PGAV Destinations Celebrates 50 Project Openings in Ten Years

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The Most Prolific Period in Firm’s 45-Year History Sets Records


We are extremely pleased about our success during the past ten years. Our approach of intensely focusing on consumer insights and market trends is supported by our investments in original research.

PGAV Destinations, a global leader in the planning and design of cultural and entertainment destinations, celebrates an unprecedented decade of design. In the past ten years, PGAV has opened 50 projects in twenty U.S. states and abroad. The cumulative impact of these projects translates into 81 million in annual visitors and $1.54 billion in cumulative project value.

As the most productive period in the firm’s history, the past decade’s business activity reflects an array of record-setting numbers:

  •     16 Major ride and show openings
  •     20 Major zoological openings
  •     14 Museum and cultural openings
  •     38 Food service and retail venues opened
  •     34 Strategic and master plans
  •     2,590 Hotel rooms designed

During this period, PGAV projects were the winners of five Thea (Themed Entertainment Association) Awards, more than any other design firm. Additional accomplishments include:

  •     The opening of the Georgia Aquarium, recently designated the “World’s Largest Aquarium” by the Guinness book of World Records.
  •     Discovery Cove was rated the “#1 Waterpark” in the Zagat US Family Travel Guide.
  •     The Manta Coaster at SeaWorld of Orlando was rated the “Best New Attraction of 2009” by
  •     Busch Gardens Williamsburg was voted the “World’s Most Beautiful Theme Park” for the twentieth consecutive year.
  •     PGAV completed planning and design projects at six UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

“We are extremely pleased about our success during the past ten years,” explains Mike Konzen, Principal PGAV Destinations. “Our approach of intensely focusing on consumer insights and market trends is supported by our investments in original research. The more we understand consumer trends, behaviors and motivations, the better we are at developing zoos and aquariums, entertainment attractions, hotels and resorts, heritage and nature sites, and cultural attractions.”

The decade of success began with the opening of Discovery Cove in Orlando, Florida. Additional noteworthy project openings that followed include:

  •     Antler Hill Village at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina
  •     Journey to Atlantis at SeaWorld San Diego
  •     Table Rock Welcome Centre at Niagara Falls, Ontario
  •     The National Geographic Visitor Center at the Grand Canyon
  •     The 600-room Ameristar Casino Hotel in Blackhawk, Colorado
  •     The Hotel Gold River at Port Aventura in Salou, Spain
  •     Aquatica, SeaWorld’s Water Park in Orlando, Florida
  •     Ireland at Busch Gardens, Williamsburg

During this period, PGAV Destinations also completed thirty-four strategic master plans guiding the future of several landmark sites, including Kennedy Space Center, The Hoover Dam, The Audubon Nature Institute, The Indianapolis Zoo, The General Patton Museum, the National Aviary, and the St. Louis Science Center.

“Our focus on strategic planning, business analysis, and innovation in our ever-changing industry will serve us well in the next ten years,” according to Jim Moorkamp, PGAV Principal. “Watch for us to continue to expand our services in all facets of the tourism and leisure industry.”

About PGAV Destinations
PGAV Destinations is a global leader in the planning and design of unique destinations. Now in its fifth decade, the practice has evolved to become the ideal strategic partner, skilled at developing growth-oriented master plans and translating those plans into successful projects. No other firm offers such an integrated approach to destination planning.

