Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Caesars Entertainment Receives Permit to Complete World's Largest Observation Wheel

Las Vegas, NV, USA -- Caesars Entertainment has announced that it has received the Amusement and Transportation System (ATS) permit from Clark County, Nev., allowing project officials to construct all elements of the High Roller, soon to be the largest observation wheel in the world, eclipsing both the London Eye and Singapore Flyer.

The High Roller will top out at 550 feet and be the focal point of The LINQ, a fully funded $550 million retail, dining and entertainment district located in the middle of the world-famous Las Vegas Strip.

Before an ATS permit can be issued for an attraction such as the High Roller observation wheel, operators must document and demonstrate strict national standards for design, construction, maintenance, operation, testing and inspections as outlined by Clark County's ATS ordinance.

"This permit represents a significant milestone in the development of the High Roller wheel project," said The LINQ's Executive Project Director David Codiga. "We have successfully satisfied Clark County's requirements to proceed with erecting the structure and look forward to the day the High Roller makes its inaugural rotation."

The final milestone before the wheel welcomes its first passengers is the official Certificate of Operation, which will be issued once the wheel is completely constructed, tested and commissioned.

Early site civil work began on The LINQ last November, but Las Vegas visitors and residents will notice a steady increase in construction activity later this summer as crews work to erect the High Roller's 3.5 million pound steel structure. The 520-foot diameter wheel, situated north and south (parallel to Las Vegas Boulevard), will feature 28 glass-enclosed cabins that will unveil broad views of the famed-resort city in the 30 minutes it takes to complete one full revolution. Each cabin will accommodate up to 40 people and will be available for individual or group experiences. Caesars Entertainment officials have already received numerous inquiries from soon-to-be brides and grooms interested in hosting nuptials at 550 feet.

"We are enhancing the allure of the resort experience by bringing both visitors and locals something new and dynamic," said Greg Miller, senior vice president of development for Caesars Entertainment. "The LINQ will cater to a wide variety of audiences and will serve as a location for a wide range of functions – be it a business meeting, bachelor party, first date, or ladies night out. We are creating an experience that currently does not exist within the market. The development will re-define the center Strip."

Comprised of diverse retail, dining, and entertainment experiences, The LINQ will span more than 200,000 square feet of gross leasable area and is planned to appeal to the region's growing 21 to 46 clientele – whose market share is estimated to grow to 52 percent of Las Vegas visitor spending by 2015. Owned and operated by Caesars Entertainment, the mid-Strip attraction is designed as a destination in its own right and is being created to revitalize the center-resort corridor. An estimated 20.4 million people pass in front of this space each year.

In addition to the development of The LINQ, Caesars Entertainment is making simultaneous upgrades to three, large mid-Strip resorts. On The LINQ's north side, an engaging guest walk path will lead from the Carnaval Court outdoor plaza at Harrah's Las Vegas through the Imperial Palace Hotel & Casino to The LINQ. A pedestrian connection will also be built from The LINQ into Flamingo Las Vegas on the south. Additional enhancements will completely transform the facade, porte cochere, casino and hotel reception areas of the Imperial Palace. Improvements to resort guest service areas will be introduced in phases.

The LINQ retail, dining and entertainment experience is scheduled to open in 2013. Caesars estimates that The LINQ project will employ about 3,000 construction workers and create approximately 1,500 permanent jobs upon opening.

About Caesars Entertainment Corporation
Caesars Entertainment Corporation is the world's most diversified casino-entertainment company. Since its beginning in Reno, Nevada, more than 74 years ago, Caesars has grown through development of new resorts, expansions and acquisitions, and now operates casinos on four continents. The company's resorts operate primarily under the Caesars®, Harrah's® and Horseshoe® brand names. Caesars also owns the World Series of Poker® and the London Clubs International family of casinos. Caesars Entertainment is focused on building loyalty and value with its guests through a unique combination of great service, excellent products, unsurpassed distribution, operational excellence and technology leadership. We are committed to environmental sustainability and energy conservation and recognize the importance of being a responsible steward of the environment. For more information, please visit www.caesars.com.

Monday, July 30, 2012

ProSlide Opens KrakenRACERs at Three US Parks

Great Escape, Lake George, NY
Ottawa, Canada -- The ProSlide KrakenRACER™ continues to be one of the most popular mat racers since it was introduced in 2011. The KrakenRACER™ won numerous industry awards in 2011, including both the IAAPA Best New Waterpark Ride as well as the WWA Innovation Award. ProSlide is proud to announce three more KrakenRACER™ installations now open in the USA: Six Flags The Great Escape, Noah's Ark and Lake Compounce, all of them in the four lane configuration. 
Noah's Ark, Wisconsin Dells, WI
The KrakenRACER™ has a compact footprint and configurations ranging from 4 to 10 lanes. It is the only mat racer on the market that starts riders in enclosed, braided tubes. Riders then bank up the curves of the braided section before plunging down the final straight RACER drop to the finish line. ProSlide has more experience than any other manufacturer in mat racer water rides, creating the market segment in 1995 with the ProRACER™, which also won the IAAPA Best New Waterpark Ride the same year.

Lake Compounce, CT
To learn more about the KrakenRACER™ please click here to see the product information page on our website or contact ProSlide directly.

For 25 Years ProSlide Technology has created the world's most award-winning, fiberglass water rides for the waterpark, theme park and resort industries. ProSlide is uniquely focused on product development and innovation, producing visionary designs and inventive water rides. ProSlide has the industry's best planning, design, engineering and installation expertise, creating the highest caliber rider experience. Located in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, with multiple international offices,
ProSlide has thousands of installations in over 45 countries worldwide.
Visit www.proslide.com for further information.

Nominations Open for 2012 IAAPA Hall of Fame

2011 IAAPA Hall of Fame Inductees Betty Taylor and Wally Boag
Alexandria, VA, USA -- The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) is now accepting nominations for the 2012 IAAPA Hall of Fame Award.  The IAAPA Hall of Fame was established in 1990 to celebrate outstanding achievement and contributions to the growth and development of the amusement park and attractions industry; an industry that, like few others, depends on the imaginations, talents, and vision of its dream builders.

2011 Inductee John P.C. Collins
2011 Inductee Frederick W. Pearce Sr.

The IAAPA Hall of Fame inductees are not chosen by virtue of their personal success alone, but rather for significant contributions to the entire industry, their community, and the world.

The IAAPA Hall of Fame awards are presented annually at IAAPA Attractions Expo.To be nominated, a candidate must meet each of the following three criteria:
  • Have been associated with the attractions industry for a minimum period of 10 years.
  • Have been associated with a theme or amusement park, waterpark, family entertainment center, zoo, aquarium, museum, science center, casino, resort or other attraction, manufacturer, supplier, designer, or attractions industry consultant.
  • Have made a significant contribution to the worldwide attractions industry that has provided innovation, education, leadership, and/or influence both inside her/her organization AND within the industry in a manner that will continue to be of value in the future. Examples include contributions to the attractions industry at large such as: 1) Literary contribution 2) Design or invention of material equipment, processes, or technical services 3) Innovation in conjunction with attractions, rides, exhibitions, entertainment, food, merchandise, games, engineering, or safety. 
The nomination form can be found here. Deadline for nominations is August 10, 2012.

End of the Road for Two Record Breaking Woodies

Rattler. Courtesy www.CoasterGallery.com
by Joe Kleiman, IPM Online News Editor

San Antonio, TX and Mason, OH, USA -- Two record breaking wooden rollercoasters, Rattler at Six Flags Fiesta Texas and Son of Beast at Kings Island, are scheduled to begin dismanteling later this year.  Both rides received extensive track modifications during their operation following lawsuits resulting from alleged injuries.

When Fiesta Texas opened in 1992 as a joint venture of AARP and Opryland, Rattler was the only rollercoaster in the park.  At 179 feet, with a first drop of 166 feet and a top speed of 73 mph, it held the height and speed records for a "woodie" at the time.  In 1994, the first drop was shortened to 124 feet, which reduced the top speed to 65 mph.  According to the San Antonio Express-News, "At the time, Fiesta Texas officials denied that the changes were the result of allegations in the lawsuits. In 1998, the park reached settlements worth $3.54 million in lawsuits representing 27 plaintiffs."  Current park operator Six Flags has announced that Rattler's final day of operation will be August 5, 2012.

Son of Beast. Courtesy www.CoasterGallery.com
Son of Beast opened at King's Island in 2000 with a number of world records of its own.  At 218 feet with a top speed of 78 mph, it held the new record for height and speed.  It also became the first wooden coaster with a loop in close to 100 years.  In 2006, trains were shortened and the vertical loop was removed.  The ride was closed permanently by park operators prior to the 2010 season and they have announced that dismantlement will begin later this Summer.

Both coasters were designed by the now defunct Roller Coaster Corporation of America.  Neither park has announced a replacement attraction.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

2012 Domefest Winners Announced

From Cell! Cell! Cell!
Baton Rouge, LA, USA (July 27, 2012) -- Winners were announced today in each of the six catagories during Domefest 2012, held in conjunction with the International Planetary Society's 2012 conference.

DESIGN: Jeepers Creepers (http://bit.ly/MRjtf2)
NARRATIVE: Cell! Cell! Cell! (http://bit.ly/QnDD5y)
INNOVATION: The Sublime (http://bit.ly/SYj519)
ART: Coral Rekindling Venus (http://bit.ly/PKxhdh)
STUDENT WORK: 0.1 (http://bit.ly/Okt7Ks)
BEST OF THE FEST: Awesome Light (http://bit.ly/Oti9AO)

Friday, July 27, 2012

PHOTO ESSAY: London Olympics Opening Ceremonies

All photos courtesy The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games Limited

Actor Kenneth Branaugh recites Shakespeare

The Queen and James Bond skydive into the stadium
Rowan Atkinson as Mr. Bean joins the London Symphony
David Beckham pilots the flame on a speedboat beneath the Tower Bridge

Jeffrey Wyatt Joins GES Entertainment Division as VP Business Development

Global Experience Specialists (GES), a leader in exhibition, event and retail marketing services announced today the appointment of Jeffrey Wyatt as Vice President of Business Development for GES’s Entertainment division. Mr. Wyatt will report to Eddie Newquist, executive vice president and chief creative officer of GES, and will focus on business development of GES’ international and domestic traveling exhibitions for museums, science centers, theme parks, zoos and other destination entertainment centers.

“We are beyond thrilled to welcome Jeff to the GES Entertainment team. His wealth of experience and knowledge of the touring exhibition and entertainment marketing industry will make him a valuable addition to our team” says Eddie Newquist, EVP and CCO, GES.

Mr. Wyatt brings over twenty years of experience in the creation, operation, sales and marketing of attractions, events and exhibitions for the entertainment and museum industry.

Prior to joining GES, Mr. Wyatt was VP of Production at Arts & Exhibitions International, a subsidiary of AEG, where he oversaw the creation and operations of blockbuster exhibitions including King Tut. Prior to this, he held senior management positions at Clear Channel Exhibitions, Universal Studios and Iwerks. He brings expertise in production, operation, sales and marketing of attractions, events and exhibitions in both the entertainment and museum fields.

About GES
Global Experience Specialists, Inc. (GES), a Viad Corp (NYSE: VVI) company, is a leading marketing agency that produces exhibitions, events, exhibits and retail environments. GES provides a wide range of services, including turn‐key official show services, cutting‐edge creative and design, marketing and measurement services—all with an unrivaled global reach. GES partners with leading shows and brands, including the International CES, Spring Fair Birmingham, International Woodworking Fair, CONEXPO‐CON/AGG and IFPE, Bell Helicopter, Genzyme, L’Oreal, Warner Bros., and Simon Property Group. GES’ National ServicenterSM has been recognized with certification under the J.D. Power and Associates Certified Call Center ProgramSM for the past four years, and for the third year in a row, Ad Age has named GES as one of the “World’s 50 Largest Agency Companies.” For more information, visit ges.com or the GES blog at defyingconvention.ges.com.

UPDATED: Olympic Flame Heads to Stadium

London, UK (July 27, 2012) David Bekham pilots a speedboat under the Tower Bridge carrying the Olympic Flame to the stadium for the Opening Ceremonies.  All photos courtesy The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games.

This morning, The Olympic Flame traveled from Hampton Court Palace to Tower Bridge aboard the Royal Row Barge Gloriana.  It will then be run to London City Hall, where it will spent most of the day.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Meyda Custom Lighting Introduces Mason Jar Pendants

Yorkville, New York—Following up on its popular wine bottle lighting collection, Meyda Custom Lighting introduces Mason Jar Pendants. Meyda Custom Lighting is a Meyda Tiffany company, America's leading manufacturer and designer of custom lighting solutions and decorative accessories.

The first design in the collection is the Meyda Mason Jar Pendant (model 136196) featuring six clear glass mason jars with T6.5 bulbs, suspended by six arms. The hardware and canopy are hand finished in Black that will complement a broad range of interior décor schemes.  Meyda can create pendants with different sized mason jars as well and pendants ranging from one light to 12 lights.

The pendant is 11 inches wide and has a total height ranging from 15 to 72 inches.

Made in the USA, the 6-Light Mason Jar is handcrafted by highly skilled Meyda artisans in the Yorkville, New York manufacturing facilities.

About Meyda Custom Lighting

Meyda Custom Lighting is a Meyda Tiffany Company, the nation's leading manufacturer and designer of custom, Tiffany lamps and decorative lighting. Although founded in 1974, the firm's roots actually date back to the early 1900s, supplying the Master Louis Comfort Tiffany and his Tiffany Studios with lighting products, and creating the original Coca-Cola stained glass lamps and chandeliers. With years of designing and manufacturing expertise, Meyda Custom Lighting has developed innovations, technologies and value engineering that transcend architectural lighting for any budget or economy, in today's commercial and residential markets.  

For more information, contact Meyda Custom Lighting Toll-Free at (800) 222-4009.
Website: www.Meyda.com  Email: sales@Meyda.com

Polin's King Cobra Strikes at Six Flags Hurricane Harbor

Istanbul, Turkey (July 25, 2012) -- The King Cobra may not be native to the United States. But the king-sized snake-themed waterslide from Polin Waterparks and Pool Systems (Istanbul, Turkey) recently slithered into a new home there in Jackson, N.J. On July 24, the extreme racing waterslide unleashed its venomous fury on guests at Six Flags Hurricane Harbor, enticing them with stomach-churning speeds and adrenaline-pumping drops.

Polin-a world leader in the aquatics industry-installed the first King Cobra waterslide in Europe before exporting the massive serpent to Turkey and Russia. This year, in addition to the New Jersey installation, the company-which has designed, manufactured and installed waterparks in 80 countries around the globe-will create new habitats for the sinuous slide in Asia, Europe and the Middle East.

