships they form while serving guests. Mr. Chan Cheuk-wai, for instance, has advanced from being a cable car operator to a cable car engineer over the years. He has kept even his uniform from some 20 years ago, which "Wai Gor” (nickname of Mr. Chan Cheuk-wai) proudly displayed at today’s celebration. He said, “One of my most memorable experiences working at Ocean Park occurred when we helped a quadriplegic guest from Malaysia, who was in a wheelchair, enjoy a ride on our cable car. We had to halt the system and took special care to get him in and out of the cable car cabin. It made me really proud to be a member of the Ocean Park family when he thanked us personally on his visit in the following yearfor going well beyond what any other theme park had ever done to ensure he had a unique and enjoyable experience.” Two guest relation staff members also took the stage to recount how the Park, during annual maintenance, drained the Raging River attraction to help a newlywed woman from Singapore find her wedding ring, which slipped off her finger during the thrill ride. The “rescue operation” has since become a favourite story of dedication and service among Park staff in the different departments involved in the incident.

For helping Ocean Park reach the attendance milestone of 100 million guests, the entire Leung family received lifetime VIP Passes to Ocean Park. They and their visiting relatives also enjoyed a behind-the-scenes tour of the Grand Aquarium and a sumptuous meal at Neptune’s Restaurant, the Park’s newest and most dramatic restaurant experience, overlooking the Grand Aquarium main gallery window.

Dr. Zeman added, “It is truly remarkable that Ocean Park has connected 100 million guests with nature and delivered conservation messages to them over all these years. With even more new attractions and animal exhibits to open under our MRP in the next two years, Ocean Park is set to extend its legacy by welcoming the next one hundred million guests in the coming years.”

New ULI Report, Urban Investment Opportunities of Global Events, Looks at Impact of International Events on Growth in European Cities

LONDON -- Cities in Europe are increasingly vying for major international entertainment or sporting events as a way to expedite development and investment that will provide an economic boost lasting far beyond the actual events, according to a new report from the Urban Land Institute (ULI), a global research and education institute dedicated to responsible land use and innovative community building.

Urban Investment Opportunities of Global Events examines the experience of European cities that have already hosted international events, are preparing to host such events, or are considering whether such events can be effective for their own development. The case studies: Barcelona (Summer Olympics 1992), Paris (FIFA World Cup 1998), Lisbon (EXPO 1998), Turin (Winter Olympics 2006), London (Summer Olympics 2012), Glasgow (Commonwealth Games 2014), Milan (EXPO 2015), and Amsterdam (Summer Olympics bid, 2028). The report was published by ULI Europe, which serves ULI’s members throughout Europe.

Urban Investment Opportunities is based on the conclusions of a workshop sponsored earlier this year by ULI’s Urban Investment Network, established by the Institute’s operations in Europe. The network, developed in collaboration with leading European cities, institutions and private sector organizations, aims to foster an ongoing dialogue between public- and private- sector leaders on ways to bridge investment gaps and overcome urban development challenges. The purpose of the workshop was to explore the conditions under which international events can catalyze public and private investment in cities, and whether such events are relevant in the current economic environment as a means to attract investment into Europe’s cities.

The report points to multiple advantages gained by the city and nation hosting an international event:

  • The infrastructure and amenity requirements of the event are also useful for the city before and after the event;
  • The boost in tourism is beneficial on its own, and it leads to other types of investment and trade opportunities;
  • The land redevelopment required to host the facilities can spark regeneration of difficult sites and is also a stimulus for development planning, site assembly and preparation and property and land investment overall;
  • The global media exposure of an event allows a city or nation to reposition its identity and image to international markets, as in showcasing new niches, recent improvements and little-known assets;
  • The scale of the effort required and the fixed nature of the deadlines mandate project management efficiency. This often leads to institutional innovation and improved governance and collaboration; and
  • The international and inter-governmental commitments made to win the event have the effect of “locking in” investment planning to protect it from being cast aside by other priorities.
“Hosting international events can act as a catalyst or stimulus to shape and develop an urban investment market for several business cycles once an event has been awarded to a city,” the report says. “This means that almost all events will have an impact on urban land and property markets, infrastructure, planning and land use. In many cases these impacts will be direct and immediate, but in other cases they will be indirect and will take place over time as business cycles play and out and development cycles work through available sites to expand market geographies.”

