Wednesday, February 29, 2012

West Monroe Partners Develops Plan For Woodland Park Zoo to Capture 18-25 Market

Seattle, WA, USA /BUSINESS WIRE/ -- West Monroe Partners, a North American business and technology consulting firm, announced that it has completed a pro-bono project for the award-winning Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle. Through this work, West Monroe Partners has helped the zoo develop a strategy for increasing its connections with and engaging the 18-25 year-old market—a segment that is vital to the zoo because of its high level of interest and participation in conservation activities. 

“Woodland Park Zoo’s desire to strengthen its interaction with the 18-25 market presented a unique opportunity to contribute our expertise in customer engagement and strategy in a way that also supports our corporate citizenship goals,” said Kyle Hutchins, West Monroe Partners’ director of the Customer Experience practice. “As an organization, we share Woodland Park Zoo’s commitment to sustainability and the environment and are pleased to be able to contribute time toward helping the zoo advance its accomplishments in this area.”

West Monroe Partners’ work included conducting cross-departmental workshops that applied principles of effective customer engagement—enabling zoo personnel to discuss and understand the 18-25 audience and define what it means to engage and interact effectively with this demographic. During these sessions, the zoo identified and planned multiple opportunities to “intercept” the Generation Y audience, as well as activities for connecting with this group in more focused conservation-related events and activities. West Monroe Partners also enhanced elements of Woodland Park Zoo’s technology platform to facilitate the zoo’s use of the Internet, social media, and other channels critical to reaching the 18-25 market.

“West Monroe Partners not only helped Woodland Park Zoo develop a strategy that complements our mission as an organization; it guided us through a very valuable collaborative process to develop that strategy which involved the participation and support of all key departments,” said Jamie Creola, the zoo’s vice president of education. “We now have the capabilities in place to pursue our goals for the 18-25 market through a variety of channels and activities.”


West Monroe Partners is an international, full-service business and technology consulting firm focused on guiding organizations through projects that fundamentally transform their business. With the experience to create the most ambitious visions as well as the skills to implement the smallest details of our client’s most critical projects, West Monroe Partners is a proven provider of growth and efficiency to large enterprises, as well as more nimble middle-market organizations. Our more than 300 consulting professionals drive better business results by harnessing our collective experience across a range of industries, serving clients out of offices across the US and Canada. For more information, visit our website

Woodland Park Zoo. Accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums, award-winning Woodland Park Zoo is helping to save animals and their habitats in Washington state and in 50 countries around the world. By inspiring people to care and act, Woodland Park Zoo is making a difference in our planet’s future. For more information, visit

Chance Rides Supplies Trains to Toledo Zoo

Wichita, KS, USA -- The Toledo Zoo’s Safari Railroad will feature three “new” C.P. Huntington Locomotives when it resumes regular operation this spring. The Toledo Zoo recently purchased one new locomotive and refurbished two 2003 model locomotives that they already owned.

“The team at Chance Rides helped in developing an affordable plan and following through with three beautiful Locomotives,” Harry Prentice, Assistant Director of Facilities Maintenance for the Toledo Zoo.

The refurbishment process for the locomotives took place over a period of six months and involved a complete disassembly and rebuild to bring the locomotives to Chance’s current production standards. Each refurbished train received a new engine, transmission, axles and rebuilt gearboxes. The entire body was sandblasted and repainted while the brass trim wasstripped, polished and clear powder coated. All brake hardware was repainted and zinc plated.

“After the refurbishment you couldn’t tell the difference between the old trains and the new one,” said Terry Giddeon, customer service for Chance Rides.

The Toledo Zoo is more than just a great value. With a world of animals, from mammoth elephants to tiny  toads, it's a trip around the world - from the Arctic to Africa - all in one great day. To learn more about the Toledo Zoo visit

Chance Rides, Inc. is a family owned business located in Wichita, Kan. For more information about Chance Rides products, visit

Newest Jack Rouse Designed Museum Opens in Naples, FL

Photos courtesy of Golisano Children's Museum of Naples.

Naples, FL, USA (February 29, 2012) -- Southwest Florida is now home to a new family destination, as Golisano Children’s Museum of Naples (C’MON) opened its doors to the public yesterday. Conceived in 2002 by Allyson Loos to address the need for more inclusive family experiences in Collier County, the mission of C’MON is “to provide an exciting, inspiring environment where children and their families play, learn and dream together.”

Fishing Pier "At the Beach"

 Jack Rouse Associates, along with educational consultant Mary Sinker, provided overall planning, design development and fabrication and installation project management for C’MON’s 30,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor exhibit space. Through the museum’s 12 galleries, children and families learn about such topics as regional history, agricultural, geography and weather, all while enjoying an environment of engaging and cooperative play. JRA and Sinker based the design on three interrelated principles: an appreciation of children’s play behavior, knowledge of how an environment can influence play and learning, and an understanding of children’s developmental milestones.

A Trolley in "The Street"

 Specific exhibit areas include:
  • An outdoor edge maze and amphitheater
  • Journey Through the Everglades
  • Banyan Tree
  • At the Beach
  • World Café
  • Produce Market and Farm
  • The Street
  • Mother Nature’s House
  • ABC Lot (Toddler Area)
  • Curious Kids (Pre-Teen Area)
  • Pet Vet
  • Green Construction
  • Art Gallery and Studio
According to the museum’s website, exhibits were created to meet Florida’s Sunshine State curriculum standards, and all are accessible for individuals with developmental, hearing, physical, social/emotional and visual challenges.

A delivery truck connects the "Farm" to the "Produce Market."

 The museum offered a special opening weekend to its 2,000 members, and a feature from the Naples Daily News lauded it as a "hit" and included some pint-sized “thumbs ups” from its early reviewers. When interviewed for the article, Heather Patton, director of external affairs, said that kids were “crying as they were leaving" and that the museum "had kids here comparing it to Disney World.”

For more information on the Golisano Children’s Museum of Naples, please visit

Jack Rouse Associates plans, designs and realizes exceptional visitor experiences for entertainment, cultural, sport and corporate clients around the world.

IAAPA Welcomes Three New Members to Management Team

Alexandria, VA, USA -- The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) welcomes three staff members to its headquarters and Hong Kong offices: Stephanie Robert, Brian Skepton, and Jessica Yan.

Stephanie Robert will begin in February as vice president, membership and marketing services. In this role, Robert is responsible for the oversight of all membership and marketing services provided by IAAPA including: new member sales, membership renewal, overall member customer service, and trade show, product, service and event marketing.

Prior to joining IAAPA in 2012, Robert served as the director of marketing and communications for the Association for Convenience and Fuel Retailing, (NACS), a trade association serving the convenience retail industry. She has an M.B.A. from the Smeal College of Business at The Pennsylvania State University and a B.A. in international politics also from The Pennsylvania State University.

Robert will work in Alexandria, Va., and serve as the liaison to both the FEC Committee (Family Entertainment Center) and Membership Committee.

Brian Skepton joined the association in November 2011, as advertising and sponsorship sales executive for Funworld magazine, IAAPA's digital and online products, and publications related to the associations Expos around the world.

