PGAV Destinations announced the opening of a studio in Orlando, an expansion that will enable the firm to realize new growth opportunities, enhance its ability to serve major theme park clients based in the area, and tap into a growing global industry center.
“With the attractions industry expecting a strong rebound as pandemic concerns ease, now is the perfect time for PGAV Destinations to establish a permanent presence in Orlando, which has emerged as a critical hub for theme park design and development,” said Mike Konzen, Chairman and Principal of PGAV Destinations. “Our new studio will strengthen PGAV Destinations’ position as one of the world’s premier planners and creators of unique destination experiences and will provide excellent career opportunities for talented architects, designers, planners and producers throughout the region.”
The Orlando studio will be led by PGAV Destinations Vice President Ned Diestelkamp, a 36-year industry veteran who has led design teams for dozens of projects — from theme park attractions to cultural institutions to resorts — across the globe over the course of his career to date. Diestelkamp has also led personnel and recruiting programs for PGAV Destinations over the past two decades, experience that will benefit efforts to bring top talent to the Orlando studio.
“PGAV Destinations has a long history of success supporting clients with major projects in Orlando, the theme park capital of the world,” Diestelkamp said. “In recent years, Orlando has also become the theme park design capital of the world, with many major operators headquartering design and development work there as well. I’m excited for the opportunity to establish and build PGAV’s presence in Orlando, which will play an important role in continued success for our firm and our clients.”
The Orlando studio is the firm’s third office, joining its home office in St. Louis and a studio in Kansas City. Established in 1965, the firm was built from architectural design roots and Midwestern values to become one of the industry’s most comprehensive solution providers for attraction and destination strategy, design and implementation. The firm’s clients include a full range of attractions and destinations, ranging from zoos and aquariums to museums, cultural institutions and brand destinations.
In addition to PGAV Destinations, PGAV also includes PGAV Architects, a leading design and consulting firm, and PGAV Planners, LLC, a top provider of global solutions for community planning and development issues.
“While the Orlando studio will enhance our offerings for major theme park operators and other regional attractions, our foundation in the Midwest remains ideal for supporting our full range of clients,” Konzen said. “We are excited to be an active part of the Orlando community, as we are in St. Louis and Kansas City, and we have invested in technology to ensure that teams can continue to seamlessly collaborate on a wide range of client projects across our studios.”