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The Hettema Group to Design Hello Kitty Park in China

Phil Hettema

Pasadena, Calif. USA – The Hettema Group is pleased to announced that Sanrio has selected the Hettema Group to develop the master plan and concept design for a Hello Kitty Park in Anji, China.

Currently scheduled to open in 2014, the park will be located less than a two-hour drive from Shanghai via a new freeway. The park’s nature theme is appropriate for a region famous for its bamboo groves and scenic relaxation areas, including the Longwang (Dragon King) Mountain Nature Reserve renowned for its 800-hectare primeval forest.

“Hello Kitty Park will be sensitively integrated into the landscape,” said Phil Hettema, president, creative executive and founder of The Hettema Group, “with ecological themes such as sustainability, recycling, and alternative energy sources featured throughout the parks attractions.” Five natural elements – fire, water, wood, metal and earth – will create sub-themes, separating the park into five major areas within a flower petal design. Additionally, a world festival area will feature holiday and cultural celebrations, and handle increased attendance at such peak festival times as Chinese New Year. 

Related: InPark Magazine interviews Phil Hettema about the Hello Kitty Park 
Industry leader Phil Hettema previously served as Senior Vice President, Attraction Development for Universal Studios Theme Parks Worldwide for more than a decade. Established in 2002, The Hettema Group specializes in creative design, production and architecture for theme parks, museums, visitor centers and international resort destinations, including projects in North America, the Middle East and Asia.

Established in 1960, Sanrio develops and distributes a unique line of children’s gifts, stationery and accessory items. Hello Kitty is the company’s flagship character. Currently, the company operates two theme parks in Japan: Sanrio Puroland, in Tokyo; and Sanrio Harmonyland in Oita. Hello Kitty Park will be Sanrio’s first outdoor park operation outside Japan. Hello Kitty Park is the working park name. www.sanrio.com

Sanrio has entered into a licensing agreement with Zhejiang New Insight Leisure Tourism Development Co, the developer of the project, for use of Sanrio characters and related intellectual property. Ground breaking is expected in November 2011. Recently, The Hettema Group created and produced the award-winning, multi-media experience “Beyond All Boundaries” for the National World War II Museum, narrated by Executive Producer, Tom Hanks. The 4-D production has received critical and popular acclaim, and received top awards from the Themed Entertainment Association and the American Association of Museums, for its powerfully emotional evocation of the war that spanned the globe. www.thehettemagroup.com

Judith Rubin
Judith Rubin ([email protected]) is a leading journalist, publicist, strategist, blogger, content marketing specialist and connector in the international attractions industry. She excels at writing about all aspects of design and technical design, production and project management. Areas of special interest include AV integration and show control, lighting design and acoustics, specialty cinema, digital video and world’s fairs. Judith has ties to numerous industry organizations. From 2005-2020 she ran communications, publications and social media for the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA). In 2013, she was honored with the TEA Service Award. She was development director of IMERSA, and co-chair of the 2014 IMERSA Summit. She was publicist for the Large Format Cinema Association in the 1990s, now part of the Giant Screen Cinema Association (GSCA) and has also contributed to the publications of PLASA, IAAPA and the International Planetarium Society. Already making her mark as a magazine and book editor, Judith joined World’s Fair magazine in 1987, which introduced her to the attractions industry. Launching as a freelancer in the mid 1990s she has contributed to dozens of publications and media outlets including Funworld, Lighting&Sound America, Sound & Communications, Urban Land, The Raconteur and The Planetarian. She joined InPark in 2010. Judith earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Pratt Institute. She has lived in New York City and the San Francisco Bay Area, and now makes her home in Saint Louis, where she is active in the local arts and theater community.

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