Herschend Family Entertainment To Manage
DARIEN LAKE THEME PARK RESORT and ELITCH GARDENS
January 25, 2011, Orlando, FL & Norcross, GA -- CNL Lifestyle Properties, Inc., owners of Darien Lake Theme Park Resort and Elitch Gardens, and Herschend Family Entertainment (HFE), the nation's largest family-owned theme park corporation, jointly announced today that HFE would assume the day-to-day management of both properties starting January 25, 2011. Based near Buffalo, New York, and in Denver, Colorado, respectively, Darien Lake Theme Park Resort and Elitch Gardens both include a theme park, a water park and a performance venue. In addition, Darien Lake Theme Park Resort also includes a hotel, cabins and a campground. HFE will become the management company for all properties; CNL Lifestyle Properties remains the owner. Curt Caffey, senior vice president and managing director, CNL Lifestyle Properties and Joel Manby, president and CEO, HFE, made the announcement.
“HFE was a natural choice due to the company’s solid history of operating first-class, successful theme parks with a reputation for top service and guest experience standards,” said Caffey. “Both Darien Lake and Elitch Gardens already have strong foundations as beautiful, fun and wholesome family parks. We’re confident Herschend will use its operations know-how to take these attractions to the next level.”
“We are eager to get to work managing the operations at these popular parks. With 50 years of experience serving millions of guests, and operating a variety of family entertainment enterprises including theme parks, water parks, tour businesses, hotels and campgrounds, HFE is committed to delivering great value while always bringing families closer together. These parks align well with that philosophy,” said Manby. “Our aim is to make the transition as seamless as possible for the parks’ employees and as transparent as possible to guests.”
As the parks’ new management company, HFE will oversee all operations including supervising more than 3,500 full-time and seasonal employees.
Darien Lake Theme Park Resort, is New York State's largest theme and water park resort. Darien Lake Theme Park Resort provides accommodations at the Lodge on the Lake Hotel with Forts-o-Fun suites, Brown Bear Cabins, RV sites and campgrounds. It is also home to a 22,000-seat performing arts center featuring some of today’s hottest musical acts.
For more than 120 years, Elitch Gardens has been a gathering place for Colorado's families and children and the entertainment hub of the community. It was home to the first zoo, first theater, first movie house, first symphony orchestra and continues to be the oldest continually operating theme park west of the Mississippi.
About CNL Lifestyle Properties, Inc.
CNL Lifestyle Properties, Inc. is a real estate investment trust that owns a portfolio of 151 properties in the United States and Canada in the lifestyle and recreation sectors. Headquartered in Orlando, Fla., CNL Lifestyle Properties specializes in the acquisition of ski and mountain lifestyle, attractions, golf, marinas, senior living and additional lifestyle properties. For more information, visit http://www.cnllifestylereit.com/
About Herschend Family Entertainment
Widely recognized as the premier privately held theme park operator in the U.S., HFE owns, operates or partners in 24 entertainment, tourism and hospitality properties in eight states. Celebrating its fiftieth anniversary in 2010, HFE's original park is Branson, Missouri’s Silver Dollar City theme park. In Branson, the company also owns and operates Showboat Branson Belle lake attraction, White Water water park and The Wilderness at Silver Dollar City campground. HFE is an operating partner with Dolly Parton in the Dollywood Company, which owns the Dollywood theme park and Dollywood’s Splash Country water park, both in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. The Dollywood Company is also the largest shareholder in the Dixie Stampede dinner attractions located in Branson, Pigeon Forge and Myrtle Beach. In Georgia, HFE operates Atlanta’s Stone Mountain Park in conjunction with the State of Georgia, and owns Wild Adventures Theme Park in Valdosta. HFE also owns Adventure Aquarium in Camden, New Jersey and the Newport Aquarium in Newport, Kentucky, as well as Ride The Ducks amphibious tours in Branson, Philadelphia and San Francisco. Ride The Ducks also operates at Newport Aquarium and Stone Mountain Park in Atlanta.
Info was found on the official Elitch gardens facebook page.