Sohret Pakis, Polin's Marketing Manager, said: "We knew that waterslide fans were greatly anticipating when King Cobra would be introduced in the United States. The ride had already gotten a lot of attention and interest from fans in other parts of the world. The question was, who would be the first to offer this unique ride in the U.S.?" Polin was pleased to work out an arrangement for Six Flags Hurricane Harbor to be that site. "We are very excited about King Cobra's first U.S. installation," Pakis said. "We are so glad and proud that it is Six Flags Great Adventure."

Together, Six Flags Great Adventure, Wild Safari and Hurricane Harbor create America's largest regional theme park. Hurricane Harbor waterpark, located on 45 acres, features more than 20 high-speed thrill slides, a family water playground, a million-gallon wave pool and a half-mile-long leisure river.

Polin's supersized cobra version is no less threatening than the real one. Bold red, black and white scales provide an imposing veneer over the exterior and interior of the slide's massive 50-foot (15.24-meter) height and 260-foot (790-meter) length.

The core feature of King Cobra is its unique configuration that enables two riders to race along a circular path filled with twists, turns and surprises. Water pressure of 3,875 gallons (14,668 liters) per minute catapults riders through open and closed tubes before they brave a heart-pounding plunge nearly 25 feet (8 meters) down a 50-degree slope.

Along the way, riders accelerate to speeds of up to 32 mph (51 km/h).

Six Flags Great Adventure Park President John Fitzgerald said, "We are confident that King Cobra's intense ride experience and unparalleled design will make it our most popular and entertaining water attraction."

Alper Cetiner, Polin Project Manager, echoed Fitzgerald's comments. "With so many special features, we expect the ride to be more successful than even anticipated

King Cobra Fast Facts

HEIGHT: 50 feet/15.24 meters-the same as the world'slargest snake, a titanoboa!

SPEED: 32 mph/51 kph-as fast asSix Flags Great Adventure's Skull Mountain indoor roller coaster!

LENGTH: 260 feet/790 meters-the sameas 26 actual king cobras laid end-to-end!

WATER PRESSURE: 3,875 gallons/14,668 liters per minute-the amount needed toflush a whopping 2,422 toilets!

FINAL DROP: 51-degree angle-steeper than the drop on Six Flags Great Adventure's Green Lantern and Rolling Thunder roller coasters!

About Six Flags Great Adventure
Together, Six Flags Great Adventure, Wild Safari and Hurricane Harbor make up one of America's largest regional theme parks. Opened in 1974, the park is located between New York City and Philadelphia, two of the largest cities in the U.S. Six Flags Great Adventure is home to Kingda Ka, the tallest roller coaster in the world and the fastest in North America, as well as El Toro, the No. 1 wooden roller coaster in the world. The park also offers the largest drive-through safari outside of Africa with more than 1,200 animals from six continents. Hurricane Harbor Water Park covers 45 acres and features more than 20 high-speed thrill slides, a family water playground, a million-gallon wave pool and a half-mile-long leisure river. For more information, visit www.sixflags.com/greatadventure

About Six Flags Entertainment Corp.
Six Flags Entertainment Corp. is the world's largest regional theme park company with $1.0 billion in revenue and 19 parks across the United States, Mexico and Canada. For more than 50 years, Six Flags has entertained millions of families with world-class coasters, themed rides, thrilling waterparks and unique attractions. For more information, visit www.sixflags.com

About Polin Waterparks and Pool Systems
Polin Waterparks and Pool Systems was founded in Istanbul, Turkey, in 1976 and has become one of the world's leading companies in the design, manufacture and installation of waterparks, waterslides and water-play attractions. Polin is intimately involved in all the projects it takes on, guiding each step from concept to completion. Polin has been a pioneer in the advancement and application of closed-molded manufacturing technology in waterslide development. Since 2006, Polin has converted more than 95 percent of its annual fiberglass production to resin transfer molding (RTM). Polin offers both bowl rides and family rides featuring RTM techniques. Polin also offers its unique and patented Natural Light Effect technology, Special Pattern Effects technology in RTM and translucent RTM waterslides. Polin features a wide range of slides, including signature rides such as the patented King Cobra, Magic Spheres, Spheres, Magi Cone and Space Shuttle. Polin is committed to providing the best-quality product and service by investing in continuous research and development. The company plans to further expand its L-RTM line while introducing new signature rides and innovations. For more information, visit www.polin.com.tr

Mountain Coaster Newest Adventure at Camelback Mountain Resort

Camelback Mountain Resort, Tannersville, PA, USA (July 24, 2012) -- Mountain Coaster is coming to CBK Mountain Adventures on August 7th.

The Mountain Coaster has a 4500’ stainless steel track that’s 38’ up at its highest point, with two 360 degree turns. The coaster is a year round attraction that provides full visibility of the mountains, skiers, swimmers, sun worshipers, Flowriders, bungee jumpers, zip liners and more.

“The Mountain Coaster is on a low impact track that is staked to the ground, providing an environmentally friendly, ecologically sound experience,” explained Ken Ellis, President of Aquatic Development Group and co-owner of Camelback Mountain Resort. “This is the wilderness and it’s important to keep it that way.”

The Mountain Coaster’s system pulls the car, which seats two people (maximum weight 350lbs) up the ski slopes of Camelback on the track. The “up” takes about 5 minutes as guests gain lots of visibility of the area. Then, as riders get to the top, gravity takes over… but they control the speed and the brakes as they head down, gaining maximum speeds of 25 to 30 mph.

“Camelback Mountain Resort is the place for fun 365 days a year. We opened the longest, twin Zip-Flyers in North America in April and now the Pocono Mountains’ only Mountain Coaster,” said Arthur B. Berry III, owner of Camelback Mountain Resort. Berry continued, “We are committed to continually improving our brand and bringing fun for the entire family to the Pocono Mountains.”

Safety is paramount on the Mountain Coaster and is built into the system. Get too close to the car in front of you and the brakes will automatically come on. Take your seat belt off, and again the brakes will come on for protection.

With less than 10 Mountain Coasters now operational in the United States, Camelback Mountain Resort is a leader in providing the newest interactive attractions at year round resorts. The Mountain Coaster joins the twin Zip-Flyers as two new family thrill activities introduced in 2012 as part of a 3 million dollar expansion this year to CBK Mountain Adventures. That follows on the heels of a 3 million dollar expansion at Camelbeach Mountain Waterpark in 2011.

And, in the winter of 2012-2013, plans will be unveiled for the new 453-room Camelback Mountain Resort Hotel, complete with a 120,000 square feet indoor water park.

All of the upgrades and expansions at Camelback Mountain Resort are the brainchildren of the Camelback Mountain Resort’s owners: Skidmore college roommates, Arthur B. Berry III and Kenneth Ellis. Art was an area resident who spent his childhood skiing at Camelback, and Ken followed his father into the swimming pool business, leading the Aquatic Development Group to become the preeminent waterpark builder in the United States. Now in its 49th year, Art and Ken purchased Camelback Resort in 2005. From 1963 to 1998 Camelback was a ski-only resort. Camelbeach Mountain Waterpark opened in 1998, and then upon acquisition by Berry and Ellis, expansion, upgrades and a true commitment to the overall guest experience began, and shape the present and future of the resort. With 800,000 visitors annually, it’s clear that Berry and Ellis have brought a new level of experience, commitment, hospitality and innovation to the Camelback, the Pocono Mountains and the industry. http://www.cbkmountainadventures.com/

Senheiser Offering RF Workshop in NYC August 6

New York City, NY, USA -- Audio specialist Sennheiser announced that it will be offering its RF Wireless Sound Academy Seminar in New York City on Monday, August 6th in mid-town Manhattan. The seminar costs $199 and includes continental breakfast, full lunch, workshop materials, and a $50 rebate coupon good for Sennheiser and Neumann products. Participants who complete the seminar will earn 6 RU CTS credits.