The report points out that few cities are able to fully maximize the longer-term benefits of hosting a major event because stimulus effects may stretch over several business cycles, and have uneven geographic benefits related to proximity of neighborhoods to the infrastructure related to the event. “A key variable is the capability of the actors and managers in securing the optimum impact through focused and careful alignment of the event and its amenities with the long-term development requirements of the city.”

Urban Investment Opportunities of Global Events includes ten principles for using global events to attract urban investment: 

  • Pick the right event. Different events offer distinctive legacies; it is essential to pick the event that will provide the legacy the city needs.
  • Focus on the legacy from the start. The investment in legacy and post-event uses of land, infrastructure, and amenities is best achieved when it is seen as a concurrent activity with event bidding and hosting, not as an activity that comes at the end of a sequence.
  • Deliberately shape the investment market, in terms of the infrastructure planned, amenities defined, longer-term uses of land, and the mix of neighborhoods and districts, and the future population mix.
  • Minimize the risk associated with the projects and portfolios related to the event to maximize investor interest.
  • Plan for the regional impact from the start by having greater clarity about the regional purpose of the event.
  • Plan in advance for the additional investment that will be needed to reconfigure the infrastructure, land and amenities for post-event uses.
  • Require the use of sustainable construction and minimal waste in terms of re-use of sites, land, materials and buildings.
  • Have a clear and compelling legacy and benefits story ready for the media, including post-event investment as a critical element.
  • Host continued international activities and events and to continue marketing efforts to retain and build interest in the post-event investment.
  • Successful hosting is essential for a successful legacy – the “halo effect” only works if the event is successful.
About the Urban Land Institute
The Urban Land Institute is a global nonprofit education and research institute supported by its members. Its mission is to provide leadership in the responsible use of land and in creating and sustaining thriving communities worldwide. Established in 1936, the Institute has nearly 30,000 members representing all aspects of land use and development disciplines, including more than 2,300 members in Western and Eastern Europe. 

RFP For New Inner Harbor Attractions issued by Baltimore Development Corp (BDC) - April 8 deadline

Baltimore, Maryland USA – The Baltimore Development Corporation (BDC), under its Inner Harbor Coordinator function, and on behalf of the City of Baltimore, today issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for New Inner Harbor Attractions.

Baltimore’s Inner Harbor has become a centerpiece of Baltimore City, gaining international recognition as a world-class waterfront.  Nearly 15 million visitors visit the Inner Harbor annually, making it one of the premier destinations for visitors and local residents in the Baltimore metropolitan area and the State of Maryland.  With its panoramic views of cityscapes and waterways, Baltimore’s Inner Harbor is home to numerous restaurants, retailers, and the City’s premier tourist attractions, including the National Aquarium, the Maryland Science Center, the USS Constellation and other historic vessels.

BDC is seeking written proposals from qualified respondents for the operation of new attractions meant to provide high quality amusement, entertainment, educational, cultural and other positive experiences – outdoors at the Inner Harbor – for visitors of all ages, incomes, abilities and disabilities.

BDC is looking for attractions that will draw visitors to the Inner Harbor and contribute to their enjoyment.  The attractions may involve active participation by the public in physical movement or travel and may include water features.  Attractions must be open, at a minimum, to the public during Baltimore’s peak tourist season of April 1 through October 31 (with the exception of blackout dates identified by the City).

New attractions must not interfere or restrict the public’s access to the promenade at the water’s edge, pedestrian bridges and other walkways; and must not interfere with the operations of existing vendors currently under various licensing or lease agreements with the City.

BDC is especially interested in attractions that would be ready in 2011, but all proposals under this RFP must be open and ready to operate no later than June 1, 2012. Respondents should not anticipate any City or public funds to underwrite start-up costs or on-going business expenses of the attraction.

A copy of the RFP can be downloaded from BDC’s website at All proposals, accompanied by a $250.00 non-refundable fee, are due by 12 noon on Friday, April 8, 2011 at the offices of the Baltimore Development Corporation.

Friday, February 25, 2011


-- Amended Facility Expected to Deliver Annualized Interest Savings of Approximately $18 Million

SANDUSKY, OHIO, February 25, 2011 – Cedar Fair Entertainment Company (NYSE: FUN), a leader in regional amusement parks, water parks and active entertainment, today announced that it has amended its senior secured term debt facility dated July 29, 2010, on terms reflective of the recently improving conditions in the credit market, as well as the Company’s strong performance and favorable outlook for 2011 and beyond.

