Posted Tuesday, November 16, 2010 2:18 PM | Contributed by Jeff
[Ed. note: The following is an unedited press release issued by IAAPA. -J]
Today, the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) inducted Bob Rogers, Will Koch, Don Clayton, and Daniel Burnham into the IAAPA Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame honors leaders, legends, and pioneers for their significant and lasting contributions to the worldwide attractions industry. The awards were presented Tuesday, Nov. 16 during the Kickoff Event for IAAPA Attractions Expo 2010 Conference and Trade Show in Orlando, Florida.
“This year’s class of inductees into the Hall of Fame honors some of the attractions industry’s most outstanding visionaries,” said Tim O’Brien of Ripley Entertainment and 2010 chairman of the IAAPA Hall of Fame and Archives Committee. “Their creative accomplishments and contributions entertained our grandparents many years ago and will do the same for our great grandkids for many years to come.”
Bob Rogers, BRC Imagination Arts
Over the course of his 40-plus-year career in the attractions industry, Bob Rogers has always created magic. His first job was working in the Magic Shop at Disneyland; his most recent accomplishment was on a bit grander scale—overseeing the creative development of two pavilions at World Expo 2010 in Shanghai that dazzled more than 10 million visitors in just six months.
Rogers is the founder and chief creative officer of BRC Imagination Arts, based in Burbank, California. His firm has won hundreds of awards while working with such high-profile clients as Ford, General Motors, NASA, Universal Studios, Volkswagen, and The Walt Disney Company.
One of Rogers’ signature creations, “Holavision,” debuted at World Expo 1986 in Vancouver as part of his “Spirit Lodge” show and allowed live actors to interact with “floating” images.
Though Rogers’ career began in theme parks, he has since branched out to other forms of visitor attractions. A pioneer of “experience museums,” recent critically acclaimed projects include the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, Illinois, and the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex near Orlando, Florida.
Will Koch, Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari
In an era when some family-owned amusement parks struggled to survive, Will Koch thrived.
The former owner and president of Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari in Santa Claus, Indiana, took what was once a small roadside attraction and transformed it into a high-profile theme park that set an attendance record with nearly 1.2 million visitors in 2010.
Under Koch’s leadership, Holiday World added its sister waterpark, Splashin’ Safari, along with several world-renowned wooden roller coasters; the latest, 2007’s “The Voyage,” regularly tops enthusiast polls as the best wooden coaster in North America.
Koch was a savvy marketer. He enhanced Holiday World’s family-friendly atmosphere by offering free parking, sodas, and sunscreen to all guests and he insisted the park be “open” with fans and the press alike. Under Koch’s leadership, Holiday World was one of the first major theme parks to actively embrace social media through blogs and Twitter, among other online platforms. Koch died on June 13, 2010 at the age of 48.
William A. Koch Sr., Will’s father, is also a member of the IAAPA Hall of Fame.
Don Clayton, Putt-Putt Golf and Games
As the founder of Putt-Putt, Don Clayton not only revolutionized the miniature golf business but helped create what we now know as the family entertainment center (FEC) industry. His first Putt-Putt Golf Course opened June 21, 1954, in Fayetteville, North Carolina, with an emphasis on both fun and friendly competition. The course paid for itself in less than a month; two years later, Clayton helped open his first seven franchises, which started a Putt-Putt craze that swept the United States and beyond.
Clayton founded the Professional Putters Association in 1960 and began to host tournaments that drew massive attention; in 1968 he paid out a then-record first-prize award of $100,000. He also founded Putt-Putt World Magazine and hosted the Putt-Putt television series.
Clayton was also a leader and innovator in the business, adding the first video game room to a Putt-Putt in 1978. He helped develop the first indoor/outdoor putting surface, wrote numerous best-practice articles for industry publications, and was an active member of IAAPA for many years before his death in 1996.
Daniel Hudson Burnham, Chicago World’s Fair
As seen by the tens of millions of visitors to World Expo 2010 in Shanghai, World’s Fairs can have a tremendous impact on the attractions industry. This year, IAAPA inducts a man who is credited with shaping the industry more than a century ago as overseer of the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago.
Daniel Hudson Burnham, a renowned architect and planner at the turn of the 20th century, created the Midway Plaisance at the Chicago fair, a mile-long walkway lined with an assortment of amusement concessions, live shows, rides, and the world’s first Ferris wheel. Burnham’s Midway is credited with shifting the amusement industry from sedate attractions based on natural features to more invigorating creations that continue to dominate the industry today. The Chicago fair Midway also was used as inspiration for New York’s Coney Island amusements. Burnham died in 1912.
About the IAAPA Hall of Fame
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.
Since that time, dozens of industry pioneers have been honored, including: Walt Disney (Walt Disney Company); Milton Hershey (Hersheypark); Bo Kinntorph (Liseberg); Franz Mack (Mack Rides/Europa Park); George Millay (Wet ‘n Wild); Jay Stein (Universal Studios Florida); Geoffrey Thompson (Blackpool Pleasure Beach); and Antonio Zamperla (Zamperla).
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.
To be considered for the IAAPA Hall of Fame, a nominee must: