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PGAV Destinations Completes Major Attraction Projects in 2011

Completed Project Installations Total More Than $250 million

(St. Louis, Missouri, USA): PGAV Destinations, a provider of services in the planning and design of entertainment and cultural destinations, announced that it is pleased to wrap up “another banner year of projects, in excess of $250 million in installation costs.” The firm’s focus on strategic planning, business analysis and innovation continues to produce results in the  tourism and leisure industry.

The list of projects includes:
The Grand Aquarium in Ocean Park, Hong Kong. PGAV Destinations was the lead designer of this state-of-the-art aquatic attraction, which is the centerpiece of Ocean Park’s Aqua City development. Nearly 3 million people visited in the first six months, setting the pace for record attendance in the park. www.oceanpark.com.hk
Grand Aquarium, Ocean Park, Hong Kong. Courtesy PGAV Destinations.
Cheetah Hunt Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, Florida. Said to be Florida’s first triple-launch coaster, this innovative ride was inspired by the world’s fastest land animal and uses state-of-the-art technology to deliver three adrenaline-fueled surges of speed. Riders are propelled up the 102-foot Windcatcher Tower, down into four subterranean trenches, over Busch Gardens’ historic Skyride, around a rocky canyon with whitewater currents, and through a heartline roll inversion. Cheetah Hunt’s 4,429 feet of steel track holds the record as Busch Gardens’ longest coaster, and its 13-acre footprint makes it the most expansive thrill-ride in the park’s history. www.cheetahhunt.com
AT&T Dolphin Tales Gallery at Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta, Georgia. PGAV Destinations served as both architect and experience designer for the $110 million expansion project, which features 1.8 million gallons (about the size of two football fields) of aquatic habitats to house trained bottlenose dolphins. The 84,000-square-foot expansion also includes a viewing theater for 1,800 guests. The project follows PGAV’s role as exhibit designer for the highly successful initial phase of the Georgia Aquarium. The Gallery was recently recognized with the Atlanta Downtown Design Excellence Award as the outstanding Community project. www.georgiaaquarium.org

Glacier Point at the Louisville Zoo in Louisville, Kentucky. This $24 million project showcases sea lions, polar bears, Stellar’s sea eagles, and sea otters. Designed as an imaginary town on the edge of the arctic wilderness, the Glacier Point exhibit is modeled after the Canadian polar bear capital of the world to highlight the bond between humans and wildlife. The attraction increased attendance at the Louisville Zoo to more than 890,000 visitors annually, creating a $33.6 million economic impact for the region. www.louisvillezoo.org


Glacier Point, Louisville Zoo. Courtesy PGAV Destinations.
The Grand Reef Discovery Cove in Orlando, Florida. This is the first major expansion of the PGAV-designed signature experience, which adds more than 2.5 acres to the park and offers guests the opportunity to explore and interact with thousands of tropical animals. The experience features SeaVenture, an innovative underwater walking tour along the reef floor. www.discoverycove.com

Boeing Exhibition Hall at the Saint Louis Science Center in St. Louis, Missouri. This $9.5 million project adds a 13,000-square-foot exhibition hall to the Science Center, to support creating new exhibits and traveling exhibits that were not previously feasible. The hall also hosts special annual events like SciFest and FIRST® Robotics, all to help inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers. With a unique green roof terrace and LEED certification, the addition is expected to reduce energy use and costs. www.slsc.org
Saint Louis Zoo Guest Arrival Experience in St. Louis, Missouri. The Zoo houses 5000 animals from 700 species on 90 acres, including an insectarium, a children’s zoo, and a miniature train. It is recognized as a leading zoo in animal management, research, conservation, and education. Admission is free based on a public subsidy from a cultural tax district. With huge crowds throughout the year, a re-designed entrance features a thematic bridge over a busy road and includes shade trees, a landscaped central pedestrian spine and brass animal sculptures. www.stlzoo.org

Orlando Airport Shops, Kennedy Space Center in Orlando, Florida. Two outpost locations of the Kennedy Space Center, stores located within the Orlando International Airport, have been enhanced to acquaint visitors with Florida’s Space Coast area. Operated by Delaware North Parks Services, the shops showcase special space memorabilia and displays including spacesuits. www.orlandoairports.net
“We enjoy and appreciate the opportunity to work with such extraordinary destinations,” states Mike Konzen, Principal, PGAV Destinations. “We have many more exciting domestic and international projects in progress, with openings anticipated throughout 2012 and beyond.”

In 2010, PGAV Destinations celebrated 50 Project Openings in Ten Years, to showcase the most prolific period in the firm’s 45-year history. The prior decade of business activity reflected a wide array of record-setting numbers, with 16 major ride and show openings, 20 major zoological openings, 14 museum and cultural openings, 38 food service and retail venue openings, 34 strategic and master plans, and 2,590 hotel rooms designed.

About PGAV Destinations

PGAV Destinations is a global leader in the planning and design of unique destinations. The firm combines award-winning storytelling and creativity with business strategy to create cultural, heritage, and natural destinations. PGAV develops growth-oriented master plans and translates these plans into destination products. Now in its fifth decade, the firm has authored hundreds of projects in places such as SeaWorld, the Grand Canyon, Biltmore Estate, The Gettysburg Battlefield, the Georgia Aquarium, Kennedy Space Center, and Busch Gardens. www.pgavdestinations.com
Joe Kleimanhttp://www.themedreality.com
Raised in San Diego on theme parks, zoos, and IMAX films, Joe Kleiman would expand his childhood loves into two decades as a projectionist and theater director within the giant screen industry. In addition to his work in commercial and museum operations, Joe has volunteered his time to animal husbandry at leading facilities in California and Texas and has played a leading management role for a number of performing arts companies. Joe has been News Editor and contributing author to InPark Magazine since 2011. HIs writing has also appeared in Sound & Communications, LF Examiner, Jim Hill Media, and MiceChat. His blog, ThemedReality.com takes an unconventional look at the attractions industry. Follow on twitter @themedreality Joe lives in Sacramento, California with his fiancé, two dogs, and a ghost.

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