A graduate of New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, his career has included positions with ABC National News Programming, Adweek, Springer Science + Business Media, and The American Psychiatric Association. Skepton works in Alexandria, Va.

Jessica Yan started in November 2011, as exhibit and membership sales executive for IAAPA Asia Pacific’s office. In her role, Yan promotes and sells exhibit space to the Asia-Pacific market for IAAPA's three trade shows: Asian Attractions Expo, Euro Attractions Expo, and IAAPA Attractions Expo. She also recruits new members and supports the needs of current IAAPA members in the region.

Prior to joining IAAPA, Yan worked at Ocean Park in Hong Kong as an assistant operations manager for food and beverage. She oversaw the operation of 4 restaurants, banquets, special events, press events, and private functions. She has an M.B.A. from Stratford University and is fluent in English, Cantonese, and Mandarin. Yan works in Hong Kong.

Founded in 1918, IAAPA is the largest international trade association for permanently situated amusement facilities and attractions, and is dedicated to the preservation and prosperity of the attractions industry. The association’s global headquarters is in Alexandria, Virginia, United States, and it maintains regional offices in Brussels, Mexico City, and Hong Kong.

Te Papa Tongarewa Exhibit on Whales to End International Tour in Ottawa

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada (February 29, 2012) /Marketwire/ -- On March 2, 2012, the Canadian Museum of Nature (CMN) opens Whales Tohora: The Exhibition, an internationally touring exhibition from the New Zealand Museum Te Papa Tongarewa. Interactive and immersive, Whales Tohora brings adults and children eye to eye with some of the world's most elusive creatures.

Rich with real skeletons, life-sized recreations, specimens, artifacts and multimedia, this exhibition inspires awe and respect for whales through a unique blend of science, storytelling and cultural links. It will be on view at the Canadian Museum of Nature for six months until September 3, 2012, and arrives in Canada following a successful run at the Field Museum in Chicago.

"As a national research and educational institution, the Canadian Museum of Nature is delighted to offer this rare opportunity to gain new insights about whales through the collections of a leading international museum," said Meg Beckel, CEO and President of the Canadian Museum of Nature. "We will continue to give Canadians the opportunity to connect with and be inspired by the natural world by presenting respected exhibitions and programmes such as Whales Tohora."

Featuring a massive 17.8 metre fully articulated sperm whale skeleton, Whales Tohora showcases unique specimens from Te Papa's marine mammal collection, one of the largest in the world. Visitors will see life-size and scale models of whales common to the South Pacific, and come to understand the two main groups of whales, toothed and baleen. Whalebone treasures such as weapons and adornments produced by the indigenous peoples of New Zealand reflect the exhibition's cultural expression of the relationship between the Maori and whales.

"Whales Tohora proved hugely popular with both adults and children when we launched it in New Zealand back in 2007, so we are pleased to provide international audiences with the opportunity to benefit from our collections to learn more about whales,' said Dr. Seddon Bennington, Te Papa's Chief Executive.

The exhibition's Whale Lab is full of interactive science. Children can crawl through a life-size replica of the largest living creature's heart - the blue whale. The evolutionary journey of whales from land to the sea is shown by casts of fossil whale ancestors. Visitors can tune in to a range of whale sounds and discover how scientists and amateur trackers identify individual whales on their migration through the Pacific Ocean. The Whale Lab also features 'Search & Destroy', an experience that takes visitors to the ocean depths on a hunt for a giant squid, recreated from authentic data and sounds collected from a real sperm whale.

The intricacies of whale biology and the history of whaling in New Zealand are examined through the voices of scientists, conservationists, former whalers, and the Maori. The exhibition also examines threats facing whales, such as fishing nets, foreign debris, predators and boats, explains why whales strand themselves, and what can be done about it.

For centuries, the people of the South Pacific have interacted with whales. Whales Tohora brings their stories alive through videos and a moving film experience, alongside a model whale head from the 2002 movie Whale Rider. The film tells the stories of three whale-riding traditions in New Zealand, including the famous story of Paikea. The story of the chief Tinirau and his pet whale, Tutunui, is a tale of love and revenge recognized throughout the South Pacific and brought to life in a stunning stand-alone animated movie.

"We are delighted to partner with the Canadian Museum of Nature to support this unique show," said Wade Luzny, CEO-Executive Vice President of the Canadian Wildlife Federation, which is actively involved in the conservation of Canada's marine environment and the diverse life that depends on it as part of its ongoing Marine Program. "As Canada is surrounded by three oceans and stewards 243,000 km of coastline, we hope that this breathtaking exhibition provides a forum to inspire conservation through education."

To engage visitors, the CMN will be supplementing the exhibition with educational programmes about oceans and marine themes throughout March Break and the summer tourist season. Other activities for adults include Café Scientifique evenings on the last Friday of every month, and a special whale trivia night on Oceans Day, June 7, 2012.

Visit the web site, for details. 


The Canadian Museum of Nature is Canada's national museum of natural history and natural sciences. It promotes awareness of Canada's natural heritage through signature and travelling exhibitions, public education programmes, on-going scientific research, a dynamic web site and the maintenance of a 10.5 million-specimen collection. A founding member of the Alliance of Natural History Museums of Canada, the museum is working with partners to expand its national service and to develop national programmes about the natural environment.

SIGGRAPH 2012 Seeks Entries For Interactive Real-Time Computer Animation Festival

Chicago, IL, USA /BUSINESS WIRE/ -- SIGGRAPH 2012 seeks cutting-edge Real-Time Live! content to be presented as part of this year’s prestigious Computer Animation Festival. Examples of accepted real-time simulations and graphics submissions include:
  • Computer Games, Graphics & Demos
  • Interactive Animation, Simulations & Rendering Techniques
  • Military, Industrial or Scientific Visualizations
  • Research Projects
  • Real-Time Art Explorations
  • Interactive Data Visualization & Information Graphics
All content that is interactively controlled and rendered in real-time will be considered. Submissions must be able to be demonstrated in front of a live audience.

“Since its debut in 2009, Real-Time Live! has featured some of the most innovative work presented as part of SIGGRAPH’s Computer Animation Festival,” said Jason Smith, SIGGRAPH 2012 Real-Time Live! Chair and Digital Production Supervisor at LucasArts. “Each year the quality and diversity in real-time submissions showcases the best work occurring in the industry. This year’s program will continue this trend of dynamic innovation.”

According to Smith, since debuting at SIGGRAPH in 2009, the quality of submissions continues to be more competitive and impressive each year. This program provides SIGGRAPH attendees access to the industry’s pioneering work in the Computer Animation Festival. "As a community we embrace the diversity and origins of real-time innovation; these breakthroughs enable many industries to re-imagine their production pipelines, development techniques and commercial opportunities on a regular basis."

The Real-Time Live! submission deadline is 9 April 2012. All real-time work will be reviewed by a professional jury of industry experts from traditional computer graphics, video games, and research organizations. Entries will be judged on creativity, innovation, performance, and most importantly, the ability to render in real time in front of a live audience as part of the Computer Animation Festival. The top selections will be played and demonstrated live on a PC or game console.

View detailed information on how to submit Real-Time Live! content.

