Wednesday, February 28, 2024

PGAV Destinations Celebrates 50 Project Openings in Ten Years – Most Prolific Period in Firm’s 45-Year History

Saint Louis, Missouri USA — PGAV Destinations, a global leader in the planning and design of cultural and entertainment destinations, celebrates an unprecedented decade of design. In the past ten years, PGAV has opened 50 projects in twenty U.S. states and abroad. The cumulative impact of these projects translates into $81 million in annual visitors and $1.54 billion in cumulative project value.


As the most productive period in the firm’s history, the past decade’s business activity reflects an array of record-setting numbers:
• 16 Major ride and show openings
• 20 Major zoological openings
• 14 Museum and cultural openings
• 38 Food service and retail venues opened
• 34 Strategic and master plans
• 2,590 Hotel rooms designed


During this period, PGAV projects were the recipients of five Thea (Themed Entertainment Association) Awards. Additional accomplishments include:

• The opening of the Georgia Aquarium, recently designated the “World’s Largest Aquarium” by the Guinness book of World Records.
• Discovery Cove was rated the “#1 Waterpark” in the Zagat US Family Travel Guide.
• The Manta Coaster at SeaWorld of Orlando was rated the “Best New Attraction of 2009” by Themeparkinsider.com.
• Busch Gardens Williamsburg was voted the “World’s Most Beautiful Theme Park” for the twentieth consecutive year.
• PGAV completed planning and design projects at six UNESCO World Heritage Sites.


“Our approach of intensely focusing on consumer insights and market trends is supported by our investments in original research,” says Mike Konzen, Principal PGAV Destinations. The more we understand consumer trends, behaviors and motivations, the better we are at developing zoos and aquariums, entertainment attractions, hotels and resorts, heritage and nature sites, and cultural attractions.”

The decade of success began with the opening of Discovery Cove in Orlando, Florida. Additional noteworthy project openings that followed include:

• Antler Hill Village at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina
• Journey to Atlantis at SeaWorld San Diego
• Table Rock Welcome Centre at Niagara Falls, Ontario
• The National Geographic Visitor Center at the Grand Canyon
• The 600-room Ameristar Casino Hotel in Blackhawk, Colorado
• The Hotel Gold River at Port Aventura in Salou, Spain
• Aquatica, SeaWorld’s Water Park in Orlando, Florida
• Ireland at Busch Gardens, Williamsburg


During this period, PGAV Destinations also completed thirty-four strategic master plans guiding the future of several landmark sites, including Kennedy Space Center, The Hoover Dam, The Audubon Nature Institute, The Indianapolis Zoo, The General Patton Museum, the National Aviary, and the St. Louis Science Center.


“Our focus on strategic planning, business analysis, and innovation in our ever-changing industry will serve us well in the next ten years,” says Jim Moorkamp, PGAV Principal. “Watch for us to continue to expand our services in all facets of the tourism and leisure industry.”

Images: PGAV Destinations

Judith Rubin
Judith Rubin
Judith Rubin ([email protected]) is a leading journalist, content marketing specialist and connector in the international attractions industry. She reports on design and technical design, production and project management, industry trends and company culture. From 2005-2020 she ran communications and publications for the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA). In 2013, she was honored with the TEA Service Award. She was development director of IMERSA and publicist for the Large Format Cinema Association, and has contributed to the publications of PLASA, IAAPA and the International Planetarium Society. Judith joined World’s Fair magazine in 1987, which introduced her to the attractions industry. She joined InPark in 2010. Judith earned a BFA from Pratt Institute. She has lived in Detroit, New York, Oakland, and now Saint Louis, where she is active in the local arts community.

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