Holiday World closes season with one million visitors

Posted Sunday, October 8, 2006 7:20 PM | Contributed by Jeff

[Ed. note: The following is an unedited press release. -J]

For the first time in its 60-year history, Holiday World today exceeded one-million visitors in a single season.

“It took us till the final day of the season, but we did it!” says park president Will Koch. “This is quite a milestone. We’re very grateful to all the families who came to visit this season.”

With a final count of 1,005,000 Guests, this is the first year Holiday World & Splashin' Safari ended the season with attendance figures topping the one-million mark. Koch credits the season’s 15-percent growth to the addition of The Voyage roller coaster along with continued concentration on cleanliness and friendliness.

“So much of the credit goes to the incredible service and hospitality provided by our outstanding Hosts and Hostesses,” Koch says. “It doesn’t matter how great your rides are if the employees are rude and the bathrooms are filthy. We are very appreciative of our hard-working staff.”

In August, Holiday World & Splashin' Safari were awarded four coveted “Golden Ticket Awards” from Amusement Today magazine. The publication’s readers, who are well-traveled park enthusiasts from around the world, voted the southern Indiana parks the world’s #1 Friendliest and #1 Cleanest again this year. The “Best New Ride” award went to The Voyage, which was also ranked the #2 Wooden Coaster, and the “Best New WaterPark Ride” designation was given to the new Bahari River in Splashin' Safari.

Koch says the parks’ strong growth pattern should continue next year with the addition of Bakuli family water slide and Turkey Whirl, a new themed tilt-a-whirl. The $4.5 million expansion is expected to increase attendance by another five percent and create an additional 50 seasonal jobs in 2007.

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Sunday, October 8, 2006 7:25 PM
Jeff's avatar Notice who Will is first to thank. Once again showing few people in the industry get it the way that he does.
Sunday, October 8, 2006 7:26 PM
Man, that's the kind of business I would own if I could increase attendance by 5% just by adding a Tilt-a-Whirl and a waterslide. I'm not sure where the extra 50 jobs comes in though. You only need one or two people to run a Tilt-a-Whirl and a few to run the waterslide. My guess is they're betting on the return of a quite a few people to either ride The Voyage for the first time, or take many rerides.
Sunday, October 8, 2006 7:29 PM
Jeff's avatar Don't forget the new restaurant. Between that and a big slide like that, you've got a lot of positions to fill.
Sunday, October 8, 2006 8:13 PM
john peck's avatar Good for them! They had hoped to hit 1 million this year, and with the right ingredients, they did it!
Sunday, October 8, 2006 8:38 PM
While it only takes a few people to run a Tilt-a-whirl and a waterslide AT A TIME, you don't expect the same people to be there every minute the park is open.

“It doesn’t matter how great your rides are if the employees are rude and the bathrooms are filthy. We are very appreciative of our hard-working staff.”

Great quote. That line should be sent, faxed, AND e-mailed to a CEO of another certain national theme park chain. There should also be a footnote inserted after the word "rides" saying "when they're actually operating."

Sunday, October 8, 2006 10:01 PM
Depending how many people Holiday World would use to run a ride as simple as a tilt-a-whirl that ride alone could add about 4-8 seasonals a year, again depending on how many people they'll use to operate it. It's easy to get at least an extra 50 positions from 2 attractions and a restaurant (hosts, maint. personal, etc..)

Congrats to Holiday World for this, maybe some parks that are struggling to pull their goal numbers ( i.e. GL) should model some policies to HW. Wishful thinking, I know... ;-)

Sunday, October 8, 2006 10:21 PM
Congratulations Holiday World. You have put in a lot of hard work to reach that milestone.
Sunday, October 8, 2006 10:35 PM
Congrats HW!

Just as a side note, I think you have a typo on the main news page - "Will Kock"

Sunday, October 8, 2006 10:40 PM
Congrats to HW! They've definitely earned it...
Monday, October 9, 2006 8:54 AM
On my trip this year I saw a very good cleanup personHe was walking along and there were drink cupson top of garbage cans He stopped and cleaned up the area.His name is Will and his family owns the park.The park was/is the cleanest park I have ever seen.Kevin

I also do not believe he would give himself a raise
without giving raises to his employee's
*** This post was edited by kevin38 10/9/2006 9:08:37 AM ***

Monday, October 9, 2006 10:08 AM
Great job HW! My family was there on the last day to make sure they got to the 1 million mark.
Monday, October 9, 2006 12:30 PM
Jeff's avatar One correction... and we said this in the podcast that I haven't posted yet, that we thought Will said in podcast #2 they wanted to hit a million by 2010. Paula tells me that's the goal date for 2 million.
Monday, October 9, 2006 12:32 PM
I'm glad to say I helped them reach that attendance record this year. Over the summer I made my first trip there. I took my sister and a few of her friends who had never even heard of Holiday World before and we all had an amazing time. Congrats and keep it up!
Monday, October 9, 2006 12:33 PM
Wow, 2 million in 4 years. That is going to be one crowded park unless they greatly expand their ride catalog.
Monday, October 9, 2006 12:42 PM
I'm going to assume that if the goal is 2 million by 2010, there's going to be a lot of expanding going on in the next 3 years.
Monday, October 9, 2006 1:23 PM
If thats the goal attendance, I wonder if we might see some steel going in soon? Interesting....
Monday, October 9, 2006 4:51 PM
john peck's avatar Errrrr... 2 million? That really does sound like a lot for that park. I'm sure they can do it if they keep doing what they're doing now. They still have lots of room to expand!

Maybe 2010 will bring another large attraction!
Valentines Day, anyone?

Monday, October 9, 2006 5:14 PM
When Will Koch posted on the Holiblog about his first trip on the Voyage he did mention that he loves launched coasters....
Monday, October 9, 2006 6:01 PM
I seem to recall that most newer types of launched rides take a very large amount of electricity - one thought, is there enough infrastructure around the park for a major upgrade to a launched coaster? (except perhaps for a powderkeg type coaster, steady pumps compressing air in tanks for launches?) Now, I know over the years they must have had to invest heavily to bring up the amount of power coming into the park. The motors running the lift chains on the coasters isn't much, but the motors pumping all that water around in the waterpark are huge. I wonder if that has bbeen something that has kept them from making the leap to that type of tech?

*** This post was edited by Isca 10/9/2006 6:01:42 PM ***


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