SIGGRAPH 2012 will bring thousands of computer graphics and interactive technology professionals from six continents to Los Angeles, California for the industry's most respected technical and creative programs focusing on research, science, art, animation, music, gaming, interactivity, education, and the web from Sunday, 5 August through Thursday, 9 August 2012 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. SIGGRAPH 2012 includes a three-day exhibition of products and services from the computer graphics and interactive marketplace from 7-9 August 2012. More details are available at

Ron Foth Wins Two Major Awards For California Academy of Science Campaigns

Columbus, OH, USA /BUSINESS WIRE/ -- Mixing science and creativity has proven to be an award-winning formula for Ron Foth Advertising, Columbus. The full-service, independent agency won two major creative awards in the past week, both for the California Academy of Sciences, a major San Francisco attraction located in Golden Gate Park. 

On Tuesday, the agency’s “Let the Wonder Begin” TV commercial earned First Place at the 2012 Visit California Excellence in Tourism Marketing Awards. Foth’s eye - and ear-catching work for the Academy was named Best TV spot, beating SeaWorld and the San Diego Convention and Visitors Bureau. The organization Visit California presents the annual awards to recognize the best advertising in the California tourism industry.

“We’re extremely proud to earn this honor for the California Academy of Sciences, as we competed against some of the best tourist destinations and ad agencies in the country,” said agency President and CEO Ron Foth Sr.

The big week of wins continued on Thursday, as the agency won six ADDYs and “Best of Show” at the American Advertising Federation’s 2011 ADDY Awards. Foth’s holiday radio campaign, “Academy Carols,” for the California Academy of Sciences, was named Best of Show from hundreds of entries. The campaign, which combines traditional holiday carols with an unpredictable scientific twist, was given the top honor by creative judges from Arnold Worldwide, GSD&M, and Goodby, Silverstein & Partners.

“Winning ‘Best of Show’ says a lot about our work and our creative team,” said Ron Foth, Sr. “And doing it with radio really stands out, as so much attention these days goes to TV, digital and social concepts. Radio is cost efficient, and offers powerful creative opportunities.” 


Ron Foth Advertising is an award-winning, full-service ad agency and production company headquartered in Columbus, Ohio. Founded in 1975, Foth offers marketing, branding and digital services to clients across the country and around the world, including Wendy’s Restaurants, Safelite AutoGlass, State of Ohio Tourism, Stanley Steemer, California Academy of Sciences, MGM Resorts International, Safeway Supermarkets, The Columbus Zoo, Nutramax Laboratories and more.

The California Academy of Sciences, in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, is home to Steinhart Aquarium, Morrison Planetarium, Kimball Natural History Museum, and world-class research and education programs — all under one living roof. The Academy is an international center for scientific research and is at the forefront of efforts to understand and protect the diversity of Earth’s living things.


EDITOR'S NOTE: IPM News has confirmed that the 40-minute version of Titanica will play in The Henry Ford's IMAX Theatre during the run of the exhibit.  Additionally, the theatre is planning to show James Cameron's blockbuster Titanic, converted into 3D, should it be officially announced.  Although movie posters, film trailers, and television ads from Paramount have announced the film in IMAX 3D, an official announcement from IMAX has as of this date not been made. 
- JK

Dearborn, MI, USA (February 29, 2012) --  One hundred years ago, Titanic, the world’s largest ship, sank after colliding with an iceberg, claiming more than 1,500 lives. To commemorate this significant anniversary, The Henry Ford will host the largest touring exhibition of Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition, at the Henry Ford museum, March 31 through September 30, 2012. For more information, visit

“We are privileged to host this extraordinary exhibit, especially to mark the 100th anniversary of the sinking of Titanic,” said Patricia Mooradian, president of The Henry Ford. “Known as one of the greatest innovations from that era, this ship was ahead of its time with its top notch engineering, modern equipment and luxuries. Touted by the media as the ship that was ‘virtually unsinkable,’ no one could believe the magnitude of this disaster that occurred in April of 1912. As Americans, it’s a story that resonates with us all.”

This 10,000 square-foot, newly-redesigned and expanded Exhibition features more than 300 artifacts – 250 of which have never been displayed in Michigan. In addition, visitors will walk through extensive room re-creations, be able to have their photos taken near the full-scale replica of the Grand Staircase, as well as learn about passengers on board who had local ties to Michigan.

Upon entering the Exhibition, visitors are quickly drawn back in time to 1912 as each receives a replica boarding pass of an actual passenger aboard Titanic. They then begin their chronological journey and “travel” through the life of Titanic – from the ship’s construction, to its on-board passengers, its ill-fated voyage and the amazing artifact rescue efforts that involved divers returning to it in recent years. Guests will marvel at authentically re-created first and third class cabins, stop for a breathtaking glance at the social hub of Titanic – the Grand Staircase – and press their palms against an iceberg to feel its temperature, all while learning countless stories of heroism and humanity.

During the Exhibition, The Henry Ford will host a variety of programming related to Titanic. On April 14, at 7 p.m., one hundred years to the day of the tragic sinking, The Henry Ford will host Titanic Remembered: 100th Anniversary Event where guests will commemorate the event with hors d’oeuvres, a champagne welcome, dinner, dessert, and exclusive access to the Exhibition. Titanic Tuesdays, a speaker and author series held the second Tuesday of each month, will host an array of speakers including Edward Tenner, author of Thinking about the Unsinkable, Stephen Low, creator of the IMAX film TITANICA, and Ken Vrana who will speak on Michigan connections to RMS Titanic. Tickets and more information can be found at

The Henry Ford, in Dearborn, Michigan, is the world’s premier history destination and a National Historic Landmark that celebrates American history and innovation. Its mission is to provide unique educational experiences based on authentic objects, stories and lives from America’s traditions of ingenuity, resourcefulness and innovation. Its purpose is to inspire people to learn from these traditions to help shape a better future. Five distinct attractions at The Henry Ford captivate 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. The Henry Ford is also home to Henry Ford Academy, a public charter high school which educates 485 students a year on the institution’s campus and was founded in partnership with The Henry Ford, Ford Motor Company and Wayne County Public Schools. For more information please visit our website

Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition is produced by RMS Titanic, Inc. a wholly owned subsidiary of Premier Exhibitions, Inc. RMS Titanic, Inc. is the only company permitted by law to recover objects from the wreck of the Titanic. The Company was granted Salvor-in-Possession rights to the wreck site of Titanic by a United States federal court in 1994 and has conducted eight research and recovery expeditions to Titanic rescuing more than 5,500 artifacts. The Company recently completed its eighth and most ambitious mission to the wreck site of Titanic in summer of 2010. For the first time in history, RMS Titanic, Inc. alongside the world’s top oceanographic agencies set out to map the entire wreck of Titanic with the hopes of raising the Ship virtually for future generations.

ELM Completes Master Plan For South Dakota's Bramble Park Zoo

Seattle, WA, USA (February 28, 2012) /PRWEB/ --  ELM , a Seattle, Washington and Jacksonville, Florida based design and planning firm, completed the Bramble Park Zoo's master plan that strategically integrates the zoo's four newly acquired acres into the overall site and positions the zoo as a strong regional destination.