This single-day workshop is designed to teach attendees how to plan for trouble-free operation of multi-channel wireless microphones and wireless personal monitoring systems in even the toughest environments. Topics will include:

  • RF theory plus practical tips and tricks to maximize reliability
  • Reserving TV channels for events on the new FCC spectrum database system
  • Best practices for system planning and frequency coordination
  • Working with wireless monitoring systems
  • New developments in digital RF systems The event will feature several experts in the field including host and presenter Joe Ciaudelli and special guest Volker Schmitt: the RF engineer who spearheaded the creation of Sennheiser’s most successful and innovative products, including the popular evolution wired, evolution wireless, MKH, MKE, and 3000 and 5000 series.
  • Other highly qualified guest speakers include Uwe Sattler and Ben Escobedo of Sennheiser, Broadway RF and audio engineer, Andrew Funk and Henry Cohen, president and senior RF engineer at Production Radio - an RF engineering, consulting and event services firm serving entertainment, production and corporate clients. Following are details on the event and how to register:

Where: Musicians Union Local 802, 322 W 48th St., New York City
When: Monday, August 6th 2012 between 9:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
Cost/registration: $199 per participant (register before July 27th and receive a $20 discount). Complete registration details, bios of guest speakers and more information at http://www.sennheiserusa.com/RFseminar.

Sennheiser is a world-leading manufacturer of microphones, headphones and wireless transmission systems. Established in 1945 in Wedemark, Germany, Sennheiser is now a global brand represented in 60 countries around the world with U.S. headquarters in Old Lyme, Conn. Sennheiser's pioneering excellence in technology has rewarded the company with numerous awards and accolades including an Emmy, a Grammy, and the scientific and engineering award of the academy of motion picture arts and sciences. For more information, please visit www.sennheiserusa.com.

The Olympic Flame Enters London

London, UK -- The London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) confirmed arrangements for the Olympic Flame’s final journey down the River Thames on Friday 27 July and a selection of highlights for its seven-day journey around the capital.
  • 982 Torchbearers will carry the Flame around the capital during its seven day tour
  • 18 Torchbearers on final day, seven of whom will travel down the Thames on Gloriana, The Queen’s Rowbarge
  • Londoners advised to stay local and plan ahead at GetAheadoftheGames.com
Having visited over 1,000 communities around the UK and celebrated the achievements of over 7,000 Torchbearers to date, the Olympic Torch Relay – presented by Coca-Cola, Lloyds TSB and Samsung will see the Flame carried by 982 Torchbearers around 200 miles of the capital’s streets, taking in landmarks, community spaces and places to showcase London and Londoners to the world.

Sebastian Coe, Chair of LOCOG said: ‘Thank you to everyone who has cheered on the Torchbearers right around the UK and helped to build the excitement towards the start of the Games. With eleven days to go until the Olympic Flame the lights the cauldron at the Opening Ceremony it is great to see London ready to welcome the Flame and set to celebrate inspiring people and amazing places in each and every Borough.’

Given the huge and enthusiastic crowds that have followed the Olympic Torch Relay on its journey around the UK – as estimated 9 million people have cheered on the Torchbearers to date - LOCOG and Transport for London (TfL) advise that the week when the Olympic Torch Relay is in London is expected to be exceptionally busy. Very large crowds are expected to line the London route and, alongside a number of road closures as the Olympic Flame visits all 33 London Boroughs from Saturday 21 to Friday 27 July, this will have an impact on traffic and transport networks in local areas.

As a result, at certain times and in certain places, London’s roads and public transport networks are expected to be much busier than usual. LOCOG and TfL advise Londoners that, if possible, it would be best to stay local and try to view the Flame when it passes through the area nearest to home or place of work. People will also be able to watch the arrival of the Flame live on the BBC.

On Thursday 26 and Friday 27 July in particular, roads in central London will be exceptionally busy and there will be a large number of road closures necessary along the route. On 27 Friday July, those without a ticket for the Opening Ceremony or another event in the Stratford area are advised to avoid the area from 3.00pm.

TfL has already issued advice to motorists that, from this week, they should avoid driving in central London, around the Olympic Route Network and Games venues.

For anyone travelling in London the advice is to check out the Torch Relay route and plan ahead. If travelling to an area where the Torch is passing through, the advice is to leave plenty of time for journeys and take public transport where possible.

On Friday 27 July, the final day of the London 2012 Torch Relay will gather momentum at Hampton Court Palace where Torchbearers will carry the Flame around the grounds of the Palace and through the world’s oldest hedge maze.

At about 7.30am the Flame will be carried on board Gloriana, The Queen’s Rowbarge which was presented to and named by Her Majesty The Queen in a ceremony that took place earlier this year and will provide a lasting legacy to mark Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee. The Flame will light a ceremonial cauldron on board Gloriana and over the course of the morning seven Torchbearers will light a Torch from the cauldron and carry the Flame for about eight minutes each at selected areas that are viewable from the banks of the River. The Torchbearers for the last day of the Relay – all members of the public with personal best stories - will be confirmed shortly.

Gloriana will be rowed by 16 oarsmen and women who will be drawn from a squad of 28 rowers on-board on the day. The squad is made up of former British Olympic crews dating back to the 1948 Games and ‘Olympians of the future’ from London Youth Rowing. Gloriana will be accompanied by a small number of craft designed to showcase London’s waterborne heritage as the Flame makes its way towards the Olympic Stadium.

The finale to the public participation in the Torch Relay will see the last Torchbearer on the River Thames carry the Flame to Tower Bridge for a final photo opportunity in front the Olympic Rings at approximately 12.45pm. The Flame will then remain out of public view at City Hall until it appears at the Opening Ceremony.

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: ‘The arrival of the Olympic Flame is a huge moment for the capital and an incredible opportunity for Londoners to experience, right on their doorsteps, the growing excitement as the countdown to the start of the 2012 Olympic Games moves ever nearer. From Redbridge to Bexley, Richmond to Haringey an incredible array of events and celebrations are planned so I'd encourage everyone to find out what's happening in their local area and get involved in this summer like no other.’

Sport and Olympics Minister Hugh Robertson said: ‘The Torch Relay has received a rousing reception from the British public over the last two months, with millions of people lining the streets to support the local hero Torchbearers as they passed by some of Britain’s most iconic landmarks and landscapes.

‘Now the Flame is on the home straight. Its arrival in London and journey through the capital marks the final countdown to what will be a great Games.’

A selection of highlights for the week-long tour of the capital include:

Friday 20 July
HM Tower of London: the Olympic Flame will arrived at Tower Wharf in front of the Tower of London. In a brief moment, a Royal Marine Commando, carrying the Flame in a lantern, undertook a 180ft abseil from a Royal Navy Sea King helicopter. Two Torchbearers then carried the Flame around the Tower of London to be welcomed by Mayor of London Boris Johnson and the Lutfur Rahman, Mayor of Tower Hamlets and invited guests. At the Jewel House the Flame was handed to the General the Lord Dannatt, Constable of the Tower of London, where it remained overnight.

