New CEO of Hershey Entertainment talks about the future

Posted | Contributed by VitaminsAndGravy

The newly appointed chief executive officer of Hershey Entertainment & Resorts Co., William Simpson, steps into the position Jan. 1, replacing Ted Kleisner, who is retiring at the end of the year. Simpson said in the near future visitors to Hersheypark can expect updates to the park’s water rides.

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bjames's avatar

Anyone else find it surprising that a "relatively average" park like Hersheypark can attract 2.5 million peeps? I don't mean to be offensive but apart from the chocolate tour, isn't Hersheypark pretty average?

Last edited by bjames,
Vater's avatar

I personally think Hershey is an above average park.

Lord Gonchar's avatar

bjames said:

I don't mean to be offensive but...

Which is what is usually said before someone is trying to offend with a comment.

...apart from the chocolate tour, isn't Hersheypark pretty average?

Stop and read that again. In regards to how the otherwise average park draws 2.5 million visitors, I think you answered yourself.

Aren't you pretty much asking how an average park with a pretty popular tourist attraction in its backyard draws a lot of people?

With that said not only do I generally find Hersheypark to be pretty middle of the road, I think its rep among enthusiast crowds is kinda overrated.

LostKause's avatar

Hersheypark competes with Disney World, and not Dorney or Knoebels, or so they have said.

Hersheypark is a really great park, with a few really great coasters. Over the last few years, it has dropped from being one of my favorite parks because of questionable expansion choices, but it's still pretty rad.

Last edited by LostKause,
Jeff's avatar

I love me some Hershey. Agreed that some of their ride choices have been questionable, but it's a solid park. If it did less in terms of attendance, given its location, I'd be shocked.

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog - Phrazy

Hershey is great! My first impression every time I have walked through there was how clean it was. I like how Hershey seems to be eager to try out new ride designs (Fahrenheit and Skyrush) are two pretty good examples.

All of the stuff I previously mentioned is great.. but.. at the end of the day anything Chocolate themed is a big enough draw for any crowd

Your not the only one who is CRAZY!
-Will Gallagher

Hersheypark is an outstanding park, period. They won the IAAPA Applause award in 2000, and havn't looked back. HERCO has a safe community responsible park, great hotels, and solid sports facilties all grouped into the complex.

Considering they are in the middle of farm country, and have to market heavily in Philadelphia and Washington DC, they have become the favorite choice of families. And, unlike other parks in their markets, they take it up a notch with Springtime in the Park, and an incredible Christmas gig, giving fans April to New Years visitation.

Tekwardo's avatar

Being completely unbiased, I think HERSHEYPARK is a slightly above average park that is clean, well maintained, landscaped & themed nicely, and has not only a well rounded selection of coasters (with the exception of one or two family coasters that could be added), but also a nice selection of flat rides. The food was a little above average (what I had), the shows seemed well done, and it provided a nice atmosphere.

I think that just a few years ago, when Six Flags parks were all dumps, and some of the larger corporate parks were moving in a perceived 'negative' direction, that Enthusiasts definitely looked at HERSHEYPARK as being an anomaly, and it kind of was. I think it's kept that 'status' for longer than necessary now that Six Flags has stepped it up, and Cedar Fair has changed direction.

Being completely biased, I loved HERSHEYPARK. My only visit was in 2009, when Six Flags was turning around, and Cedar Fair was slightly questionable. I liked the coasters, the dark ride had a unique theme, I was impressed with the flats, even if I didn't get to really ride any, and I thought it was a beautiful park. Personally, I would rate it now as slightly above average myself, but had I went to the park in the early 2000s, I likely would have thought much higher of it.

And that's definitely not an insult to the park or the people running it, quite the contrary. I just think it speaks to how far the industry has come and reversed course over the last decade, even when the economy has been up and down and we've had to deal with bankruptcies, parks closing, parks not opening, etc.

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