Two principals of the ELM firm conducted the entire master planning process onsite in Watertown, South Dakota in collaboration with the leaders of the zoo team, members of the zoo board and the city. The new master plan guides the evolution of the zoo, which has a total of 19 acres including the four newly acquired acres, along with 800 animals representing 150 different species. With the master plan complete, the first two projects, estimated at $1.8 million, are in the final stages of design with construction set to begin in June.

"During our onsite planning sessions, we kept the doors wide open to ensure the zoo staff, zoo board, city leaders, and even visitors had input throughout the process. We did all the work there in front of the client," said Christopher Overdorf, principal with ELM. "We developed a master plan that was shaped by a collaborative effort with direct input, from the zoo team to local conservation groups to the Mayor and even school children who were visiting the zoo. The children's input was priceless as they openly shared their thoughts on what would be boring or fantastic."

The first two projects that the master plan outlines are the development of a new walk-through otter habitat, as well as a children's family fun farm. The new master plan will improve operational efficiencies, support a fun, engaging experience for its visitors, and expand how the Bramble Park Zoo will forward their conservation education message. For example, the design team partnered with the local technical institute to build a wind turbine scaled for the site, incorporating the long history of wind power utilized by local farmers. As a result, the icon of the children's zone will be a 130-year-old windmill donated by a local farmer.


ELM is a leading Environmental Design practice that creates sustainable, inspired places for people. The firm's leadership, innovation and collaborative spirit is applied to the disciplines of planning, architecture, landscape architecture, urban design, interiors and environmental graphics. ELM's commitment to design, sustainability and a multidisciplinary perspective brings value to national and international, urban, mixed-use, destination resort, residential, zoological and aquaria, education, civic, cultural and strategic conservation projects.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Japanese Theme Park Operator Starts Ferry Service Between Shanghai and Nagasaki

Sasebo, Japan (February 28, 2012) -- The Japan Times reports on HTB Cruise Company's new service, which starts Wednesday:

"HTB Cruise, a subsidiary of theme park operator Huis Ten Bosch Co., aims to have 100,000 passengers board the ferry annually and boost the number of Chinese visitors to the Dutch theme park in Sasebo, Nagasaki Prefecture.

"The company will operate one round trip per week until mid-March and increase the frequency to twice a week through the end of May.

"The number of passengers will be limited to around 300 to 400 until the vessel's cabins are renovated by June, after which it will be able to accommodate about 1,000 people, the company said, adding that some 230 reservations came in for Wednesday's inaugural cruise."


World's First Cartoon Network Themed Waterpark Planned For Thailand

Bangkok, Thailand (February 28, 2012) /Newswire Today/ -- Scheduled to open in 2013, and named Cartoon Network AMAZONE, the waterpark is a nod to the lush Amazon Rainforest while infusing the world’s most popular animated series and toon heroes including Ben 10, The Powerpuff Girls, Johnny Bravo and The Amazing World of Gumball.
From serene to extreme splash-tastic thrills, Cartoon Network AMAZONE waterpark will feature exciting signature attractions including a gigantic family wave pool, a winding adventure river, speed-racing slides, family raft rides and one of the world's largest interactive water play fortresses for kids.

“Cartoon Network is all about the fun and energy of the playground, and the addition of Cartoon Network AMAZONE means that families can literally step into our vibrant world of animation and vacation with their favourite characters like never before,” said Sunny Saha, Senior Vice President and Managing Director, Turner Broadcasting System Asia Pacific, Inc.

“We are very proud to have Thailand as the spectacular backdrop for the world’s first Cartoon Network-themed waterpark. Thailand’s reputation as the Land of Smiles and perfect weather will ensure a memorable visit for guests of all ages.”

Cartoon Network AMAZONE is being developed in conjunction with Amazon Falls Co. Ltd, an attractions and resorts developer in Thailand. Phase one of the waterpark is already underway and when completed will cover 14 acres of coastal plains in Bang Saray, just 15 minutes from Pattaya Beach City. Cartoon Network AMAZONE is set to attract up to 800,000 visitors a year when fully operational.

Liakat Dhanji, Chairman, Amazon Falls Co. Ltd said,“Thailand has excellent tourism credentials, a vibrant culture with a vast history and also the most welcoming people in the world. The addition of Cartoon Network AMAZONE marks Thailand's very first internationally branded water theme park.

Cartoon Network is a global household name, and with this strategic alliance, we have no doubt that by welcoming our guests to meet their favourite Cartoon Network heroes, it will be a great draw for our park."

Atchaka Sribunruang, Secretary General of Thailand Board of Investment added,"Apart from offering substantial foreign investment, Cartoon Network AMAZONE will create numerous training and employment opportunities for Thai people on all professional and skill levels and create many jobs both directly and indirectly for the local economy.

"Our famous tourism market offers some of the most exciting and exotic attractions in the world and we are confident that Cartoon Network AMAZONE will be a premiere family destination for all ages. The Thailand Board of Investment is very supportive of this project and will offer as much assistance as required."

Bang Saray is an undiscovered gem just 16km from Pattaya. It retains its charm as a fully functioning fishing port yet is in close proximity to leading golf courses and resorts, and is home to some of the best seafood restaurants in Thailand. The idyllic location has been chosen for Cartoon Network AMAZONE because of its natural, unspoiled beauty, accessibility and the richness of its local culture. With over five million tourists a year to the Chonburi province, it is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Thailand. Last year, Pattaya was voted "Golf Destination of the Year 2012 for Australasia and Asia” by IAGTO."

Cartoon Network (, the number one kids’ channel in the Asia Pacific region, offers the best in original animated entertainment while drawing from the world’s most iconic cartoon library of Warner Bros., MGM and Hanna-Barbera titles. Original series showcased on Cartoon Network include the globally popular series Ben 10, Ben 10 Alien Force, Ben 10 Ultimate Alien, The Amazing World of Gumball, Generator Rex, Chowder, The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, The Powerpuff Girls and The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack. Cartoon Network is available in 23 territories throughout the Asia Pacific region and is currently seen in over 63 million cable homes. Online, Cartoon Network Asia Pacific reaches nearly five million unique visitors a month.

Turner Broadcasting System Asia Pacific, Inc., a Time Warner company, is a major producer of multiplatform news and entertainment content around the world and the leading provider of programming for the basic cable industry.

Amazon Falls Co. Ltd. "AFCL," is developing the world's first Cartoon Network water theme park located in Bang Saray, 15 minutes from Pattaya Beach City, Thailand. The property it has chosen for creating CN AMAZONE has views of the ocean and is easily accessible by car on the main Sukhumvit Highway and located only 90 minutes from the Bangkok international airport. AFCL has a world class team of designers along with top water attraction specialists to work on this project.

Smithsonian Announces "Welcome Discovery" Festival for Space Shuttle Arrival

Washington, DC, USA (February 28, 2012) -- The Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum is offering a series of activities to celebrate the acquisition of the space shuttle Discovery. The event will begin when the orbiter arrives in the Washington metro area Tuesday, April 17, weather permitting. Discovery will be transferred from NASA to the museum in a public ceremony April 19 at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy center in Chantilly, Va. The ceremony will kick off a four-day festival of space-related activities, performances, appearances by space pioneers, films and displays.