Saturday 21 July
Greenwich Park: The London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay started with Natasha Sinha, 15, from Greenwich who was nominated through the LOCOG campaign for her dedication to swimming and cross country running, carrying the Flame from the Royal Observatory, Greenwich and the Meridian Time Line, through Greenwich Park to the London 2012 Equestrian Arena. There Natasha handed the Flame to Ella Statham, 15, also from Greenwich who was nominated through the LOCOG programme for her volunteering work with the London Football Association.

Cutty Sark: Sir Robin Knox-Johnson carried the Flame for a lap around the restored Cutty Sark ship. Sir Robin was the first person to sail solo non-stop around the world, founded the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race in 1995 and has been a Cutty Sark Trustee since 2011.

Sunday 22 July
EDF Energy London Eye: Amelia Hempleman-Adams, 17, from Surrey, who at the age of 16 became the youngest person to ski to the South Pole held the Flame on top of a capsule on the London Eye.

Monday 23 July
Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust Centre: Doreen Lawrence, 59, from Catford carried the Flame into the forecourt of the centre set up in memory of her son as base for community learning and development.

Wimbledon All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club: a Torchbearer carried the Flame onto Centre Court.

Tuesday 24 July
Hook Community Centre: The first Torchbearer of the day James Cracknell, 40, started the Torch Relay at the Hook Community Centre in Kingston. Since retiring from international rowing in 2004 he is perhaps best known for his physical endeavours since this time. Many of the challenges that James undertakes result in him raising huge amounts of money for charity. Currently, James is campaigning to promote the use of cycle helmets using his own inspirational journey of recovery to illustrate their importance since his near fatal collision whilst riding his bike in 2010.

Wednesday 25 July
Alexandra Palace: Daley Thompson will be the last Torchbearer of the day and will light the celebration cauldron at the Haringey evening celebration event. Daley holds more decathlon honours than anybody before or after him. He was the first person ever to hold the World, Olympic, Commonwealth and European titles at the same time, as well as the World Record. He was unbeaten in competition for 9 years. He trained at nearby Haringey Athletics Club.

Thursday 26 July
3.33pm – BBC White City: Two Torchbearers will exchange the Flame at the site of the finishing line in the stadium of the 1908 Olympic Games. One of the two Torchbearers is Antoine de Navacelle. Antoine is the great grand-nephew of Baron Pierre de Coubertin, the father of the modern Olympic Games. Antoine is closely involved in the Olympic movement and has promoted the Coubertin Award student essay competition ahead of the London 2012 Games to promote wider understanding of the Olympic ideals. As a board member of the International Pierre de Coubertin Committee, Antoine acts as an advocate for the values of respect, excellence and friendship remaining embedded in the modern Olympic Games

5.59pm – Downing Street: A Torchbearer will be given a special welcome to Downing Street.

Franklin Institute Receives $2.5 Million Donation From Pharmaceutical Firm Brand Teva For Exhibit on Human Brain

Philadelphia, PA, USA /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Franklin Institute has received a $2.5 million contribution from leading global pharmaceutical company Teva Pharmaceuticals to develop a signature innovative exhibit at the museum exploring neuroscience and the human brain, entitled Your Brain. This contribution brings The Franklin Institute's Inspire Science fundraising campaign total to $65 million.

"Teva has long been committed to improving science education, and we are thrilled to partner with The Franklin Institute to present this fascinating new exhibit, which will enable visitors of all ages to explore and understand one of the frontiers of science research," said William Marth, President and CEO, Teva Americas.

"We are tremendously grateful for Teva's outstanding generosity and support of the Institute's mission to inspire a passion for learning about science," said Dr. Dennis M. Wint, President and CEO, The Franklin Institute. "Through this partnership, Teva will help the Institute ensure that the scientists, medical professionals, and leaders of tomorrow will be inspired and excited to pursue their potential."

As a global pharmaceutical leader, Teva is committed to researching, developing and producing both generic and innovative products that make a significant difference in people's lives – and are accessible to all. Included in their vast portfolio are medications specifically tailored to treat those who are affected by serious neurological conditions, such as Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson's disease, as well as chronic and breakthrough cancer pain, and sleep disorders.

The revolutionary 8,500 square foot Your Brain exhibit at The Franklin Institute will help visitors understand the brain's role in all aspects of the human experience. Delving into a range of topics in neuroscience and psychology, the exhibit will show how this evolving science is having a profound impact on our personal and societal decisions. With this gift, Teva continues the great tradition of support for The Franklin Institute established by Cephalon, Inc., which was acquired by Teva Pharmaceuticals in October 2011.Your Brain will be housed in the Frank Baldino, Jr. Gallery, named for Cephalon's late founder.

The Frank Baldino, Jr. Gallery will be located inside the brand new 53,000-square-foot addition, theNicholas and Athena Karabots Pavilion, adjacent to the Benjamin Franklin National Memorial. Slated to open in 2014, the Karabots Pavilion will enable the Institute to expand its successful ongoing education programs by adding 10,000 square feet of multi-purpose and classroom space. Further, it will secure the Institute's standing as a preferred destination for traveling exhibitions by adding 8,000 square feet of climate-controlled gallery space adjacent to the existing traveling exhibit gallery in the Mandell Center.

The Karabots Pavilion and Your Brain exhibit are the final capital initiatives of a comprehensive strategic plan that included, among other things, the restoration of the Benjamin Franklin National Memorial in 2008 and the opening of two new core exhibits, Changing Earth and Electricity, in 2010.

About Teva
Teva North America is a subsidiary of Teva Pharmaceuticals Ltd. In North America, Teva has locations in 13 states, District of Columbia, Canada and Puerto Rico and more than 9,000 employees. In fact, one in every seven prescriptions dispensed in the U.S. is a Teva product.

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., headquartered in Israel, is a leading global pharmaceutical company, committed to providing consumers with access to high-quality healthcare by developing, producing and marketing affordable generic, innovative and specialty products, as well as active pharmaceutical ingredients.

The Company is the largest maker of generic pharmaceutical products, has a global product portfolio of more than 1,300 molecules and a direct presence in about 60 countries. The branded businesses focus on CNS, oncology, pain, respiratory and women's health therapeutic areas as well as biologics.

The Franklin Institute
Located in the heart of Philadelphia, The Franklin Institute is a renowned and innovative leader in the field of science and technology learning, as well as a dynamic center of activity. Pennsylvania's most visited museum, it is dedicated to creating a passion for learning about science by offering access to hands-on science education. Considered one of the great science centers in the nation and the world, The Franklin Institute is known for outstanding exhibits, one-of-a-kind theatrical experiences, and cutting-edge community learning with national influence. All are aimed at explaining science in ways that impact people's lives. For more information, visit www.fi.edu.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

SimEx-Iwerks Now Offering Rope Courses

Santa Clarita, CA, USA -- Now open at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, guests have the opportunity to climb, swing, and zip through the trees on the all-new Jungle Ropes Safari! This attraction is a partnership between San Diego Zoo Safari Park and SimEx-Iwerks Entertainment.

SimEx-Iwerks is the world leader in 4-D Theater Entertainment with over 35 zoo and aquarium partners across North America. SimEx-Iwerks specializes in creating immersive experiences that complement the mission of our partners and enhance their overall guest experience.

“After significant research, we have expanded our very successful business model to include eco-friendly ropes courses,” says Mark Cornell, Senior Vice President of Attractions Development. “Our expertise is not just the attractions themselves but identifying partners that will make them as successful as they can be. We are off to a great start with the San Diego Zoo Safari Park.”

