Hot off the press:
Palace Entertainment Acquires Dutch Wonderland
Newport Beach (CA), Nov 12th 2010 – Palace Entertainment (US subsidiary of Parques Reunidos) has acquired Dutch Wonderland Family Amusement Park in historic Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, from Hershey Entertainment & Resorts.
Dutch Wonderland is a 43-acre “kingdom for kids,” a family-style amusement park with a wide range of activities including more than 30 rides, a water-play area, and live entertainment. The goal of Dutch Wonderland is to provide a unique place for families and young children to have memorable fun, while enjoying the sightseeing, shopping, and timeless beauty of Lancaster’s Amish country. It was founded in 1963 by the Clark family.
Palace Entertainment operates 38 entertainment centers in the United States, including 7 theme parks, 10 water parks and 21 family entertainment centers in 11 states. Its other Pennsylvania holdings include such iconic destinations as Kennywood, Sandcastle, and Idelwild (recently voted #1 children’s park in the world). Palace Entertainment is the #1 operator of water parks and family entertainment centers in the USA.
Parques Reunidos is an international entertainment operator that operates 70 amusement and theme parks, water parks, zoological parks and family entertainment centers around the world, primarily throughout Europe and the US. Parques Reunidos is the second largest leisure park operator in Europe and the third largest worldwide. Over the past 5 years, Parques Reunidos has acquired more than 51 parks in Spain, USA, Belgium, Norway, Denmark, France, Italy, Germany and the United Kingdom. This strong expansion strategy has turned Parques Reunidos into one of the world´s leading players in the sector.
Richard T. Golding, Palace Entertainment Chairman, commented, “The acquisition of Dutch Wonderland is an additional step in the growth strategy of Parques Reunidos, which is the acquisition and successful integration of leading parks. In the light of the current situation of financial markets, this acquisition underlines the ability of the Parques Reunidos Group to fulfill its growth strategy.”
Fernando Eiroa, Palace Entertainment President and CEO, commented, “We are very proud of the integration of a leading park like Dutch Wonderland within our group. We are fully aware of the unique position that Dutch Wonderland holds within its community and we will be doing everything to enhance the Dutch Wonderland brand, while keeping the special family appeal of the park”.
From the York Daily Record:
York, PA - Hershey Entertainment & Resorts Co., completed the sale of Dutch Wonderland Amusement Park and related properties in Lancaster County with Palace Entertainment, the U.S. subsidiary of Parques Reunidos.
The change in ownership took effect today, Hershey said in a statement.
Hershey bought the Dutch Wonderland complex, including the Old Mill Stream Campground, in 2001 from the Clark family, who founded Dutch Wonderland in 1963.
Palace said it will strive to maintain and enhance the Dutch Wonderland brand.
"We were attracted to Dutch Wonderland because of its position as an outstanding family amusement park -- especially for families with younger children. It is our goal to continue to operate the park in a manner which maintains its impeccable reputation, focusing on the highest level of customer care and memorable experience for which Dutch Wonderland is known," Fernando Eiroa, CEO of Palace Entertainment, said in a statement. "We are very sensitive to the unique position that Dutch Wonderland has within its community."
"It was a very difficult decision for us to make," said Ted J. Kleisner, CEO of Hershey Entertainment and Resorts. "The sale will allow us to continue to focus all of our resources and energy on our operations in Hershey."
From the news release:
About Palace Entertainment:
Palace Entertainment is based in California and operates seven amusement parks, 10 water parks and 21 family entertainment centers in 11 states. It has three theme parks and one water park in Pennsylvania: Kennywood, Idlewild, Soak Zone and Sandcastle, which are located in the Pittsburgh area.
About Parques Reunidos:
Parques Reunidos is an international entertainment operator that with this new acquisition operates in total 70 theme parks, water parks, zoological parks and family entertainment centers around the world, distributed in 10 countries mainly throughout Europe and the USA. Parques Reunidos is the second largest leisure park operator in Europe and the third largest worldwide.
About Hershey Entertainment & Resorts:
Hershey Entertainment & Resorts is a privately held company that was founded in 1927, when Milton S. Hershey separated his chocolate manufacturing operations from his other businesses. All of these non-chocolate producing divisions were reorganized under the name Hershey Estates, which is known today as Hershey Entertainment & Resorts.
Hershey Entertainment & Resorts and its subsidiaries own and/or operate the Hersheypark entertainment complex, Hersheypark Arena & Stadium, ZooAmerica North American Wildlife Park, Hershey Bears AHL Hockey Club, Giant Center, The Hotel Hershey, Hershey Lodge, Hershey Highmeadow Campground, Hershey Golf Collection, Hershey Nursery, and Hershey Laundry and Textiles.
Having just been there this year, I must say this was indeed a shocker. What will become of the park now that Kennywood and Idlewild are it's siblings? Will Dutch Winter Wonderland be given the axe after this year? Looks like Hershey is back to being based in Hershey for the first time since 2001.