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CNL Lifestyle Properties Announces New Management for Eight Properties

Photo: Darien Lake
–New management companies to be in place by February 1–

After an extensive search, CNL Lifestyle Properties, Inc. has reached agreements regarding new management for eight of its amusement park properties beginning on or before February 1, 2011. Five managers were chosen based on their track records of providing safe, high-quality guest experiences.

“We are excited to transition to these industry-leading management teams as we finalize preparations for the new season,” said Byron Carlock, president and CEO of CNL Lifestyle Properties. “These new managers are committed to creating positive, memorable experiences for our guests and fostering strong relationships with the communities our parks serve.”

· Herschend Family Entertainment Corp. (HFE) has been chosen to manage Elitch Gardens (Denver, Colo.) and Darien Lake (Buffalo, N.Y.). HFE owns, operates or partners in 24 properties including Dollywood, which was chosen as the winner of the “Applause Award” in 2010 by the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA).
· Premier Attractions Management, LLC has been selected to manage Frontier City (Oklahoma City, Okla.), Splashtown (Houston, Texas) and White Water Bay (Oklahoma City, Okla.). Premier is led by Kieran Burke, the former chairman and CEO of Six Flags Entertainment Corp., and Gary Story, former president and chief operating officer of Six Flags. The two executives currently own and operate Nashville Shores water park, marina and RV resort in Tennessee and Ocean Breeze Waterpark in Virginia Beach, Va.
· Amusement Management Partners, LLC (AMP) has been named manager of Magic Springs and Crystal Falls (Hot Springs, Ark.). AMP already manages eight CNL Lifestyle Properties family entertainment centers. The company is led by Bob Masterson, former chairman of Ripley’s Entertainment and the past chairman of IAAPA.
· Palace Entertainment has been chosen to manage Waterworld (Concord, Calif.). Palace Entertainment is the nation’s largest owner/operator of water parks, with 11 water parks across the country. It also owns/operates 21 family entertainment centers and eight theme parks. In 2010, Amusement Park magazine named its Idlewild park the “Best Children’s Amusement Park in the World.”

· NorPoint Entertainment has been selected to manage Wild Waves (Seattle, Wash.). The principal of NorPoint, Jeff Stock, is the founder of Wild Waves and operated it from 1990 to 2000. His deep roots in the Pacific Northwest and knowledge of the market are expected to solidify the park’s position as a quality family entertainment destination in the community.

“CNL Lifestyle Properties is excited about the new relationships built through this transition and anticipates maintaining the same high levels of customer service and community involvement following the management change,” said Curt Caffey, senior vice president and managing director of CNL Lifestyle Co. Employment levels and operating strategies for the 2011 season are expected to be largely unaffected by the transition.

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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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