SimEx-Iwerks Eco Ropes Adventures are developed in collaboration with our experts who bring decades of experience in forestry, ropes safety, climbing, and mountain sports. All courses are environmentally friendly, certified by an Engineer (P.E.) and built to exceed ACCT standards. The Jungle Ropes Safari at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park offers three different courses, each one containing more than a dozen unique elements. Participants age seven and up can navigate safely at their own pace through the various self-guided aerial trails, choosing the paths that fit their own challenge level. With rope bridges, aerial tightropes, swinging log steps, zip lines, and moving platforms, this attraction is appropriate for all levels of adventure seekers ready to try out life in the treetops.

Mark Cornell adds, “We were excited to create an attraction that complemented the zoo and its mission. The Jungle Ropes Safari provides visitors with an immersive experience that features a bird’s-eye view of habitats and animals. SimEx-Iwerks differentiates itself from other attractions companies through its turn-key program—including unique course design, operations training, sales training, high-impact marketing and project funding. We could not be happier with the new Jungle Ropes Safari at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park.”

SimEx-Iwerks is a global entertainment company that has developed quality attractions for zoos, aquariums, and theme parks for more than 25 years. With over 150 attractions around the world, we immerse, entertain and engage more than 80 million guests every year.  www.iwerks.com

Worlds of Fun Offering Special Incentives to Help Guests Beat the Heat

Kansas City, MO, USA -- With temperatures expected to top 100 degrees throughout the week, Worlds of Fun will help guests "Beat the Heat" with a special discount on Ride & Slide tickets. Through Sunday, July 29, at worldsoffun.com, the Ride & Slide ticket is lowered to the same price as a one-day Worlds of Fun ticket. Guests can keep cool at both parks for the price of one. More details and restrictions are available at worldsoffun.com/tickets.

In addition to 65 acres of water attractions at Oceans of Fun, neighboring Worlds of Fun offers late hours, free ice water, air conditioned shows and shopping, and water rides to help guests keep cool.

Oceans of Fun is open daily, 10 am - 7 pm (10 am  - 8 pm on Saturdays), and Worlds of Fun is open daily, 10 am - 10 pm (10 am - midnight on Saturdays). The "Beat the Heat" offer is valid through Sunday, July 29. For more details on this promotion, visit worldsoffun.com.

Leisure Quest International Establishes Chinese Headquarters in Tianjin

Leisure Quest's Mark Driscoll and Ted King pictured with LQI China's General Manager Michael Xue and Marketing Director Josh Du in front of the Company's new China Headquarters.
Tianjin, China -- Leisure Quest International, LLC one of the world’s leading theme park, attraction and tourism development consultancies has established its China Headquarters in Tianjin, China. Through its wholly-owned Leisure Quest International Tianjin, LLC company (a Chinese wholly owned company), the Company will continue its decade long commitment to the world’s largest tourism, entertainment and attractions market.
The new headquarters is located in the iconic 79 story Tianjin World Financial Center Tower, Tianjn’s newest landmark. The Company will continue to maintain its Beijing marketing and coordination office.

The Company’s decision to establish its China headquarters in Tianjin was an easy decision says Mark A. Driscoll, the Company’s Founder and President. "Our first project was in Tianjin when we engineered the joint venture between Hollywood’s Paramount Studios and Tianjin Universal Television & Film Company. We later were appointed Tianjin’s Tourism Advisor and have continued to play a meaningful role in many of Tianjin’s tourism and entertainment developments. We belong here." Michael Xue, LQI China’s General Manager added "It is fitting and appropriate that our China headquarters is located in Tianjin. The Tianjin headquarters together with our marketing and coordination office in Beijing will greatly improve our ability to deliver our world-class design, planning and operations services to our clients throughout China for years to come".

About Leisure Quest International, LLC
Leisure Quest International is one of the world’s leading consultants for leisure, entertainment and tourism developments. The company is headquartered at Universal Studios, Ca with regional headquarters located in Tianjin, China and a marketing and coordination office in Beijing, China. Leisure Quest International successfully developed tourism submarines in Hawaii, planned numerous projects and attractions in Dubai, UAE including work on such icons as Palm Island, The World Islands, and Madinat Jumeirah, and is an industry leader in China. The Company is known for its unique approach to designing, planning and operating profitable and sustainable theme parks, resorts, tourist attractions and themed destinations worldwide.  
Leisure Quest International, LLC

Groundbreaking Festivities Pave Way For Poland's First Theme Park Resort

Warsaw, Poland -- Adventure World Warsaw (AWW) marked a milestone on Saturday evening, July 21 on the grounds of the Grodzisk Mazowiecki celebrating the official groundbreaking of the 230-hectare resort complex. “Today marks a very special day for not only me, but for the people of Poland and all of Central Eastern Europe”, expressed Peter Mulder, CEO of AWW. “I have been dreaming and planning for this night for many years and I’m excited to be part of Poland’s future as we create a new family entertainment destination”, said Mulder.

The evening event began with an anxious crowd as they peaked beyond the 8-meter purple doors that opened to the groundbreaking event. Guests received an authentic “Guide to the Groundbreaking” that provided a storybook-like map outlining all the exciting moments that were about to take place throughout the night.

Sylwia Mulder, Adventure World Warsaw’s Entertainment Manager, coordinated the the process of designing and executing the event together with the Netherlands-based Jora Entertainment. Together they transformed the former cornfield into a state-of-the-art structure including globe-size tent spaces with creative décor and entertainment that reflected the 5 lands that will be featured in the theme park. Themed culinary delights included oversized donuts and candy canes dripping from the ceiling in the Creature Lagoon area, to a chef preparing the newest culinary cuisine at the molecular buffet in the Lost Kingdom. Upon entering the Land of Legends, a drum core escorted guests to a sushi bar and in Old Poland guests enjoyed some of Poland’s finest homeland cuisine. “We wanted to provide an experience that would fully immerse our guests into the theme park world and expose them to what will one day be here in Warsaw for millions to enjoy”, stated Marjolein van de Stolpe, CEO, Jora Entertainment.

The night capped off with a 15-minute fireworks display following speeches from top entertainment industry executives and Polish local and state officials. “What a wonderful evening and momentous occasion for all of us to celebrate” noted Mayor Grzegorz Benedykciński. “We have been working closely with Mr. Mulder and his team for many years to make this happen – and tonight it becomes real” said the Mayor.

Other dignitaries who also spoke about the project and the positive impact it will have on the community, greater Poland and surrounding countries included Klaus Betz, CEO Imtech, the recently announced General Contractor for Adventure World Warsaw Parks & Resort, and Roland Mack, IAPPA Chairman of the Board, President of Europa Park and founder of Mack Rides.”

Adventure World Warsaw would like to thank all the following vendors for their contributions for making the Groundbreaking Ceremony such a great success:

AGS, De Groot Vroomshoop, Drees&Sommer, ETF, Eurolandscape, Hafema Water Rides, Hellebrekers, Huss Park Attractions, Imtech, Jora Entertainment , Jora Vision, Mack Rides, ProSlide Technology, RCK, Tebodin, Vekoma , Zamperla and Zierer.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Adventure World Warsaw Groundbreaking Ceremony set for July 21, 2012

Peter Jan Mulder, CEO of Adventure World Warsaw and Grzegorz Benedykcinski, Mayor of Grodzisk Mazowiecki, with the AWW 3D model. Photo: Adventure World Warsaw
Warsaw, Poland - With much anticipation a 1/16th model of Poland’s first large-scale theme park and resort was revealed today showcasing the most exciting new venture in Central Eastern Europe defining Warsaw as a new entertainment destination, announced Peter Jan Mulder, CEO of Adventure World Warsaw. “This resort celebrates the renaissance of Poland as it emerges into the world marketplace as a leader in the hospitality and entertainment industry,” said Mulder. 

Related coverage from IPM: 
Next: Adventure World Abu Dhabi?

Adventure World Warsaw will combine a destination resort with over 50 guest experiences including theme park attractions, an indoor Water Park - The Aqua Dome, as well as an urban center – the Entertainment Village, incorporating shopping and dining, and entertainment offerings. Also included on the property will be two themed hotels hosting over 800 rooms plus full conference and meeting facilities. 

The project will be constructed over a total area of approximately 230 hectares. “More than 100 of the most creative and accomplished executives in the theme park and destination resort business have joined together to build this ambitious project,” said Mulder. “Adventure World Warsaw will be a compelling new brand that will command the attention of families and young adults. It will immediately join the ranks of the world’s top theme parks and resorts when it opens its gates in 2015.” 

“AWW will be supplemented with elements of local culture and history, boosting the economy and the existing regional tourism as Central Eastern Europe’s first-of-its-kind destination,” said Steven Shaiken, Executive Managing Director for AWW. “The scale of AWW is without precedence in Eastern Europe and will be responsible for creating thousands of new jobs and impacting favorably on the travel trade and tourism industry throughout the country and all of Europe.” 

Located just outside the capital city, visitors will enter the theme park using a passage under the Grand Resort Hotel. Guest’s first experience of AWW will be Adventure Harbour including a thriving bazaar filled with shops, restaurants and attractions. The theme park itself will consist of five lands geared to family visits. AWW promotional materials promise "attractions in each land, all in an amazing scenery of fairy tales and legends including super coasters, elaborately themed indoor rides, water slide spectaculars and wave pools, interactive fountains, boat cruises and carousels." 

Passing through the portals of Adventure Harbour, guests will enter the LOST KINGDOM, where they can see high fall stunts and interact in a 5D theater. Upon leaving Lost Kingdom, guests enter OLD POLAND, where the architecture will be reminiscent of Poland’s past and storybook characters. In youth-oriented CREATURE LAGOON, all ages may interact with mythical creatures. From there guests can experience the LAND OF LEGENDS reflecting ancient civilizations and heavily themed Mayan and Egyptian architecture plus high-adrenaline roller coasters and shows. In CASTLE ISLAND guests can meet wizards and encounter dragons in King Arthur’s River Ride. 

In addition to Peter Jan Mulder and Steven Shaiken, the project’s management team includes newly appointed General Manager Edward Pawley, and a variety of consultants representing the areas of Sales & Marketing, Human Resources, Finance, Park Operations, Hotels and Food Service. The project’s creative team includes AGS Architects, Imtech, JoraVision, Tebodin, Vekoma Rides Manufacturing, and Hafema. 

The number of visits to main business lines (Theme Park, Water Park, Entertainment Village and Hotels) is forecast at approximately 2.6m in 2015 and over 4.6m in 2024. This is achievable, according to AWW, due to a "perfect location" in Central Poland and easy access to the A1 and A2 motorways, high-speed railways and airports. 

AWW is supported by the government of Poland as well as the city of Grodzisk Mazowiecki. “I am thrilled that we are bringing this exciting project to Poland and especially to the Grodzisk commune. This investment will secure the future growth of our region and support our economy with new jobs and business opportunities”, said Mayor Benedykcinski. Grodzisk Mazowiecki is located between two of Poland’s largest cities approx. 19 miles west of Warsaw (the capital of Poland and its largest city) and approx. 56 miles from Lodz (the third largest Polish city). The newly opened A2 highway is adjacent to the AWW resort. A population of almost 20 million resides within a four-hour drive of the resort. There are three airports in the vicinity: Fryderyk Chopin Airport in Warsaw, Modlin Airport and Wladyslaw Reymont Airport in Lodz. A suburban and newly modernized train from Warsaw arrives almost at the gates of AWW, allowing for easy access for resort visitors. Poland lies in the heart of Europe and serves as a bridge between Western and Eastern Europe. It borders seven countries with a total population of 156 million. For more information about the Adventure World Poland Project visit www.adventureworldwarsaw.com.

NBC Universal Statement on Revised Evolution Plan for Universal City

Universal City, CA, USA (July 20, 2012) -- NBC Universal, a division of Comcast, has released a statement regarding changes to the Universal Evolution Plan.  Originally submitted to the City of Los Angeles in 2010, the Plan included expansion of the Universal Studios Hollywood theme park and Citywalk shopping district as well as creation of a residential district within the confines of Universal City.  After Comcast's purchase of NBC Universal last year, the Plan was put under review, with NBC Universal issuing the following statement earlier this week:

Recently, this company reached a major milestone in our proposed 20-year plan for our property with the release of the Final Environmental Impact Report (EIR) by the City of Los Angeles.

From day one, it has been incredibly important for us to listen to our neighbors and stakeholders as well as the broader Los Angeles community about our plans. Over the last several years, NBCUniversal has reached out and talked with thousands of residents and business leaders to understand their priorities and concerns.

In the last year, we have heard from Supervisor Yaroslavsky and Councilman LaBonge and several community members about their concerns regarding adding residential to our property in the future.

After taking a hard look at the project, the current real estate market, our business needs as well as the new owner's priorities, we believe it's best to ask the City and County to focus on the Evolution Plan No Residential Alternative in the Final EIR for the upcoming hearing process and for our 20-year plan to eliminate the residential and retain our backlot for production.

This is the right time in the process to make this decision and it will enable us to concentrate and invest in our core businesses, television and film production, Universal Studios Hollywood Theme Park and CityWalk. Planning for our future in a way that is responsive to the community has always been a priority of the Evolution Plan and today marks the next step in making this important project a reality.

Six Flags and Coca-Cola Extend Partnership for Another Decade

Grand Prairie, TX, USA /PRNewswire/ -- Six Flags Entertainment Corporation, the world's largest regional theme park company, and The Coca-Cola Company have announced a 10-year extension to their partnership agreement, designating Coca-Cola as Six Flags' Official Beverage Sponsor for all domestic parks. The new agreement begins January 2013 and builds on a 50-year relationship that began at Six Flags Over Texas, Six Flags' flagship park.

"We are extremely proud and excited to extend our valuable partnership with Coca-Cola, and expand our relationship that is built on innovation, service and quality brands," said David McKillips, senior vice president of Corporate Alliances for Six Flags. "We are looking forward to taking our relationship to new heights."

"This new agreement builds on 50 years of refreshing visitors at Six Flags parks. With acres of thrilling rides and attractions to explore, friends and families are sure to work up a thirst enjoying a day outdoors at one of Six Flags' 17 U.S. parks," said Stefanie Miller, Group Vice President of Strategic Partnership Marketing, Coca-Cola Refreshments. "Our diverse portfolio of full, low and no-calorie beverages offers the perfect choice for delicious, ice-cold refreshment for every Six Flags visitor."

The association includes fully integrated marketing, food service and sponsorship elements at every property and exclusive product distribution in restaurants, dining locations and mobile carts for Coca-Cola®, Diet Coke®, Sprite®, Coke Zero™, PowerAde® and Dasani® bottled water, along with energy drinks, teas, juices and all frozen carbonated beverages. The companies will work collaboratively on launching unique beverage innovation concepts, including the expansion of the Coca-Cola Freestyle®Zone, which first opened at Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, NJ in 2011.

