Internationally recognized as a leader and expert in the theme park / leisure industry with 50 years of professional experience, Mr. Speigel directs International Theme Park Services, Inc. ("ITPS") with exceptional business and solid financial judgment, creating success for the clients of ITPS.
Mr. Speigel's early beginnings in 1960 as a ticket taker / seasonal employee at Coney Island Amusement Park (Cincinnati, Ohio) were the impetus behind his decision to make the theme park business his career. He quickly worked his way to Assistant Park Manager of Coney Island and then Kings Island Theme Park (Cincinnati, Ohio), where, as Assistant General Manager, he supervised general park operations, including personnel, rides, food / beverage, merchandise, games and guest hospitality.
In 1974, Mr. Speigel became the Vice President and General Manager of Kings Dominion / Lion Country Safari (Richmond, Virginia), which historically draws over 3 million in attendance per year. In addition to overseeing the planning and construction of the park, he administered a $60 million construction budget, utilized his creative marketing skills to establish and implement several long-range marketing / development plans. He was also responsible for managing the park for Taft Broadcasting and the Kroger Company, while generating 11 million in attendance and over $250 million in cumulative revenues from 1974-80. Mr. Speigel also successfully opened Lion Country Safari (a wild animal preserve), achieving an attendance record of 650,000 the first season.
Formerly affiliated with the Taft Broadcasting Company (Cincinnati, Ohio), Mr. Speigel served as Vice President of Operations from 1980-81, during which time he developed a standardized safety and security program, monitored union activity and oversaw activities with the Hanna-Barbera Studios.
As Vice President of International Operations from 1981-83, Mr. Speigel was directly responsible for overseeing and assessing potential leisure sites in foreign markets, including all negotiations, research and development, design, site selection and zoning, as well as securing investors. In these endeavors, he was instrumental in developing project negotiations in Singapore, Australia and Tokyo, and secured a management / design and planning / project development contract in London, England in March, 1983.
A graduate of Morehead State University with a Bachelor of Science Degree, Mr. Speigel is also past President of the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions ("IAAPA"). IAAPA is the global association representing leisure facilities and suppliers / manufacturers around the world. Currently, Mr. Speigel serves on the Board of Directors of IAAPA. He has also chaired many committees and special projects for IAAPA including, but not limited to: Education Committee, The IAAPA Workshop / 1991 entitled "Future of Amusement Parks," Chairman of the IAAPA Strategic Planning Committee to recommend long-term goals/objectives and Cornell University Educational Institute Program.
Mr. Speigel was instrumental in aligning the Association Das Empresas De Parques De Diversoes Do Brasil ("ADIBRA") with IAAPA to create strength within the industry. In addition, he brought the Nipon Amusement Park Organization into IAAPA.
Mr. Speigel often speaks on a variety of topics related to the leisure industry at seminars and meetings around the world. In March of 1995, Mr. Speigel was asked by IAAPA to head the Strategic Long-Range Planning Committee for the International Council.
In 1994 Mr. Speigel was appointed as Premier Advisor to China's Association of Amusement parks and Attractions ("CAAPA"). In this role, he advised on all matters pertaining to safety and other industry related matters.
Mr. Speigel was awarded the 1993 Outstanding Service Award from the IAAPA for his concept, development and implementation of the IAAPA Educational Program at the Cornell School of Hotel Management.
Called almost daily, Mr. Speigel gives industry insight to many newspapers and publications around the world. He has been interviewed and quoted by the Wall Street Journal, Cincinnati Enquirer, Park World, Fun World Magazine, USA Today, Red Book Magazine, Los Angeles Times, Amusement Business and many other local and foreign publications. In 1996, Mr. Speigel served as a guest lecturer at the Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management at the University of Houston.
With broad, global knowledge of customs, cultures and respect for each, Mr. Speigel's management philosophy includes truth with diplomacy and implementation with expediency and care.