The “Welcome Discovery” festival is presented in cooperation with NASA. Support for the transfer ceremony is generously provided by the Boeing Co. and Lockheed Martin Corp. All activities are offered free of charge, but there is a $15 parking fee at the Udvar-Hazy Center.

There will be more than 25 special exhibits, programs and activities for every age group, from pre-K youngsters to older adults. The history and achievements of the 30-year space shuttle program will be showcased, with several Discovery space pioneers making special appearances to discuss their experiences. The festival will also focus on the future of space exploration. Activities will focus on current events on the International Space Station, how people are learning to live and work in space and preparation for journeys farther into the solar system. Many of the offerings will be interactive, enabling visitors to experience aspects of spaceflight and space sciences. Throughout the festival, specialists from the museum and NASA will be doing post-flight work on Discovery in the space hangar; the public is invited to watch and ask questions.

“When NASA transfers Discovery to the National Air and Space Museum, the American people will gain a major icon of space history and an educational treasure to be valued now and for years to come,” said Gen. J.R. “Jack” Dailey, director of the museum. “We invite the public to help us welcome Discovery to the collection of the Smithsonian Institution.”

The National Air and Space Museum operates two buildings in the Washington, D.C., area: the flagship building on the National Mall and the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va., near Washington’s Dulles International Airport. Both facilities are open daily from 10 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. (closed Dec. 25).

Brigham Young University Museum of Art Holds Inaugural Exhibit of Islamic Art

Provo, UT, USA (February 28, 2012) /PRNewswire/ -- "Beauty and Belief: Crossing Bridges with the Arts of Islamic Culture" opened Friday, February 24th at the Brigham Young University Museum of Art in Provo, UT. The show marks the first time that a major Mormon institution will present a show of Islamic art. Dr. Sabiha Al-Khemir, the project director, was the Founding Director of the Museum of Islamic Art in Doha, Qatar.

The exhibition features more than 250 objects from 10 countries, 42 lending institutions and ten private collections. The largest lender is the Dar al-Athar-al-Islamiyyah (DAI) museum in Kuwait. The show will travel to three other museums across the United States including the Indianapolis Museum of Art, Newark Museum and Portland Art Museum, OR. 


Brigham Young University Museum of Art ranks in the top 25 most attended art museums in North America, and is the most attended university art museum in the United States. Museum officials hope that the exhibition will build bridges of understanding and contribute to the local, national and international dialog focusing on the historic and creative contributions of Islamic Culture.

More information regarding Beauty and Belief is available at

Studio Wilks Chosen to Brand TEA's NEXT Campaign

Los Angeles, CA, USA (February 27, 2012) -- According to TEA past President George Wiktor, "We needed a solution would honor the past and celebrate the future of the association.  The campaign image needed to tell the story of the TEA as well as it current focus on the future through a new mentoring initiative of giving back, sharing knowledge and supporting young professionals and future leaders.  Studio Wilks was spot on."

For more information, visit

Solar Trees Planted On Discovery Place Roof

Charlotte, NC, USA (February 27, 2012) -- Charlotte’s skyline took new shape over the weekend as Discovery Place installed two colorful, sculptural solar energy systems on the top of its Carol Grotnes Belk Parking Complex. Each standing 20 feet in height, the ‘solar trees’ are a highly visible component of a larger educational initiative featuring information about new and established energy sources. The trees will be used to power an electric vehicle charging station located on level three of the parking deck and will offset energy use in the Museum’s adjacent Education building.

“We chose a bold and unconventional-looking system that will intrigue passersby and make a conspicuous statement about the developing landscape of renewable energy,” said John Mackay, president and CEO of Discovery Place, Inc. “Our hope is that visitors will learn more about how solar energy fits into a portfolio of different sustainable energy sources.”

Once fully installed, the solar trees will be visible for blocks around the Museum as well as from an indoor learning kiosk located inside Discovery Place’s Charlotte Observer IMAX® Dome Theatre lobby. Through live energy data and educational videos on a touch-screen display, Museum visitors will be able to get real-time information about the electrical output of the system. They will discover the impacts of the seasons, clouds and shadows, angle of sunlight and other factors related to solar energy. Intended as an educational experience, the solar system has a modest capacity, but will reduce pollution by the equivalent of 500 gallons of gasoline burned, and generate about half of the electricity consumed by a typical Charlotte residence.

Contributors to the project include some of the most sophisticated energy and solar design firms in the state. Southern Energy Management, the largest solar integrator in the Southeast, served as the primary contractor at the Museum, and Spotlight Solar, a North Carolina firm offering aesthetically attractive solar systems designed for visible locations, manufactured the trees. Bosch Solar donated the solar panels needed for the trees. The City of Charlotte provided grant funding and technical support and will provide public outreach through its Power2Charlotte energy efficiency and conservation awareness program.

“We are thrilled to bring this unique system to Discovery Place and to the people of Charlotte,” said Bob Kingery, CEO of Southern Energy Management. “We’ve installed solar around the southeastern US for the last 10 years, and this is the most distinctive installation to date.”

“Spotlight Solar structures are designed to make solar energy more visible and attractive,” said Craig Merrigan, CEO of Spotlight Solar. “We hope to inspire more people to adopt renewable energy.”

“The City is pleased to continue its long-standing partnership with Discovery Place by providing grant funding for this project, designed to broaden the community’s understanding about the value of energy conservation and alternative ways to generate power,” added David Smith, project manager for the City of Charlotte. “The project is also an extension of the City’s Power2Charlotte campaign to raise awareness of projects funded by a grant from the US Department of Energy.”

Installation of the solar trees began at 6:00 a.m. on Sunday, February 26 on level three of the Carol Grotnes Belk Parking Complex located at the corner of Church and Sixth Streets and continues today. Once the solar trees have been placed, the panels will be installed and electricity generation should begin in March once inspections are completed.

One of the top hands-on science museums in the nation, Discovery Place provides ever-changing, entertaining facilities that engage the public in the active exploration of science and nature. More than a half-million people from all over the United States visit Discovery Place, its IMAX Dome Theatre and Charlotte Nature Museum each year. In June 2010, the Museum completed an 18-month, $31.6 million renovation, resulting in a completely transformed and re-imagined Museum with all-new interactive exhibits. Discovery Place is supported, in part, with operating support from the Arts & Science Council.

Rob Smith Promoted to Sales Manager at Electrosonic

London, UK (February 27, 2012) -- Electrosonic has announced the promotion of Rob Smith to Sales Manager of the Cultural Entertainment and Leisure (CEL) business for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA). Smith joined Electrosonic in 2010 as Client Account Manager for the CEL team, acting as the single point of contact for clients. His ability to continuously exceed expectations has led to his current promotion from Account Manager to Sales Manager.

Electrosonic's Cultural Entertainment and Leisure business provides a complete set of audio-visual services, including custom designed audio, video and control systems and on-site service solutions. Custom solutions are provided for museums, theme parks, hotels and visitor centres. Entertainment clients include designers, curators, producers, fit-out contractors and end clients themselves.

