Holiday World ends season up 20%

Posted | Contributed by Raven Maven

Holiday World completed its 57th season Sunday with its highest seasonal attendance ever.

“I’m thrilled to report that we bucked a national trend and showed an attendance gain of more than 20 percent for 2002," says Holiday World & Splashin' Safari president Will Koch.

With a final count of 753,010 Guests, this is the first year Holiday World & Splashin' Safari have ended the season with attendance figures topping the 750,000 mark. Koch credits the economy, a tight marketing focus and concentration on cleanliness and friendliness for the season-long surge in visitors.

“A lot of the credit goes to the incredible service and hospitality provided by our outstanding hosts and hostesses,” he says. “It doesn’t matter how great your rides are if the employees are rude and the bathrooms are filthy. We are very grateful to our hard-working staff.”

In August, Holiday World & Splashin' Safari were awarded three 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. In the roller coaster category, Holiday World’s The Raven was again voted the world’s #1 Wooden Coaster and The Legend rose to the #4 Wooden Coaster. In addition, Splashin’ Safari was voted the World’s #2 Water Park and the new ZOOMbabwe enclosed water slide was named the #2 Water Park Ride.

Koch says the growth pattern should continue next year with the addition of three new rides: Zinga family water slide, HallowSwings and Liberty Launch. The $3.8 million expansion, the largest in the park’s history, is expected to increase attendance by another 10 percent and create an additional 50 seasonal jobs in 2003.

Holiday World will open its 58th season on May 3, 2003.

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Way to go with a fantastic ending!


Mr. Koch said: “It doesn’t matter how great your rides are if the employees are rude and the bathrooms are filthy. We are very grateful to our hard-working staff.”

Gee, who on earth could he be referring to? ;)

ray p. (who must remedy the fact that he hasn't been to Holiday World yet...)

Much-deserved congratulations go out to Holiday World. Any small park that can be so highly regarded by enthusiasts and the general public alike is certainly doing things right.

"For all we know, Stonehenge is just the ruined supports for an early roller coaster." -- RCT2 manual
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beast7369's avatar

Some reason I think that they are under estimating the growth that they will experience next. I would venture to guess another 20% year since the people who are new to the park will likely be telling their friends about Holiday World. I know I am. I also know I will be back. Hopefully for more than just SRM but time will tell on that one. After having been to SRM in 2002 I know this park is doing things right and is deserving of my money.

Personally I would put them right in line with Cedar Point for my favorite parks. Cedar Point for the thrills and Holiday World just for the whole park experience.

My website - Zero G Thrills

CPLady's avatar
Congrats to Holiday World! And here's to upping that figure again next season!! I guarantee you'll be getting at least 3 more new attendees next year.

I'd rather die living than live like I'm dead

This just goes to show that, contrary to popular belief, the amusement park industry can focus on world class thrills and service at the same time. Holiday World will continue to report increased attendance figures as long as they can continue to always make the customer more important than the thrill. From a business standpoint this park is a rare diamond in the rough.

seek first to understand
then to be understood

This may be a dumb question but...

Does anyone know if Holiday World is trading on the NYSE or Nasdaq?

Man. Could you imagine if this park was near a major metropolitan area? Attendance would be through the roof.

750,000 people to a park that is out in the middle of nowhere is definitely impressive to say the least.

Congrats to everyone that works at that park. Now I just need to motivate my arse to get down there next year. :)

""To be the man, WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!, You got to beat the man""!!!

Danimales...Holiday World is fully owned by the Koch family here in Santa Claus and has been since the park opened in 1946.

Thanks to everyone for your kind sentiments!

Paula ...hey, don't I get a day off? ... Werne

Paula Werne
Holiday World PR

Congrats, Paula! Holiday World is an awesome place and your success is well-deserved. Hope 2003 is even better!!
I can definitely say the day Gowithgravity and I were there in July was extremely busy. I liked the park a lot, but our only complaint was that the lockers are too small in the waterpark. We wished there was a larger option available (for a higher price of course), so we we didn't have to buy two lockers.
Dude, you're getting an Intamin!
Mamoosh's avatar

Congrats, Paula and everyone at Holiday World. Next up: having 1,000,000 guests in a year. Of course to reach that you'll probably have to build another coaster ;-)


Sig under construction - announcement coming soon!

Mr. Koch said: “It doesn’t matter how great your rides are if the employees are rude and the bathrooms are filthy.”

That is one of the finest sentences I have ever read. In fact, I'd love to put it on a t-shirt and wear it only to certain parks. ;)

Joe Cernelli
Webmaster, Kennywood Boulevard
"Don't criticize what you can't understand."

rollergator's avatar

"Build a coaster, out of wood, yes they should, build a coaster"....:). Actually, I'd still take my mine ride idea, but I can't complain when they add BOTH of my suggestions AND a waterpark addition for '03...too cool for school, Paula!

Long-time SRMers know where I thefted THAT quote from....;)

Yes, but do you have the CD? :)


Paula Werne
Holiday World PR

rollergator's avatar

Actually, not YET, Paula....but I did pick up a pennant off eBay from the 50s from some park named Santa Claus of the coolest things in my "museum"....but it's not signed by Will, Pat, Jeff or Paula ....YET!

Come SRM '03, all of these "shortcomings" will need to be addressed....the only real "mistake" I made in your '03 additions (other than leaving off the new item for the waterpark, that is) is that I was WAY off base in the name of the new tower. For the record, Liberty Launch works way better with your theming, etc. than my original name of M-80 (from a thread on 6/26/02).

You can count on me returning to the park in 2003. Realy enjoy the park. Cant wait for Stark Raven Mad 2003 :)!

9Years working at Valleyfair :)

beast7369's avatar
Heres to hoping I can get a caravan of newbies to join me when I go! They wont be disappointed.

My website - Zero G Thrills
*** This post was edited by beast7369 on 10/15/2002. ***

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