Holiday World (HW) Discussion Thread

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Re: Holiday World Owner, Will Koch, Passes Away.

Postby ahecht » Thu Jun 17, 2010 3:46 pm

I had the chance to meet Will at Holiwood Nights, and I was immediately impressed with how genuine and warm he was. He was a true theme park enthusiast, and it was clear from the way he ran the park that he cared so much about giving the guests the best possible experience and making Holiday World one of the best parks in the country. When other parks were charging more and more for drinks, Will gave them away for free. While other parks have starting charging $15+ for parking, Will kept that free. While other parks were focusing on smaller and cheaper rides, Will made sure that Holiday world always had the longest, the tallest, and the best. He was a true icon in the industry and a great man, and he will be sorely missed.

It's sad to see someone who was so full of life taken away from us so soon, but Holiday World will always be his legacy. My thoughts and prayers go out to the Koch family, as well as to the entire Holiday World team.

Will's death should also be a reminder that being in water with no one around is dangerous no matter how old or how good of a swimmer you are. I had a friend who drowned and have others who have had close calls, and all of them were strong swimmers. Hopefully the publicity surrounding Will Koch can help people remember that pool safety isn't just for children.
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Re: Holiday World Owner, Will Koch, Passes Away.

Postby Coaster Cow » Sat Jun 19, 2010 7:20 am

Wow, that just makes his death more tragic for me. What a horrible way to die young.
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Re: Holiday World Owner, Will Koch, Passes Away.

Postby itsasamccormick » Sun Jun 20, 2010 10:19 am

Holiday World posted this video on their facebook last night. I was nearly in tears. Mrs. Koch is so strong :(

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MuDgYU2wJyU

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Re: Holiday World (HW) Discussion Thread

Postby Emiroo » Tue Jun 22, 2010 7:27 am

Dan Koch has been officially named as the new president of Holiday World. He is not the brother who has been running the campground for the last several years. He is a partner at a law firm in Florida.

http://www.courierpress.com/news/2010/jun/22/younger-koch-brother-new-holiday-world-president/?partner=yahoo_feeds

SANTA CLAUS, Ind. — The Koch family announced this morning it will continue to own and operate Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari “into perpetuity” and that Dan Koch is the new president.

Dan Koch, 46, takes the helm following the sudden death of his brother, Will, earlier this month.

“Will and I have been business partners for decades and have spoken on the phone daily for more than 30 years,” Koch said in a press release. “I consider it an honor to step in as president and continue the expansion plans my brother and I crafted together. In the meantime, Will’s three children will have time to finish their education and learn more about the family business before they decide how they would like to be involved in the future of the park.”

Koch said his mother, Pat, will continue as the park’s director of values, greeting guests at the front gate and providing motivation and guidance to the management and staff.

“Our company was reorganized two years ago when Will promoted two of our park directors to general managers,” Koch noted. “These GMs will keep the park running smoothly as we move into the heart of the season and prepare for next year.”

Koch said he will “stay the course” with the park’s long-range growth plans, community involvement and philanthropic efforts.

Koch is a partner in the law firm Koch & Trushin in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and said he plans regular trips to the Santa Claus park and daily communication with management. He is married and has two young children.

Along with his four siblings, Koch grew up in the town of Santa Claus and worked various jobs at the theme park started by his father and grandfather in 1946, including working games and hauling trash.

He is a graduate of the University of Miami

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Re: Holiday World (HW) Discussion Thread

Postby BeemerBoy » Tue Jun 22, 2010 7:44 am

He is a graduate of the University of Miami

We can all rest easy. The future of the park is in good hands. :-D

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Re: Holiday World (HW) Discussion Thread

Postby Electerik » Wed Jun 23, 2010 3:55 pm

My (perhaps overly-harsh) translation: Dan Koch is begrudgingly taking the title until someone else in the family is ready to step up.
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Re: Holiday World (HW) Discussion Thread

Postby Raven Maven » Fri Jun 25, 2010 3:21 pm

Not begrudging at all, actually. Dan and Will have been business partners for years and spoke daily. Dan grew up here and loves the park and his family. He never would have chosen this set of circumstances, but he's chosen good-heartedly to step in where he is needed. He's a good guy.

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Re: Holiday World (HW) Discussion Thread

Postby Skycoastin Steve » Sat Jun 26, 2010 7:44 pm

Wonderful video tribute to Will Koch posted on HW's youtube page.

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Re: Holiday World (HW) Discussion Thread

Postby Electerik » Sun Jun 27, 2010 5:38 am

I'm sure Dan is a great guy, and I wish Holiday World only the best. I love the park, and I especially love the way it's run. The idea that he'll be running it from Florida is the primary reason for my cynicism. But it is, of course, ultimately, none of my business anyway.

Truly sad about Will. He will be missed--even by those of us who only met him once or twice.
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Re: Holiday World (HW) Discussion Thread

Postby Hayzle » Sun Jun 27, 2010 6:55 am

Is the Timberliner project still a go, or is it on an indefinite hold for right now. Sorry if that seems insensitive but I am curious about what is going on with the project. :|
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