The ITPS I’M4FUN podcast with Dennis Speigel is pleased to welcome Ken Whiting, President of Whiting’s Foods to its next podcast, scheduled to broadcast live beginning at 10:00am on Wednesday, January 27, 2021. This special podcast episode will focus on the foundations of successful food and beverage programs, the second highest revenue generator in the attractions industry. Ken, as incoming chairman of the International Association of Amusement Parks & Attractions (IAAPA) in 2022, will also share his vision for the future in the wake of ever-changing times. Ken’s insight on Food and Beverage trends and what is being done in this sector to build revenue will be helpful to anyone in the leisure and amusement industry. Free registration is open now.
Join Dennis Speigel, Founder & CEO of ITPS, for Episode 9 of the ITPS I’M4FUN Podcast. This episode features Ms. Pamela Landwirth, President & CEO of Give Kids the World Village. Since 1992, Pamela has helped navigate this amazing organization, which operates an 89-acre whimsical, non-profit resort in Kissimmee, Florida. Offering critically ill kids and their families week-long, cost-free wish vacations, these stays are transformative and are made possible by the support of generous donors, community partners, and volunteers. Join Dennis and Pamela for a memorable conversation about the Give Kids the World program, including its history, its short and long term goals, and its initiatives for advancements in the coming years. Pamela also shares her insights on the amusement industry and its support of the Give Kids the World program, and discusses how the program has had to adapt in 2020 as it moves into 2021. Don’t miss this unforgettable and heartwarming discussion.
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The ITPS I’M4FUN Podcast welcomes Richard Zimmerman, President and CEO of the Cedar Fair Entertainment Company. Richard started with Cedar Fair in 1998 and has worked his way up in the company from General Manager of Kings Dominion to Cedar Fair’s President & COO, and is now President & CEO. Richard’s passion is to ensure the Cedar Fair parks offer families an entertainment experience that is unique, engaging, and indelible. On the I’M4FUN Podcast, Richard joins Dennis in discussions centered around the current state of our industry. He shares his insights based on his longstanding experience in park operations and his role in leading a major entertainment-based corporation.
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Amanda Thompson OBE, Managing Director of Blackpool Pleasure Beach in the UK and current Chairman of IAAPA, joins Dennis Speigel to discuss the status of the leisure and attractions industry in the midst of a global pandemic. As the first European woman to hold the position of Chairman of IAAPA, Amanda specifically discusses unique and successful practices that have been put into place at Blackpool Pleasure Beach and provides her exclusive perspective on what the road to recovery will look like moving beyond 2020. Watch this highly informative and dynamic conversation!
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For Episode 6, the I’M4FUN Podcast welcomes Mr. Roland Mack, Founder of Europa-Park in Rust, Germany. Roland founded Europa-Park in 1975 with his father, and today Europa-Park is Germany’s largest amusement park, having been voted “best in the world” for the sixth year in a row by the Golden Ticket Awards. As a former Chairman of IAAPA, Roland joins Dennis live to discuss how the European leisure market is faring in 2020 and what its outlook is for the future. Not only as an operator, but also as a co-owner of Mack Rides, Roland specifically provides a unique insight as to how Covid-19 has impacted both the operator and supply sides of the industry. Don’t miss this interesting discussion!
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Dennis is joined by Jane Cooper, President & COO of Herschend Family Entertainment, considered the nation’s largest family-owned themed attractions corporation. Its entertainment and hospitality properties currently span 23 locations in six states across the USA. Do the observations and experiences from COVID provide opportunities? Jane addresses the current risk to talent in our industry and provides insights as to how to build bench strength. Also:
New consumer norms as a result of the pandemic; which ones will stay with us?
How operators should be analyzing the data that impacts the business.
Level of grace given by consumers during the pandemic; how long will it last?
What avenues for revenue growth have come out of recent adjustments.
How we can creatively keep our talent engaged and committed.
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Our special guest for Episode 4 of the ITPS I’m4Fun Podcast is Rene Aziz, CEO & President of Grupo Divertido in Mexico. Dennis and Rene engage in an energetic discussion about the status of the attractions industry in Mexico and Latin America. Rene shares his insights on the general state of the economy and how this will continue to impact leisure attractions. Learn about the future of Mexico in its quest to rebound its theme park and attractions market and hear what Rene, a past Chairman of IAAPA, feels it will take for our global industry to fully recover.
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Episode 3 of the ITPS “I’m4Fun” Podcast was held on Wednesday, October 7, 2020. Our special guest Rick Hunter (Chairman & CEO of ProSlide Technology) and Dennis discuss the continued growth of the waterpark industry, and the shakeouts that have resulted from Covid-19 impacts. Rick provides insights on both domestic and foreign growth trends and opines on trends and technological advances he is seeing as our industry regains its footing.
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Dennis is joined by Keith James, Owner & CEO of JRA, a world-class attraction design company that has planned, designed, and produced hundreds of experiences for international audiences. Watch or listen to Dennis and Keith as they discuss how the design process has changed as a result of the new operating era that parks and attractions are implementing, both short and long term. Keith also talks about the process of design in a remote working environment, including both difficulties and advantages, and sheds insight on how this new process can affect and help developers.
Click to watch Episode 2 here.
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For this inaugural ITPS podcast, Dennis is joined by Jim Seay, President & Owner of Premier Rides. Jim is a safety industry expert and a globally respected industry icon. Hear how the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted manufacturers and suppliers around the world in both the short and long term. Dennis and Jim will also discuss their insights on our industry’s performance, including how vendor transactions will be carried out in the future.
Click here to view Episode 1
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The ups and downs of the theme park and amusement industry can sometimes be hard to navigate, but the outcome is great reward, fun, and seeing smiles on people’s faces! Dennis Speigel, the Founder & CEO of International Theme Park Services (ITPS), has loved and served the amusement, theme park, and leisure industry for more than 50 years. He started as a ticket taker at age 13 and never looked back. His firm, ITPS, has been involved with over 500 projects in 50 countries. To his friends and collaborators, Dennis is often known as “Mr. Theme Park”. During each ITPS “I’m4Fun” podcast, Dennis engages with industry colleagues in a fun, entertaining, and motivating way. If you are an operator, supplier, or developer, no matter where you are in the world, you know first-hand about struggles, challenges, and successes you face. You know what works and what doesn’t work. Through honest conversations with industry leaders and peers, Dennis dives into behind-the-scenes stories and uncovers insights that speak to every aspect of the industry we all love. If you love the industry and all it stands for, come join Dennis in this illuminating journey.
The “I’M4FUN” ITPS podcast will cover all important aspects of our industry, including theme parks, waterparks, family entertainment centers, zoos, aquariums, museums, technology, leadership and management, sponsors, human resources, design, successes and failures, financial concerns, safety issues, operational aspects, and much more. These conversations will also be from various perspectives and will cover the globe in terms of participation.
Audio Podcasts available on Anchor, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Radio Public, Overcast and more.
Feasibility Analysis - Design / Masterplanning - Pre-Opening Operations Planning - Management