Friday, May 14, 2021

Remembering Robbi Lepre

I had not seen Robbi Lepre for many years when I ran into her at the 2018 IAAPA Expo in Orlando while I was taking photos for TEA. Even though we had not really been good about keeping in touch, she remembered me right away with a warm smile and hug.

We had first met when she was Entertainment Director at Busch Gardens Tampa in 2012. I was working on a story about the projection mapping used in the park’s new ice skating show. Being a former ice skater, zamboni driver and theme park fan I had a barrage of technical questions, and she suffered gladly through all of them.

Robbie was also somewhat of a legend in the haunted attractions industry, being instrumental in the development of the Howl-O-Scream event at Busch Gardens.

On June 2nd Robbi’s husband, Russell Lepre, announced on social media that Robbi had passed away the night before:

“She did not suffer. She is in a better place with no pain and suffering. I am proud to have been her husband for 34 years. Her daughters are grieving in their own way. I am, too. I loved her dearly and was always very proud of her.”

The industry, including InPark Magazine, misses and will always remember Robbi Lepre.

-Martin Palicki

Robbie Lepre (center) with Anne Huang (left) and JoAnna Delmoral (right) in the TEA booth during IAAPA Expo 2018.
Feature photo taken from Robbi’s Facebook page.
Martin Palicki
Martin Palicki owns and publishes InPark Magazine. Started in 2004, InPark Magazine provides owners and operators the perspective from "in"side the "park." Martin has also written for publications like Sound & Communications, Lighting & Sound America, Attractions Management and others. Martin has been featured in Time Magazine, CNN.com and Folio. Martin lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA.

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