“This amendment is the latest step in the ongoing management of our capital structure to provide financial flexibility along with sustained and growing value for our unitholders,” said Dick Kinzel, Cedar Fair’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “The rate reduction alone offers us an annualized cash interest savings of approximately $18 million at today’s interest rate levels.”

Kinzel noted that the refinancing also is a testament of the Company’s relationship with its lenders, who continue to be strong supporters of Cedar Fair.

Under the new lending arrangements, interest rates have been reduced, certain covenants modified and the maturity extended one year to December 2017. Interest rates on the senior secured term debt facility decreased to LIBOR plus 300 basis points with a LIBOR floor of 1%. This represents a 1.5% improvement over the previous rates of LIBOR plus 400 basis points with a LIBOR floor of 1.5%. The amendment also improved the Company’s flexibility surrounding distribution payments. In 2011 the general distribution basket has been increased to $60 million from $20 million. This basket will revert back to $20 million beginning in 2012, while the parameters surrounding the excess cash flow sweep have been widened for 2012 and beyond. The customary affirmative and financial covenants remain unchanged.

“We continue to follow our balanced approach which consists of capital investment in our world class parks, along with the prudent management of our cash flow for sustainable and growing distributions and debt reduction. It is our goal to distribute $1.00 per unit in distributions in 2011, provided we achieve our 2011 free cash flow expectations,” concluded Kinzel.

About Cedar Fair
Cedar Fair is a publicly traded partnership headquartered in Sandusky, Ohio, and one of the largest regional amusement-resort operators in the world. The Company owns and operates 11 amusement parks, six outdoor water parks, one indoor water park and five hotels. Amusement parks in the Company’s northern region include two in Ohio: Cedar Point, consistently voted “Best Amusement Park in the World” in Amusement Today polls and Kings Island; as well as Canada’s Wonderland, near Toronto; Dorney Park, PA; Valleyfair, MN; and Michigan’s Adventure, MI. In the southern region are Kings Dominion, VA; Carowinds, NC; and Worlds of Fun, MO. Western parks in California include: Knott’s Berry Farm; California’s Great America; and Gilroy Gardens, which is managed under contract. 

“Beyond All Boundaries” to receive top industry honor: a Thea Award from the Themed Entertainment Association

“Beyond All Boundaries,” the new multi-sensory cinematic experience at The National World War II Museum in New Orleans, was selected to receive a prestigious Thea Award by the Themed Entertainment Association. Tom Hanks served as executive producer and narrator for the 4-D presentation, which was commissioned by The National WWII Museum. Concept, design and production were led by The Hettema Group and their creative design team in conjunction with Museum staff and top historians.

“We are honored to share this award with the museum, and especially Gordon “Nick” Mueller, president and CEO of The National World War II Museum, whose bold vision first launched “Beyond All Boundaries” in our imaginations,” said Phil Hettema, President and Creative Executive, The Hettema Group. “We’re proud to have played a role in bringing that vision to life.”

“What the audience sees in front of them really happened,” says Mueller. “Be it digital animation, a celebrity voiceover in the first person, or actual historical video and audio, visitors can’t get any closer to the actual war experience than inside The Solomon Victory Theater.”

The challenge was to tell the story of World War II in a dramatic new way that would resonate with audiences of all ages.

“In order to capture the imagination of the younger generation, we used state-of-the-art technology and special theatrical effects to create an immersive, emotional experience,” said Hettema. “For older Americans, we absolutely made sure we got it right,” he added, “by working with leading historians, doing extensive research, utilizing archival photographs and footage, and ultimately paying homage by telling the story in the very words of those who were there.”

The five-year project incorporates state-of-the-art special effects immersing the audience in a unique cinematic experience. With life-sized props, animation, and atmospherics, as well as archival footage and sound effects, audiences feel the tank treads rumbling across North Africa’s deserts, brush snow from their cheeks during the wintry Battle of the Bulge, and flinch at anti-aircraft fire as it tries to bring down a B-17 on a bombing run over Nazi Germany.

Since 1994, the Thea Awards have become internationally recognized as a symbol of excellence and achievement within the themed entertainment industry. Significantly, the Thea Awards honor the vision and dedication of project owners while also recognizing the vital work of talented designers, technicians, vendors and suppliers who realize the vision.