Also, Six Flags and Coca-Cola will debut many marketing initiatives nationally, regionally and locally, including value-added promotions unique to each property, along with an extensive, fully-integrated media campaign featuring joint creative messaging on TV, radio, the internet and in cinemas. Additional programs will feature Six Flags rewards within the MyCokeRewards loyalty program, as well as social media and mobile phone campaigns.

In addition, Coca-Cola will be the Official Beverage Sponsor of many Six Flags special events, including spring and summertime music concerts and cultural events such as Festival Latino. Coca Cola will market its products on Six Flags' in-park media networks, including TV commercials, custom-made vignettes on award-winning Six Flags TV, digital out-of-home networks, online at sixflags.com, and via experiential marketing on Coke's Swelter Stopper Tour.

About Six Flags Entertainment Corporation
Six Flags Entertainment Corporation is the world's largest regional theme park company with $1.0 billionin revenue and 19 parks across the United States, Mexico and Canada. For more than 50 years, Six Flags has entertained millions of families with world-class coasters, themed rides, thrilling water parks and unique attractions including up-close animal encounters, Fright Fest® and Holiday in the Park®. For more information, visit sixflags.com.

About The Coca-Cola Company
The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO) is the world's largest beverage company, refreshing consumers with more than 500 sparkling and still brands. Led by Coca-Cola, the world's most valuable brand, our Company's portfolio features 15 billion-dollar brands including Diet Coke, Fanta, Sprite, Coca-Cola Zero, vitaminwater, Powerade, Minute Maid, Simply, Georgia and Del Valle. Globally, we are the No. 1 provider of sparkling beverages, ready-to-drink coffees, and juices and juice drinks. Through the world's largest beverage distribution system, consumers in more than 200 countries enjoy our beverages at a rate of 1.8 billion servings a day. With an enduring commitment to building sustainable communities, our Company is focused on initiatives that reduce our environmental footprint, support active, healthy living, create a safe, inclusive work environment for our associates, and enhance the economic development of the communities where we operate. Together with our bottling partners, we rank among the world's top 10 private employers with more than 700,000 system employees. For more information, please visit www.thecoca-colacompany.com or follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/CocaColaCo.

For First Time in History, Public Can Visit Launch Pads at Kennedy Space Center

Cape Canaveral, FL, USA (July 19, 2012) /PRNewswire/ -- KENNEDY SPACE CENTER -- For the first time in the 50-year history of Kennedy Space Center, NASA on Friday will begin allowing public visitors to tour one of the launch pads from which the space shuttles and Apollo Saturn V moon rockets were launched.

The KSC Up-Close: Launch Pad Tour, the latest to open of three special Kennedy Space Center 50th anniversary rare-access tours, takes visitors from Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex inside the highly secure Launch Complex 39.

Guided by a knowledgeable space expert, visitors will travel nearly a quarter-mile inside the perimeter security fence to Launch Pad 39-A, from which a majority of space shuttles and all six Apollo missions that landed on the moon were launched. Near the launch pad, visitors will exit the tour bus for photo opportunities, including close views of the 350-foot-high fixed service structure, rotating service structure, propellant storage containers, water tanks that feed the noise suppression system, flame trench and other aspects of the launch pad complex.

"Visitors will travel the same route as astronauts to the launch pad, so they can imagine being an astronaut," said Bill Moore, chief operating officer of Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. "You're going to be close to where history has been made and will be made in the future with new programs currently under development for space exploration."

"The launch pad is the last place that I was on Earth before reaching the heavens," said former space shuttle astronaut Jon McBride. "You can walk in my shoes."

The tour then drives by for views of Launch Pad 39-B, site of launches for the Saturn 1B/Skylab missions and of many space shuttle launches. It is now being modernized for launching NASA's new Space Launch System heavy-lift rocket for future missions to carry astronauts in the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle into deep space. NASA is also preparing Kennedy Space Center to accommodate commercial spacecraft and launch vehicles.

The Launch Pad Tour will run through the end of 2012 with a limited number of daily tours. NASA and the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex previously opened two other behind-the-scenes tours scheduled to run through year's end.

One tour, launched in June, takes visitors inside NASA's Launch Control Center (LCC), where directors and engineers supervised all space shuttle and Apollo missions and will oversee future space missions.

The other tour, which began in November, takes visitors inside the 525-foot-tall Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB), the massive building in which the Apollo Saturn V rockets and space shuttles were assembled. The shuttle Atlantis can currently be seen in the VAB, with guests having a good chance of getting an up-close view of a space shuttle through October.

Visitors have not had access inside the VAB or LCC since the 1970s, during the period after the Apollo and Skylab programs ended and before the first space shuttle launch in 1981.

"These are all very rare opportunities that NASA has worked with us to provide to our visitors from Florida, across the United States and overseas," Moore said. "With exciting new space exploration programs coming to Kennedy Space Center, we may never have access to such historic places like this again."

The Launch Pad Tour also includes drive-by views of the VAB, the mobile launch platform and one of the crawler transporters that was used to move Apollo rockets and shuttles to the launch pads and is now being updated to move the Space Launch System rocket. The tour culminates at the Apollo/Saturn V Center. Price is $25 for adults and $19 for children ages 3-11 plus tax, in addition to general admission price.

In celebration of Kennedy Space Center's 50th anniversary, Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is offering two special offers with a savings up to 30 percent on admission, food and merchandise, as well as secure access to view rocket launches. Details of Kennedy Space Center's 50th Gold Admission Package and $50 Annual Pass are available at http://kennedyspacecenter.com/annual-pass-offer.aspx.

From the earliest days of America's storied space program, Kennedy Space Center has captured the world's attention and fed its imagination as the epicenter of mankind's greatest adventure. Its remarkable collection of rockets, launch pads, NASA aerospace technology components and rocket launch viewing opportunities offer authenticity and access unlike any other Central Florida destination.

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex features many attractions and year-round interactive programs, including meeting real astronauts. The standard bus tour, included with admission, explores the history of the Apollo moon and space shuttle programs with panoramic views of launch pads and the VAB's exterior and stops at the LC-39 Observation Gantry and the Apollo/Saturn V Center, where visitors see a fully restored, 363-foot Saturn V moon rocket and relive the historic Apollo missions that saw man land on the moon.

Other Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex attractions and activities include Shuttle Launch Experience, an incredible simulated journey of vertically launching into space and orbiting Earth aboard the space shuttle, as well as the Astronaut Training Experience ® (ATX®), Rocket Garden, two IMAX®theaters, Astronaut Encounter, Lunch With an Astronaut, U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame®, Exploration Space: Explorers Wanted, and the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge.

In addition, Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is the future home of the space shuttle Atlantis, with a multimillion-dollar exhibit scheduled to open in July 2013.

About Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex
Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex opens daily at 9 a.m. Closing times vary by season. Admission includes the Kennedy Space Center Tour, Shuttle Launch Experience, 3D IMAX® space films, Astronaut Encounter, Exploration Space: Explorers Wanted and all exhibits. Admission also includes the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame®, featuring historic spacecraft and the world's largest collection of personal astronaut memorabilia, open from noon until 6:00 p.m. daily. Parking, wheelchairs, strollers and pet kennels are free of charge. Admission is $45 + tax for adults and $35 + tax for children ages 3-11. The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex Commander's Club Annual Pass is $58 + tax for adults and $48+ tax for children ages 3-11. For more information, call 877-313-2610 or visitwww.KennedySpaceCenter.com.

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is operated by Delaware North Companies Parks & Resorts at KSC Inc., a division of Delaware North Companies, one of the world's leading hospitality and food service providers. For more information, visit www.DelawareNorth.com.