"Rob brings new ideas and fresh thinking to Electrosonic. His management roles throughout his career made him a perfect choice for this newly developed position at Electrosonic. I admire his keen business skills as well as his strong relationships with our clients, suppliers and associates." commented Chris Conte, Vice President of Entertainment. "He will now use his experience to lead our team of sales and design consultants to develop further relationships and business with key clients across Europe".

Smith has spent twenty years in the AV industry, initially as an installation and service technician, then performing the roles of service manager, project engineer and project manager, responsible for delivering projects and ensuring customer satisfaction. Prior to joining the AV industry, Smith served in the Royal Air Force as an avionics engineer.

Electrosonic is an international audio-visual company that creates tailored, state-of-the-art solutions for a wide range of markets including theme parks, museums, video conferencing and control rooms. Since its founding in 1964, Electrosonic has built a strong reputation for working on complex projects, both large and small, and has developed lasting partnerships with customers and suppliers. Beyond complete integrated systems, Electrosonic provides a comprehensive scope of services including technical design, projector lamp sales, maintenance and operational support.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Melco Announces New Management Structure

Hong Kong, Macau and New York (February 27, 2012) /GLOBE NEWSWIRE/ -- Melco Crown Entertainment Limited, a developer and owner of casino gaming and entertainment resort facilities focused on the Macau market, today announces the implementation of a new, streamlined management structure aimed at enhancing organizational efficiency, as well as improving the integration of gaming and non-gaming operations.

To implement their new management structure, Mr. Ying Tat Chan, currently the Co-Chief Operating Officer, Gaming, has been appointed as the Company's sole Chief Operating Officer, overseeing both gaming and non-gaming activities across City of Dreams, Altira Macau, and Mocha Clubs, with effect from February 27, 2012. Following Mr. Chan's appointment as sole Chief Operating Officer, the position of Co-Chief Operating Officer, Operations has been eliminated. Mr. Nicholas C Naples, the previous Co-Chief Operating Officer, Operations, has departed from the Company on February 27, 2012 upon mutual agreement.

Mr. Lawrence Ho, Co-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Melco Crown Entertainment, said, "We are encouraged in our belief that the new management structure will make us a more agile company, better positioned to move quickly in a dynamic market.

"I am confident that Mr. Chan's breadth and depth of knowledge and experience in Macau make him uniquely qualified to be our COO, and I believe that he and his team will build on the successes of the last 18 months.

"Our new structure is targeted to unlock additional synergies between our gaming and non-gaming operations and to facilitate the delivery of our comprehensive, world-class customer service as efficiently as possible, ultimately for the benefit of the Company, our staff members, and our shareholders.

"We thank Mr. Naples for his efforts and commitments to the Company and wish him well in his future endeavors."

Melco Crown Entertainment Limited ("Melco Crown Entertainment"), listed on the Main Board of The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited Macau subsidiary which holds a gaming sub-concession, an operator of casino gaming and entertainment casino resort facilities focused on the Macau market. Melco Crown Entertainment currently operates Altira Macau ( (formerly Crown Macau), a casino hotel located at Taipa, Macau and City of Dreams (, an integrated urban casino resort located in Cotai, Macau. Melco Crown Entertainment's business also includes the Mocha Clubs (, which feature a total of approximately 2,100 gaming machines in ten locations and comprise the largest non-casino based operations of electronic gaming machines in Macau. The Company is also developing the planned Studio City Project, a large integrated entertainment, retail and gaming resort in Cotai, Macau. For more information about Melco Crown Entertainment, please visit

ArmorActive Provides iPad Kiosks to Salt Lake City's Leonardo Museum

Salt Lake City, UT, USA (February 27, 2012) /PRWEB/ -- The Leonardo in downtown Salt Lake City is quickly gaining popularity with many who are seeking to explore art in an all-new way; and iPad kiosks designed by ArmorActive Inc., have helped make this new approach to art a reality.

Focusing on the inventive nature of the human brain both past and present (hence the museum’s namesake), The Leonardo evokes visitors to ponder on the endless possibilities that await our future by connecting science, technology and art in a mind engaging approach.

iPad kiosks make it possible for visitors to mingle with and learn about the various exhibits throughout the museum by using video, touch screens and the Internet to connect with the artwork. Even upon entering the lobby each visitor’s interest is immediately peeked as they approach the interactive LED light exhibit called "Dynamic Performance", which allows individuals to network with the artwork on twitter via a secured iPad kiosk. Users first tweet requests to @leoartwall and the exhibit then responds with a massive performance of light relative to the information. 

“At the Leonardo we have to be very current and very relevant…changing all the time, and the iPad allows us to do that at a very low cost.” says Lisa Davis, media director for The Leonardo. “The iPad kiosk enables us to secure the [iPad] technology so that we can continue to offer visitors a very interactive and personal experience and still have it make sense for the museum.”

Each iPad security kiosk located throughout the museum was specifically selected and programmed to compliment the overall design and the desired experience that each artist had envisioned for their piece. The iPad kiosks chosen for The Leonardo include ArmorActive’s Full Metal Jacket and Radius lines; both being preferred kiosk solutions among museums and retail giants for their sleek design, mobility and their convenience of set-up. The Leonardo also utilizes the iPad as information portals and listening stations mounted using ArmorActive’s Figure 8 VESA mount at a variety of places within the museum.

To find out more about these products and others like them, including secure iPad POS systems, visit (an ArmorActive company) to see new and intuitive ways clients like The Leonardo are improving their businesses throughout the world with secure iPad kiosk products from companies such as ArmorActive.

ArmorActive, located in Sandy, Utah, is a tablet kiosk development company providing hardware and software integration for mobile business solutions.

$3.5 Billion Baha Mar Casino Resort in Bahamas Celebrates Completion of First Year of Construction

Al Cross, vice president PGAV Destinations, reports that his company is leading the area development, as well as design of Pool and Beach experience for Baha Mar.

Nassau, Bahamas (February 27, 2012) /PRNewswire/ -- Baha Mar, said to be the largest single-phase resort development in the history of the Caribbean, celebrated the first anniversary of its historic groundbreaking in a ceremony attended by Baha Mar Ltd., China Construction Americas management and employees. The 1,000-acre, $3.5 billion resort, gaming and entertainment complex slated to open in late 2014 will include some of the world's most famous hotel brands, including Mondrian, Rosewood and Grand Hyatt and marks the resurgence of The Bahamian Riviera as the paramount destination for sophisticated international travelers.

"Not only has construction started, but also the building of the iconic Baha Mar brand has begun. In 2011, we launched our new logo and brand identity and we will soon unveil a new website and begin pre-construction sales of our private residences" said Baha Mar's Chairman and CEO, Mr. Sarkis Izmirlian. Significant accomplishments in construction and development were made in the last year, putting the resort at the 25 percent completion mark, on pace for the opening, scheduled December 2014.

In an unprecedented nine months, vital road works and infrastructure projects were completed, making way for Baha Mar construction. The entire Cable Beach area has been transformed by the newly diverted West Bay Street. More than a mile long, this new public roadway now borders six acres of beautiful natural wetlands, lakes and parks, including walking trails, gazebos and boardwalks open for public enjoyment. Also part of the first year accomplishments was the construction of the new Baha Mar Commercial Village, including three new financial institutions, a state of the art Police and Fire Station and a highly successful Pompey Market straw and crafts marketplace.