The Thea Awards will be presented on March 12, 2011, in a sold-out event at the 17th Annual Thea Awards Gala, at the Globe Theatre, Universal Studios, Hollywood. Additional event information is available at

The Hettema Group, located in Pasadena, California, specializes in creative design, production and architecture for the world of experiential entertainment including museums, visitor centers, theme parks, and resort destinations. For more information:

The National World War II Museum tells the story of the American Experience in the war that changed the world – why it was fought, how it was won, and what it means today. Dedicated in 2000 as The National D-Day Museum and now designated by Congress as America’s National World War II Museum, it celebrates the American Spirit, the teamwork, optimism, courage and sacrifice of the men and women who fought on the battlefront and served on the Home Front.
Twitter: WWIImuseum and on Facebook

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Wizarding World of Harry Potter to receive four Thea Awards March 12

Hogwarts Castle at night at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter attraction, Universal Orlando Resort. Photo: Universal Studios.
The Themed Entertainment Association holds its 17th Annual Thea Awards Gala in Los Angeles on March 12. Among the projects being honored for excellence is the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Resort, which is receiving four Awards for Outstanding Achievement, in the following categories:
  • New Theme Park Land
  • Technical Achievement
  • Feature Attraction
  • Thematic Integration of Retail, Food & Beverage
From TEA's Thea Awards Committee:
"Everyone from J K Rowling on down was intent to deliver a world that could hold up to intense scrutiny of rabid Potter fans. From the minute detail of windows displaying chocolate frogs - pulled from Rowling’s writings, to larger spaces detailing the likes of the Hog’s Head Pub, Ollivanders Wand Shop, or the Owl Post. At the other extreme is the jaw dropping grand overview of Hogsmeade Village and the imposing edifice of Hogwarts Castle draped in a mantle of winter white. Somehow, it has all been magically transported to steamy Central Florida. These environments on their own have achieved a level of believability that moves fans emotionally. It is not so much replicative architecture as it is the storytelling of magical places, times and feelings, made real by “inhabitants” sharing their magical trappings, habits and foods. Suspension of disbelief in the film version requires massive doses of celluloid trickery to complete the illusion. Come to Orlando and inhabit for a time, a real magical world, just an exit removed from Interstate 4." 

TEA will spotlight a number of this year's Thea Awards recipients - including Beyond All Boundaries (National World War II Museum), Flynn Lives and Disney's World of Color at the annual TEA Summit, Day Two, in Los Angeles. Registration is $85 for this full day of industry project profiles with the people from behind the scenes.

Giant Screen Cinema Assn Film Expo March 8-9 Los Angeles and Dome Day March 10 in San Diego

Message from the Giant Screen Cinema Association about its upcoming Film Expo and Dome Day, March 8-10 in Los Angeles and San Diego:

Film Expo 2011
Tuesday, March 8–Wednesday, March 9

Rave Motion Pictures IMAX (formerly The Bridge)
Los Angeles, CA
Dome Day
Thursday, March 10
Reuben H. Fleet Science Center
San Diego, CA

GSCA's 10 Reasons to Attend the Film Expo

10. California sunshine
Snow, sleet, rain, gray skies…it’s been a tough winter, and it’s not a crime to get a healthy dose of vitamin D while you’re working.
9. Event rate hotel discount
A luxury hotel room in Los Angeles for $124? That’s a great rate. We know budgets are tight, so we work hard to negotiate the best deals possible for our delegates. And you deserve fluffy pillows when you’re away from home.
8. Airfare and Rental Car Discounts
We’ve negotiated discounts at Avis Rent-a-Car and American Airlines for GSCA Film Expo attendees. Like we said, we know budgets are tight, and every little bit helps.
7. Committee Meetings
Okay, "committee meetings" doesn't sound exciting, but they are very important. GSCA committees help determine the direction of the association. Participate on a committee and take part in shaping our future. Plus, breakfast is provided.
6. Dome Day
Films look different on the dome screen than they do on the flat screen. It’s a fact of giant screen life. Come to the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center on March 10 to see how new films and films in production will look on your dome.
5. First-timer discount
GSCA is offering a $225 registration discount to member first-time attendees. Even if you’re not a first-timer, bring a colleague who is. The Film Expo is a great opportunity to introduce someone to the industry and GSCA.
4. Technical session
You asked for a technical session at the Film Expo, and we heard you. We’re taking advantage of (in a good way) the technical resources in Los Angeles so you can learn more about 3D cameras, laser technology, integrated media systems, and digital theater considerations. Descriptions of the presentations can be found here.
3. Films in Production
Wondering what to book at your theater in the next few years? Come take a look at what’s in the pipeline. Where else will you find air racers, animal babies, dragons, mountain climbers, flying monsters, sharks, lightning flashes, pirates, time travel, polar bears, coral reefs, outer space, butterflies, whales, dinosaurs, oceans, disaster responders, and the crossroads of civilization all in one place? You'll find descriptions of the 15/70 clips here and the digital clips here.
2. New Films
Admit it…you still get excited when the lights go down in the theater. Come see the industry’s newest films for a reminder of why we love and work in this industry. See Legends of Flight, The Little Prince, Magic Journey to Africa, My Dream 3D, Sea Rex: Journey to a Prehistoric World, To the Arctic (rough cut), Waking the T. Rex: The Story of Sue, and Tornado Alley. Find out more about the films here.
1. Networking
Networking is the best way to get business done. And it’s so much more effective when it’s done in person.

