Thursday, July 18, 2024

John Reilly named CEO of Palace Entertainment

Palace Entertainment, a leisure park operator with more than 20 major entertainment venues across the United States and Australia, has announced the appointment of John Reilly as Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Reilly will retain his role as Chief Operating Officer (COO) and member of the Executive Committee of the Parques Reunidos Group, the parent company of Palace Entertainment, continuing to oversee operations throughout Europe.

“We are delighted to have John step into this new role. With over three decades of experience in the theme park industry and an in-depth knowledge of our U.S. and Australia-based parks, John will be pivotal in enhancing the memorable experiences we offer to our guests,” said Pascal Ferracci, CEO of Parques Reunidos. “Since joining us in 2019 as COO for the U.S. business, John has successfully led our U.S. and Australia properties, establishing a core leadership team at our new park support center. His contributions have been instrumental in the growth and success of our operations in these regions. We are thrilled to see him take on this new challenge.”

In addition to Reilly’s appointment, Palace Entertainment has promoted two other key executives within the organization, both reporting directly to Reilly.

Anil Rao has been promoted to Senior Vice President of Business Development and Park Support. Rao, who joined Palace Entertainment as Vice President of Food and Beverage in 2021, has transformed the food and beverage offerings across all parks, enhancing unique dining experiences and boosting revenues annually. In his new role, Rao will continue to oversee food and beverage while also leading retail, people and organization, capital projects and information technology transformations across the parks and support center.

Mark Pauls has been elevated to Vice President of Operations, responsible for overseeing operations and maintenance of all parks in the United States, Hawaii and Australia. With over 45 years of theme park experience, Pauls joined Palace Entertainment in 2020, serving as General Manager of Kennywood Park and Sandcastle Water Park and Group Theme Park Manager. He has led multi-million-dollar transformation projects, significantly improving guest experiences and operational efficiencies.

“With these internal promotions, we have strengthened our leadership team, enhancing our ability to deliver exceptional guest experiences across our theme parks, waterparks, educational venues and more into the next phase of growth,” added Ferracci.

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