PGAV’s key clients include industry leaders such as Delaware North, SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment, the Biltmore Companies, Bass Pro Shops, Ameristar Casinos, Universal Studios, The Gettysburg Foundation, Niagara Parks Commission, The National Aviary, and many others. Recent assignments include planning and design at many of the world’s “must see” destinations, including the Grand Canyon, Biltmore Estate, Niagara Falls, Hearst Castle, the Georgia Aquarium, the Hoover Dam, and SeaWorld Adventure Parks.
A Decade of Destinations – Fifty Project Openings
1.    Great Bear Wilderness, Brookfield Zoo – Chicago, Illinois
2.    Antler Hill Village, Biltmore Estate – Asheville, North Carolina
3.    Ameristar Blackhawk Hotel – Blackhawk, Colorado
4.    Hotel Gold River, Port Aventura Resort – Salou, Spain
5.    1859 Balloon Voyage, Conner Prairie Historical Park – Fishers, Indiana
6.    Independence Café, Independence National Historical Park – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
7.    Manta Coaster, SeaWorld – Orlando, Florida
8.    Penguin Exhibit, the National Aviary – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
9.    Sesame Node, Busch Gardens – Williamsburg, Virginia
10.    Hearst Castle Branding and Orientation – San Simeon, California
11.    Table Rock Welcome Centre – Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada
12.    Aquatica – SeaWorld’s Water Park – Orlando, Florida
13.    Ameristar St. Charles Hotel – St. Charles, Missouri
14.    Gettysburg Battlefield Visitor Center – Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
15.    Front Gate, Kansas City Zoo – Kansas City, Missouri
16.    Arch Museum Store, Jefferson National Expansion Memorial – St. Louis, Missouri
17.    Imax 3-D Theater – Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
18.    Griffon Dive Coaster, Busch Gardens – Williamsburg, Virginia
19.    Journey to Atlantis, SeaWorld – San Antonio, Texas
20.    Argosy Casino Hotel – Kansas City, Missouri
21.    Looking for Lincoln Heritage Tourism Plan – Central Illinois
22.    Lodge at Mount Magazine – Mount Magazine, Arkansas
23.    Niagara Skywheel – Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada
24.    Shamu Believe Show, SeaWorld – Orlando, Florida & San Diego, California
25.    Air Mobility Command Heritage Center – Scott AFB, Illinois
26.    Georgia Aquarium – Atlanta, Georgia
27.    SheiKra Dive Coaster, Busch Gardens – Tampa, Florida
28.    Curse of DarKastle, Busch Gardens – Williamsburg, Virginia
29.    National Geographic Grand Canyon Visitor Center – Tusayan, Arizona
30.    Mark Twain Boyhood Home Welcome Center – Hannibal, Missouri
31.    Fragile Forest, St. Louis Zoo – St. Louis, Missouri
32.    Ameristar Kansas City Hotel – Kansas City, Missouri
33.    St. Charles Convention Center – St. Charles, Missouri
34.    Dolphin Adventure, Indianapolis Zoo – Indianapolis, Indiana
35.    Dine with Shamu, SeaWorld - Orlando, Florida
36.    Waterfront Phase Two, SeaWorld – Orlando, Florida
37.    Journey to Atlantis, SeaWorld – San Diego, California
38.    St. Louis Science Center Lobby Remodel – St. Louis, Missouri
39.    Smokehouse Restaurant, Busch Gardens – Williamsburg, Virginia
40.    Penguin & Puffin Coast, St. Louis Zoo – St. Louis, Missouri
41.    Caribbean Realm, SeaWorld – San Diego, California
42.    Waterfront Phase One, SeaWorld – Orlando, Florida
43.    Ireland, Busch Gardens – Williamsburg, Virginia
44.    Rhino Rally, Busch Gardens – Tampa, Florida
45.    Levee Mercantile, Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, St. Louis, Missouri
46.    Drop Dead Gorgeous Snakes, Indianapolis Zoo – Indianapolis, Indiana
47.    Kraken Coaster, SeaWorld – Orlando, Florida
48.    4D Theater, SeaWorld – San Diego, California
49.    Veldt Improvement, Busch Gardens – Tampa, Florida
50.     Discovery Cove, Orlando Florida

Media Contact:     Judy R. Goodman
Lents & Associates
1750 S. Brentwood
St. Louis, MO USA
PH: 314.968.3060
FAX: 314.968.2353
CELL: 314.795.8264

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Lents and Associates
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