Richmond, VA, USA — Virginia’s two largest theme parks are celebrating 40 years as the commonwealth’s premier family entertainment venues. To mark the occasion, the parks are joining forces this summer to raise awareness of Virginia’s Gateway to Family Thrills, the 75-mile corridor connecting Kings Dominion and Busch Gardens.
Busch Gardens’ Marketing Vice President Dan Dipiazzo and Scott Clemons, director of marketing for Kings Dominion, announced the partnership May 5 during a joint news conference held on the State Capitol grounds. The partnership is the first between the two theme parks in nearly 15 years. It was made possible in part because of a $25,000 matching grant from the Virginia Tourism Corporation, and includes a digital advertising component as well as a combined ticket offer so guests can experience both theme parks at a reduced price.
The parks developed two ticket deals to support the Gateway to Family Thrills promotion.
— The Virginia Thrills Ticket costs $106 and is valid for one single-day admission each to Busch Gardens and Kings Dominion within seven consecutive days. The promotion represents a $34 savings off the combined retail ticket prices to the parks.
— The Virginia Thrills Ticket Plus costs $135 and adds each venue’s water parks to the package. The Virginia Thrills Ticket Plus is valid for two single-day admission tickets to Busch Gardens and/or Water Country USA® and two single-day admission tickets to Kings Dominion and/or Soak City within seven consecutive days. The promotional price represents a $121 savings off the parks’ combined retail single-day admission prices.
“This partnership highlights the friendly competition between Busch Gardens and Kings Dominion, and brings our resources together to create a much larger voice in a crowded market,” Dipiazzo said. “Why drive a thousand or more miles for a vacation when we have Orlando-quality attractions right here in Virginia.”
The two parks individually offer an assortment of rides, shows and family-friendly entertainment. Combining their resources lets the parks, the state and local tourism boards representing Richmond and Williamsburg to reach out to families living in the Northeast who may be unaware of what is available to them just a few hours down the road.
“We are both going after similar guests,” Clemons said. “Joining together, Virginia’s premier theme parks offer an attractive option for families who want a thrilling vacation closer to home.”
The Greater Williamsburg Chamber and Tourism Alliance and Richmond Region Tourism are also participating in the partnership, which further extends the advertising resources available in the affluent Northeast markets of Philadelphia and New York.
“This is an unprecedented partnership between two of Virginia’s best entertainment options,” said Rita McClenny, president and CEO of the Virginia Tourism Corporation. “The friendly competition between Busch Gardens and Kings Dominion has created two world-class theme parks. Combining their resources with the state’s grant program, creates a unique opportunity to market the corridor from Richmond to Williamsburg to families who may not otherwise consider Virginia as a thrill vacation destination.”
Visit www.virginiathrills.com for information on purchasing tickets or to learn more about the Virginia Gateway to Family Thrills.
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