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New Master Plan for NASA’s Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. — Design work has begun on a new master plan to transform NASA’s Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex into a place where explorers of all ages can tour America’s spaceport to engage with the people and machines that shape the future of our world. PGAV Destinations, a global leader in the planning and design of cultural and entertainment destinations, was selected by Delaware North Companies Parks & Resorts at KSC, Inc., operators of Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, to design the ten-year master plan.

The new master plan will create excitement for guests as they discover the connection between NASA and their everyday lives. Immersive thematic zones will connect with guests of all ages in a personal way, integrating interactivity through exhibits and live presentations by astronauts and workers, while incorporating the unique role that Kennedy Space Center plays in human spaceflight and space exploration. Touring Kennedy Space Center will evolve into an expedition of a working space place, honoring the storied past of the human spaceflight program while embracing the future and celebrating the spirit of human determination.

The marquee element of the master plan for America’s spaceport is a $100 million exhibit displaying a flown space shuttle orbiter. Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex has requested to be selected by NASA to display one of the three remaining orbiters. Initial design concepts for the 64,000 square-foot orbiter home include viewing the space shuttle in flight, showing how the spacecraft worked in space and providing a unique vantage point for guests looking at this remarkable vehicle up-close. Complementing the orbiter display will be interactive features reflecting major accomplishments of the Space Shuttle Program including the Hubble Space Telescope and construction of the International Space Station.

“We would be honored to showcase one of the space shuttle orbiters so we have begun designing a dynamic, interactive exhibit to tell the space shuttle story from our own unique perspective,” said Bill Moore, Chief Operating Officer of Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. “Kennedy Space Center is home to the space shuttle; all of the 132 missions have launched from here.”

The master plan is funded through revenue generated by visitor admission, food and retail sales at no tax payer expense. It will showcase up to ten themed areas, plus new and enhanced visitor amenities, bringing authentic and exciting NASA programs to life.

Delaware North Companies has operated Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex and worked closely with NASA to tell the story of space exploration to millions of guests from around the world since 1995. In February 2010, NASA/Kennedy Space Center awarded Delaware North Companies the contract to continue operating Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.

About Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex
Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is located just east of Orlando and is the gateway to a working space center and one of Florida‘s most popular destinations. It’s a 70-acre arena of inspirational, educational and entertaining experiences.  More than 1.5 million visitors annually tour Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.

About Delaware North Companies Parks & Resorts
Delaware North Companies Parks & Resorts is a subsidiary of Delaware North Companies, a leading hospitality provider with significant experience in hotel, retail, food service, recreation and transportation operations. The company’s portfolio includes historic properties in North America, such as Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex; Yosemite, Sequoia, Yellowstone and Grand Canyon national parks; Tenaya Lodge and Apple Tree Inn; Harrison Hot Springs Resort & Spa; Niagara Falls State Park; The Lodge at Geneva-on-the-Lake; Gideon Putnam Resort; and a newly acquired hotel in West Yellowstone.

About PGAV Destinations
PGAV Destinations is a global leader in the planning and design of unique destinations. The firm uniquely combines award-winning storytelling and creativity with business strategy to create some of the world’s most important cultural, natural, and entertainment destinations.  PGAV’s staff develops growth-oriented master plans and translates these plans into innovative new destination products.  Now in its fifth decade, the firm has authored hundreds of highly successful projects in places such as SeaWorld, the Grand Canyon, Biltmore Estate, Niagara Falls, Busch Gardens, the Georgia Aquarium, Kennedy Space Center, and the Hoover Dam.

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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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