Dennis is an internationally recognized leader and expert in the amusement and leisure industry with over 50 years of professional experience. Dennis got his start as a 13-year-old boy taking tickets for Coney Island in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Upon graduation from Morehead State University (and now a member of its Hall of Fame), Dennis successfully transitioned into full-time work with the entertainment division of the Taft Broadcasting Company. While there, he oversaw the development and operation of Kings Island in Cincinnati, Ohio (where he was its youngest General Manager and now sits in the Kings Island Hall of Fame); Kings Dominion in Doswell, Virginia; and Canada’s Wonderland in Toronto, Canada.
In 1983, Dennis started his own company, International Theme Park Services, Inc. (ITPS). Since that time, Dennis has led his firm, ITPS, through involvement with 500+ projects in 55 countries. With 12 million air miles, Dennis has traveled the globe and has a unique perspective on cultures and customs when it comes to analyzing, planning, developing, and operating all types of amusement and leisure facilities.
With a vision by Dennis, ITPS was one of the first USA consulting firms to go to China and help establish programs needed to enhance the then-fledgling amusement industry in China and Asia. Dennis has led his team through the years in developing projects internationally that total over $5 billion USD and in overseeing mergers, acquisitions, transactions, and due diligence efforts for Time Warner, Lotte World, Universal Studios, Six Flags, Parques Reunidos, and many others.
As one of the foremost authorities on the industry on trends and forecasts, Dennis is regularly called upon by news organizations, analysts, and the investment community for his opinions and insights. He is also a sought-after keynote speaker for leisure-based events around the world. Dennis is a past Chairman of the International Association of Amusement Parks & Attractions (IAAPA), remains active on its advisory board and committees, and is a proud member of its prestigious Hall of Fame.
Dennis works tirelessly to keep his finger on the pulse of the industry and continues to remain abreast of current research and trends in an industry he loves. He has spent most of his life fulfilling his passion of working in the global theme park and leisure industry and has been heralded by many as “Mr. Theme Park” because of his depth of experience and visionary prowess.
An abbreviated summary of his achievements and accomplishments include:
Past Chairman of the IAAPA.
Inaugurated into the IAAPA Hall of Fame.
Recipient of the IAAPA Meritorious Service Award.
Recipient of the IAAPA Lifetime Achievement Award.
Instituted into the Kings Island Hall of Fame.
Active in IAAPA’s board of directors, advisory boards, and chairman of several committees and sub-committees.
Inaugurated into Morehead State University’s Hall of Fame (where Dennis is a graduate)
Named first foreign “Premier Advisor” to the China Association of Amusement Parks & Attractions (CAAPA).
Helped guide the founding of, and provided leadership and advice to, the Brazilian Association of Leisure Parks (ADIBRA), the Association of Latin Parks & Attractions (ALAP), and the Mexican Amusement Parks & Attractions Association (AMAP).
Awarded the “Golden Pony” award for knowledge and contribution to the European leisure industry.
Multi-time international keynote speaker for major conferences and events.
Called upon daily by news organizations and quoted regularly in Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Orlando Sentinel, China Daily, China Post, Washington Post, USA Today, Bloomberg, Park World, FunWorld, and other leading publications.
Advises the leisure investment community on the global operators, including their performance and trends.
Regular monthly columnist for Kirmes & Park Revue, Interpark Magazine, and Asia Attractions Magazine.
Named "All American Boy" by Pageant Magazine
Promoted to Assistant Park Manager at Coney Island - Cincinnati, Ohio (1969 - 1971)
Vice President of Kings Dominion - Richmond, Virginia (1974-1980)
Opened Lion Country Safari - Richmond, Virginia
Began career as a ticket taker at Coney Island - Cincinnati, Ohio (1960 - 1969)
Assistant Park Manager Kings Island - Cincinnati, Ohio (1972 - 1973)
Played Pierce in the movie Rollercoaster
Planning and Development of Canada's Wonderland - Toronto, Canada
Vice President of International Operations - Taft Broadcasting (1981 - 1983)
Planning and Development of Six Flags Winter Programs
Vice President of Operations - Taft Broadcasting (1980 - 1981)
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 Parc Asterix - France (1986 - 1987)
Rehabilitation and Expansion of Haw Par Villa - Singapore
Elected IAAPA President
Due Diligence of Six Flags for Time Warner
Planning and Development of Hopi Hari Theme Park - Brazil Advisor to Playcenter Group (1991 - 1999)
Planning and Development of Lotte World - Seoul, South Korea (1988 - 1990)
Management of Beijing Amusement Park (1990 - 1996)
Aligned Association Das Empresas De Parques De Diversoes Do Brasil ("ADIBRA") with IAAPA
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
Planning and Development of the Newport Aquarium - Newport, Kentucky
Chairman of IAAPA Strategic Planning Committee
Guidance to Ogden Entertainment in purchases of waterparks (Emerald Point, Raging Waters)
Chairman of IAAPA Crisis Communication Task Force
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 Parque Central - Juarez, Mexico
Management of SuperSplash Adventure! - Texas
Management of Arnolds Park - Iowa
Chairman of IAAPA Planning Committee
IAAPA Transition Team Member
Planning and Development of Emancipation Park - Jamaica
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
Initiated and Advised the sale of Visionland Theme Park - Alabama
Initiated and Advised the sale of SuperSplash Adventure! - Texas
Planning and Development of Purple People Bridge Climb - Newport, Kentucky
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
Concept Design, Masterplan, Attractions Selection, Schematic Design and Design Development for Qatar Theme Park, Middle East
Concept Design, Masterplan, Attractions Selection, and Schematic Design for Ha Long Bay Ocean Park, Vietnam
Initiated and Advised sale of Noah's Ark - Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin to Parques Reunidos
Initiated and Advised the sale of Miami Seaquarium - Miami, Florida to Parques Reunidos
Contracted by Hersheypark to provide ride operations audits
International Theme Park Services, Inc.
2195 Victory Parkway
Cincinnati, Ohio 45206
United States of America