The completion of these important infrastructure projects created 1,400 local jobs for Bahamians and was celebrated by a road opening ceremony on November 11, 2011, attended by VIP guests including The Right Honourable Hubert Ingraham, Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas and Minister of Finance and His Excellency Hu Shan, China Ambassador to The Bahamas, signifying the magnitude and importance of the project to the country.

Once the new road was finalized and traffic rerouted, the core works for the Baha Mar campus began in earnest. To date, more than 6,000 foundational piles supporting the massive 3.3 million sq. feet superstructure for the resort are in place and nearly 50 percent complete, putting the first iconic casino tower on track to reach the 100-foot mark by July 2012. "This project is a unique partnership of different industries, skills, languages and nationalities...this is our strength and one day will serve as a model for other projects" remarked Mr. Izmirlian, as he thanked the group represented by team members from more than 20 countries around the globe for their achievements over the past year.

Upon completion, Baha Mar will set a standard for travel expectations unmatched by any other hospitality destination in the world by blending The Bahamas natural beauty and charm with vibrant experiences in entertainment, gaming, amenities and service.

For more information, visit

Baha Mar, the 1,000-acre, $3.5 billion resort, gaming and entertainment complex slated to open in late 2014, will boast some of the world's most famous hotel brands, including Rosewood Hotels & Resorts, Mondrian and Hyatt Hotels & Resorts, as well as a Casino Hotel, creating more than 2,200 new rooms. Within the hotels, Baha Mar plans to develop 300 highly exclusive residential condominiums and villas, available for private ownership. Baha Mar's stunning, new 100,000 square-foot casino will be the largest in the Caribbean, and one of the most compelling and exciting gaming experiences in North America, comparable only to the best in Las Vegas.

Baha Mar will also feature the most advanced and versatile convention facilities in The Bahamas, with a combined 200,000 square feet of space, portions of which can also double as an entertainment and sports venue. Other amenities will include 200,000 square feet of retail and entertainment experiences, combining upscale shopping boutiques with authentic Bahamian arts and crafts galleries, chef-branded restaurants and exciting nightclub and entertainment offerings. An Eco Water Park, extraordinary pools, and three unique spas, including the most complete spa experience in the Caribbean, will be set along 3,000 feet of the most pristine beach in the world. The planned 18-hole Jack Nicklaus Signature Course will be one of a select few such top-tier Nicklaus courses in the world, bringing a new, true championship course to The Bahamas.

China New Media to Begin Marketing Chinese Businesses on Iconic Times Square Building

One Times Square is the sliver of a building in the center, courtesy Times Square Alliance
Dalian, China (February 27, 2012) /PRNewswire-Asia/ -- China New Media Corp., China's fast-growing advertising media company with a current outdoor media network located in Dalian, Shenyang, Tianjin, Shanghai and Beijing, today announced that the Company secured a one-year lease agreement for an LED screen located at No. 1 Times Square, New York City, effective March 1st, 2012, with a size of about 684 square feet. This is the first LED screen that the Company has ever operated outside of China. China New Media will have a launching ceremony at Times Square on March 1st, 2012, 5:30 pm EST, and the screen will be switched on concurrently.

The 684 square-foot screen is a full color, high resolution LED display, and is located at the One Times Square Building in New York City, one of the landmark buildings in New York City. Times Square is a major commercial intersection in Midtown Manhattan, New York City, United States. Iconified as "The Crossroads of the World," Times Square is the brightly illuminated hub of the Broadway theater district and one of the world's busiest pedestrian intersections. According to Travel + Leisure magazine's October 2011 survey, Times Square is the world's most visited tourist attraction, bringing in over 39 million visitors annually.

We are thrilled to launch China New Media's first LED screen outside of China.  It is a significant milestone for our Company," stated Mr. James Wang, Chairman and CEO of China New Media. "While we continue to grow our business and market share in China, we have begun to expand our media platform and sales network directly to overseas market. This LED screen, which is named 'China Screen', will become a platform for Chinese enterprises to expand globally, a platform that facilitates more China domestic brands into international brands. We believe that we will significantly enhance our brand name by having this high profile media space located at one of the busiest district of New York City, and officially establish our footprint outside of China."

Founded in September 2000, Dalian Vastitude Media Group Co., Ltd., now known as China New Media Corp., is headquartered in Dalian, the commercial center of Northeastern China. The company owns and operates the city's largest outdoor media network encompassing over 600 bus shelters furnished with billboards and displays; 130 taxi stops with displays; and 13 large-size billboards, including 3 large-size LED displays at major traffic conjunctions. The company also furnishes more than 400 buses with advertising posters and 28 metro-trains throughout Dalian Metro Lines. China New Media provides comprehensive adverting services from art design to ad publishing, from daily maintenance to technical upgrading. Launched in Dalian in 2009, China New Media's proprietary LED multimedia display network, City Navigator®, is one of the country's first web-based outdoor advertising networks.

Lucky Strike to Open Bowling Alley With Bay Area Vibe in San Francisco

Lucky Strike Hollywood
San Francisco, CA, USA (February 27, 2012) /PRNewswire/ -- Lucky Strike Entertainment is pleased to announce it will be opening its newest location on King Street at the ground floor of the Beacon near AT&T Park in San Francisco on March 9th. Lucky Strike will kick off the opening with a VIP party in support of local San Francisco non-profit, Tipping Point Community, which is dedicated to helping Bay Area individuals and families break the cycle of poverty and achieve economic self-sufficiency.

Since Lucky Strike's beginning in 2003, Steven Foster, Lucky Strike's CEO and Co-Founder, has been determined to open in San Francisco. Steven's connection to San Francisco goes back to the late 60's when he performed street theater in Haight Ashbury. Also, it was in the bay area that he learned transcendental meditation in Berkley.

"Lucky Strike is a complete social entertainment experience focused on creating positive, joyful and infectious energy and there is not a more fitting place for this than San Francisco," said Founder and CEO, Steven Foster.

Lucky Strike San Francisco will be unlike any of the previous Lucky Strike locations. Steven enlisted the help of Ray Azoulay, owner and creator of Obsolete Gallery to design a dining, bar, and entertainment experience to "bring out anyone's inner child." This new addition to the San Francisco nightlife scene will feature 12 state of the art bowling lanes, giant projection screens running local artwork, a 40 foot bar with reclaimed one hundred year old wood beams, comfortable lounge seating, Alice in Wonderland-like oversized lamp shades, a diverse menu, and several private rooms. In addition Lucky Strike will be using a new bowling system provided by Qubica AMF called the TMS 10 string machine that reduces power consumption by 60%.

A star attraction will be the Einstein room with a pool and ping pong table, a flat screen competitive quick thinking trivia game, vintage chess and checker game tables, a carnival claw game, and a private bar. This room will accommodate 100 guests for private parties and corporate events. Other elements include a photo booth station and vintage luxe leather tobacco sofas through out the space.