SEAWORLD SAN DIEGO'S NEW ‘MANTA’ COASTER, engineered by MACK, to launch in 2012

SAN DIEGO, USA -- SeaWorld San Diego announced that in 2012, the park will unveil its new launch coaster, Manta — a new mega-attraction that will seamlessly transition guests from the awe of watching rays in underwater flight … into the sensation of actually being one. SeaWorld is scheduled to break ground for Manta within a month and the ride is slated to open to the public in 2012.

Swooping over sea and sky, Manta will not only inspire riders with amazing underwater animal habitats, but take them on an exhilarating ride on a coaster shaped like a giant manta ray.

“We are delighted to bring energizing new attractions to our guests year after year,” said SeaWorld park president, John Reilly, “and Manta does just that, combining the thrill and excitement of a coaster, with the educational and entertaining value of an incredible marine-life exhibit.”

Gliding, flying and diving through more than a dozen twists and turns, riders will feel as if they are a ray, taking flight from sky to sea — so close at times that the Manta’s wings skim the waves. 

Manta also will feature a unique “launch station” where the passengers will start the ride enclosed in a launch tunnel with larger-than-life images of rays projected on a 270-degree enveloping screen. This stunning introduction to the world of the rays also will visually enhance the physical acceleration as the ride launches down the track. This state-of-the-art projection system will be the first of its kind in the United States. 


Riders and non-riders alike will enjoy the graceful beauty of bat rays and fishes.  Forbidden Reef, an existing SeaWorld attraction where guests can feed and touch bat rays, will be incorporated and enhanced as part of Manta.

“With Manta, our guests will be able to see and interact with 65 bat rays, 10 guitar fish, and hundreds of fishes,” said SeaWorld San Diego curator of fishes, Thad Dirksen.  “The below-water viewing area will include eight acrylic windows and a reef design.  The above-water interaction area will allow our guests more opportunities to touch and feed the rays.”

Manta will be located just north of Rocky Point Preserve. SeaWorld is working with German ride design company MACK Rides, which also engineered the marine-life park’s popular ride, Journey To Atlantis.  Guests at SeaWorld’s sister park in Orlando have been enjoying a similar version of Manta since it opened in 2009.

SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, a portfolio company of The Blackstone Group (NYSE:BX), operates 10 parks across the U.S., including SeaWorld parks in San Diego, San Antonio and Orlando, Fla.; 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. 

Manta Fact Sheet  

TYPE OF RIDE:                                           Linear Synchronous Motor (LSM)
                                                              Launch Coaster

MAXIMUM SPEED:                                     43 mph  

MAXIMUM VERTICAL G FORCE:                   3 to 4 G
MAXIMUM HEIGHT:                                   30 feet  

MAXIMUM DROP:                                      54 feet  

TRACK LENGTH:                                        2,835 feet

RIDE DURATION:                                       One minute, 56 seconds  

SEATS/TRAIN:                                         20 seats per train/four trains  

GUEST CAPACITY:                                    1,400 passengers per hour  

LOCATION:                                              Just north of Rocky Point Preserve

MANUFACTURER:                                     German ride engineer, MACK  

RIDER HEIGHT RESTRICTION:                     48 inches  

OTHER ELEMENTS:                                   100,000 gallon marine-life exhibit:
                                                             65 California bat rays
                                                             10 guitar fish
                                                             more than 400 fishes