People think that when a family owned amusement park is closed for the season, the owners retreat to a warm climate and spend the winter relaxing on the beach. Not so at DelGrosso’s Amusement Park in Tipton, Pa. “It’s a very crazy time right now,” Director of Public Relations and Marketing Amy Mearkle explains. President Carl Crider Jr. agrees: “On top of the $12.5 million Laguna Splash Water Park expansion, it’s double crazy right now.”

Laguna Splash will more than double the size of DelGrosso’s existing water park. “Amusement parks have been adding water as part of their attractions,” Crider relates. “It’s really heated up over the last 10 years. Parks see a lot of growth in having both a dry side and a water side. We are a smaller amusement park that has been in operation for 68 years. We added a water park side back in the late 1990s, but this will be our biggest expansion ever, and it’s basically all water. So we need the infrastructure to go with that – bathrooms, changing areas and restaurants – to facilitate the additional people.”

Based in Columbus, Ga., Carmike Cinemas has grown considerably since it started operations more than 30 years ago. Founded in 1982 with the acquisition of a small theater chain from Fuqua Industries, the company is now one of the top motion picture exhibitors in the country.

“Today, we are the fourth-largest circuit in America and publicly traded on the NASDAQ,” President and CEO David Passman says.

Different Approach

With 275 theaters across 41 states, Carmike works to set itself apart as a motion picture exhibitor and ensure that managers and staff maintain high-quality customer service. One element that differentiates the company is its locations, as its facilities are largely located in rural or suburban markets with populations of less than 200,000.

Few people who attend a trade show or convention at Sands Expo in Las Vegas will go inside the kitchen, but the newly renovated facility is likely to impact the experience of practically every guest who spends time at one of the world’s largest expo centers.

The state-of-the-art kitchen opened in June and has given Sands Expo a decided competitive advantage as it vies nationally to host major trade shows and conventions. The Sands’ goal was to grow its trade show and convention business while continuing to enhance the overall guest experience, and a new kitchen was instrumental in achieving that objective, says Kirsten Dimond, vice president of operations.

Construction started in March, and despite numerous challenges faced by general contractor, Hi-Con Inc., the work “was done in record time,” Dimond says. 

Founded in 1990 by co-Presidents and CEOs George Duff and Joanne Mera, Pacific Event Productions (PEP Creative) has become a nationally recognized solution provider for party rentals and special events. In its early years, the company provided props, florals, linens and uplighting, but over time it built and established many new divisions in its repertoire including furniture, bars, staging, audio/visual, scenic design, entertainment and management services.

“PEP Creative has continued to grow in size, scale, strength and reputation,” says Duff. “In the current business model, we have nine key event divisions to service the complete spectrum of special event needs today.”  

The clash of broadswords, the charge of opposing warhorses and the cheers from the royal court have drawn more than 60 million visitors to Medieval Times since 1983. But even as the company keeps its entertainment firmly rooted in the combat of 11th century Spain, it is relying on some 21st-century forms of communication to interact with fans.

When Medieval Times began emerging from the recession it saw an opportunity to embrace new forms of media and social networking for marketing. The company started its experiment with a small Facebook page and soon realized that was where people learned about the show and fans advocated on behalf of the product. Through social networks such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Vine and Pinterest, Medieval Times regularly posts giveaways, deals and behind-the-scenes glimpses into its knight training or how its kitchen prepares meals for 1,000-member audiences. 

For nearly two decades, Lionbridge Technologies Inc. has never fallen behind when its market changes. “We’re in an industry that’s constantly in transition,” Vice President of Global Marketing Clint Poole declares. “We need to adopt new ways of meeting a customer’s needs.”

Based in Waltham, Mass., Lionbridge provides translation and localization, digital marketing, global content management and application testing services that help its clients “connect via communication in the language that their customers speak,” he explains. “We have a long history of helping multinational brands.”

The Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts offers much more than just entertainment to its home community of Palm Beach County, Fla. “What we do best is serve the community by assessing their interests and needs,” CEO Judith A. Mitchell says. “We want to be a community-gathering place in addition to hosting great performances from every single discipline.”

The Center – which is owned and operated by a nonprofit 501c3 corporation – sees community education as one of its highest priorities in addition to presenting a full calendar of arts programming annually. More than 2 million students and community groups have gone through the doors of the Center since its opening in 1992 for lectures, workshops, classes, special performances and other programs. The Center also includes a banquet center that hosts a diverse set of events ranging from wedding receptions to community political forums.

Less than a year after opening the reconstructed Orlando Citrus Bowl Stadium, the venue is already driving the economic activity envisioned by Orlando city leaders when they approved its $207.7 million price tag. Since its ribbon cutting on Nov. 19, 2014, the Orlando Citrus Bowl has hosted its signature annual events including the Florida Blue Florida Classic, Russell Athletic Bowl and Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl while attracting the likes of The Rolling Stones, the Mexican and Costa Rican national soccer teams, and will host a match between the World Cup-winning U.S. Women’s National Team and Brazil this October. 

Beginning next year, the stadium will host Florida Citrus Sports and ESPN’s inaugural Orlando Kickoff, which celebrates the start of the college football season with a major neutral-site regular season game. The 2016 game is the first of a multi-year deal to hold the game at the completely modernized Orlando Citrus Bowl.

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