In addition Lucky Strike has taken a new approach to its existing menu of classic American favorites with a twist. Items diners can expect to see will be the "authentic" twice-cooked Belgian fries, gluten free mac and cheese bowl, fresh sushi , crispy tacos, organic soft serve ice cream from Straus Family farm and all natural macaroons from local L'Artisan bakery.

Lucky Strike Entertainment is the leading operator, and defining brand, of upscale bowling lounges in the United States and Canada. Lucky Strike specializes in hosting a variety of upscale parties from team building events to bar mitzvahs. The business has grown over the course of the last eight years since inception, from one location in California to a total of 21 locations across 14 states and two countries. Steven Foster is the CEO and Co-founder of Lucky Strike Entertainment, and has over 30 years of experience creating entertainment and dining concepts. Steven, along with his wife Gillian, has been the driving force for the success and growth of the Lucky Strike brand across the nation. For more information, please visit

Great Wolf Resorts Launces Online Surprise Video Contest

Madison, WI, USA (February 27, 2012) /PRNewswire/ -- Taking a cue from its social media-savvy guests Great Wolf Resorts, Inc., North America's largest family of indoor waterpark resorts, today announced the launch of the Spring Surprises Video contest, encouraging guests and potential visitors to capture their children's responses when told they are about to take a surprise Great Wolf Lodge vacation. From February 27 until March 12, families can upload videos of these priceless reactions to the video contest app on for a chance to win a stay at the Great Wolf Lodge resort of their choice. A panel of judges from Great Wolf will select five finalists on March 14 and the public will then vote for their favorite entry. Great Wolf Lodge will announce the winning video on Monday, March 26.

"We see how excited our guests are during their Great Wolf Lodge stay, and discovered that they are almost as excited when they learn they are going to one of our resorts. We love seeing the expressions of pure surprise and delight in the videos posted online and thought this would be the perfect opportunity to engage our guests and truly surprise a Great Wolf fan family," said Nikki Donofrio, senior vice president of strategic brand marketing, Great Wolf Lodge, "This contest encourages families to share their Great Wolf vacation announcement moments with us."

Select videos submitted to the Spring Surprises Video contest may also be featured on Great Wolf Lodge's first-ever blog, "Behind The Howl", launching in early March. Fans of Great Wolf can visit to read exclusive news, "behind the scenes" stories and learn more about what it takes to create the Great Wolf experience. The blog comes on the heels of the company's interactive website, which debuted six months ago. Posts from the Great Wolf "pack", along with guest posts, unique video and photo content, and "insider information" entries will keep the blog engaging and informative for readers.

To enter the Spring Surprises video contest, and for a complete list of rules, anyone may log on to the video contest app at To learn more about Great Wolf Lodge, visit

Great Wolf Resorts, Inc.® (NASDAQ: WOLF), Madison, Wis., is North America's largest family of indoor waterpark resorts, and, through its subsidiaries and affiliates, owns, licenses and/or operates its family resorts under the Great Wolf Lodge® brand. Great Wolf Resorts is a fully integrated resort company with Great Wolf Lodge locations in: Wisconsin Dells, Wis.; Sandusky, Ohio; Traverse City, Mich.; Kansas City, Kan.; Williamsburg, Va.; the Pocono Mountains, Pa.; Niagara Falls, Ontario; Mason, Ohio; Grapevine, Texas; Grand Mound, Wash.; and Concord, N.C.

The company's resorts are family-oriented destination facilities that generally feature 300 to 600 rooms and a large indoor entertainment area measuring 40,000 to 100,000 square feet. The all-suite properties offer a variety of room styles, arcade/game rooms, fitness rooms, themed restaurants, spas, supervised children's activities and other amenities. The company's consolidated subsidiary, Creative Kingdoms, LLC, is a developer and operator of technology-based, interactive quest adventure experiences such as MagiQuest®.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Introduces New Online Photo and Video Sharing Page

Tampa, FL, USA -- Busch Gardens Tampa Bay is releasing a new way for fans to connect with the park via its new Pinterest account. Pinterest, known as the world’s fastest growing web site, is a photo and video sharing social website and virtual pinboard where users “pin” or bookmark images and videos of interest to them onto categorized boards they’ve created.

Follow the park’s
Pinterest page for boards dedicated to adorable baby animal photos, park and special event news, and suggestions for giving gifts of adventure. Fans and followers are also encouraged to “pin” photos and videos of their own adventures in the park onto their boards (using #BuschGardensTampa in the description), and Busch Gardens will “repin” them onto its “From Our Guests’ View” board.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Kentucky Kingdom to Reopen as Koch Family Operated Bluegrass Boardwalk in 2013

Louisville, KY, USA (February 23, 2012) -- This afternoon’s unanimous vote by the Kentucky State Fair Board to approve a lease with Bluegrass Boardwalk, Inc. moves the reopening of the 57-acre amusement and water park closer to reality.

“We can’t wait to get started!” says Bluegrass Boardwalk’s Dan Koch. “We’ve got a lot of work to do to get the park reopened in just 15 months, but we’ll get it done. We’d like to thank the Fair Board for putting their faith in us and the community at large for their tremendous cheers of support.”

Following today’s lease approval, Bluegrass Boardwalk's next steps are to secure financing and continue the application process for economic development incentives from Kentucky’s Tourism Cabinet. Bluegrass Boardwalk will not request public monies from the Kentucky Legislature.

Bluegrass Boardwalk’s plans are to invest $15-$20 million to reopen the park in May of 2013, with continued investment in future years.

“We’re bringing our business model of exceptional safety, cleanliness, friendliness and value for families,” says Natalie Koch. “That means free soft drinks, free sunscreen and free use of inner tubes.”

Bluegrass Boardwalk, Inc. is a partnership of four members of the Koch family in Santa Claus, Indiana: Holiday World president Dan Koch, his sister Natalie Koch, their cousin Kathy Kamp, and her husband, Michael Kamp, who is a General Manager at Holiday World. Dan, Natalie and Kathy are grandchildren of Holiday World’s founder, Louis J. Koch, who opened the park (originally called Santa Claus Land) in 1946.

Product News: The latest trend for waterpark fashionistas

Look good on the waterslide with recycled sailcloth board shorts

(Portland) Sea Bags accents their board shorts with colorful recycled sailcloth this season. Each pair is unique.  One-of-a-kind sail panels boasting classic nautical colors and vintage markings are embedded in two different styles of boardies.

Dacron sails are strong and water resistant. The quick drying, light weight board shorts have a Velcro fly with lace-up tie reinforcement. There is a subtle key pocket inside the waistband and each pair has a wind tag on the patch pocket located on the right leg.

Sailed around the world – recycled in Maine. These board shorts with repurposed sailcloth capture a nautical style that is functional, understated and ready for the next adventure.

Cathead style (sail panel on the front) and Scuttlebutt style (sail panel across the backside) are available online or at Sea Bag retails stores in Portland and Freeport, Maine. 1-888-210-4244.

Sea Bags, headquartered in the working waterfront of Custom House Wharf, Portland since 1999, repurposes retired sails into earth friendly, style smart totes and accessories. Every Sea Bags product is proudly handcrafted in Maine.