Named "All American Boy" by Pageant Magazine
Began career as a ticket taker at Coney Island - Cincinnati, Ohio (1960 - 1969)
Promoted to Assistant Park Manager at Coney Island - Cincinnati, Ohio (1969 - 1971)
Assistant Park Manager Kings Island - Cincinnati, Ohio (1972 - 1973)
Vice President of Kings Dominion - Richmond, Virginia (1974-1980)
Opened Lion Country Safari - Richmond, Virginia
Played Pierce in the movie Rollercoaster
Planning and Development of Canada's Wonderland - Toronto, Canada
Vice President of Operations - Taft Broadcasting (1980 - 1981)
Vice President of International Operations - Taft Broadcasting (1981 - 1983)
Proposed and secured Australia's Wonderland - Sydney, Australia
Founded International Theme Park Services, Inc.
Planning and Development of Autoworld - Flint, Michigan
Planning and Development of Six Flags Winter Programs
Planning and Development of Parc Asterix - France (1986 - 1987)
Rehabilitation and Expansion of Haw Par Villa - Singapore
Planning and Development of Lotte World - Seoul, South Korea (1988 - 1990)
Elected IAAPA President
Due Diligence of Six Flags for Time Warner
Management of Beijing Amusement Park (1990 - 1996)
Aligned Association Das Empresas De Parques De Diversoes Do Brasil ("ADIBRA") with IAAPA
Planning and Development of Hopi Hari Theme Park - Brazil Advisor to Playcenter Group (1991 - 1999)
Redevelopment of Reino Aventura (now Six Flags Mexico) - Mexico City, Mexico
Pre-Opening Operations Planning for Enchanted Kingdom in Manila, Philippines
Planning and Development of American Dream Parks in China (1993 - 1996)
Received IAAPA Outstanding Service Award for IAAPA Education Program at Cornell
Planning and Development of Terra Encantada - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Due Diligence of Kings Entertainment for Paramount Parks
Premier Advisor to China's Association of Amusement parks and Attractions ("CAAPA")
Design / Rehabilitation and Expansion of Tianjin Amusement Park - China
Planning and Development of Lake Compounce - Bristol, Connecticut
Planning and Development of the Newport Aquarium - Newport, Kentucky
Chairman of IAAPA Strategic Planning Committee
Planning and Development of Parque Central - Juarez, Mexico
Guidance to Ogden Entertainment in purchases of waterparks (Emerald Point, Raging Waters)
Chairman of IAAPA Crisis Communication Task Force
Management of SuperSplash Adventure! - Texas
Management of Arnolds Park - Iowa
Chairman of IAAPA Planning Committee
IAAPA Transition Team Member
Initiated and Advised the sale of Visionland Theme Park - Alabama
Initiated and Advised the sale of SuperSplash Adventure! - Texas
Planning and Development of Emancipation Park - Jamaica
Planning and Development of Purple People Bridge Climb - Newport, Kentucky
Initiated and Advised the sale of Kennywood - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to Parques Reunidos
IAAPA Advisory Board Member
Initiated and Advised the sale of Palace Entertainment to Parques Reunidos
Planning and Development of ORA Theme Park - Istanbul, Turkey
Inducted into Kings Island Hall of Fame - Inaugural Class
IAAPA Lifetime Service Award Recipient
Initiated and Advised the sale of Dutch Wonderland - Pennsylvania to Parques Reunidos
Planning and Development of SkyRise Miami - Florida
Initiated and Advised sale of Noah's Ark - Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin to Parques Reunidos
Concept Design, Masterplan, Attractions Selection, Schematic Design and Design Development for Qatar Theme Park, Middle East
Initiated and Advised the sale of Miami Aquarium - Miami, Florida to Parques Reunidos
Concept Design, Masterplan, Attractions Selection, and Schematic Design for Ha Long Bay Ocean Park, Vietnam
Contracted by Hersheypark to provide ride operations audits
35th Anniversary of International Theme Park Services, Inc.
Feasibility Analysis - Design / Masterplanning - Pre-Opening Operations Planning - Management