November 17, 2004
Orlando, FL -- Holiday World today was announced the winner of 2004-2005 Applause Award at the International Association of Amusement Parks & Attractions (IAAPA) convention in Orlando.
"We are thrilled beyond words," says Will Koch, president and general manager of Holiday World & Splashin' Safari. "To be honored by our peers at this level is nearly unbelievable. We all keep pinching ourselves."
The award was presented this morning during IAAPA's "What's New Theatre" general session. Koch and about a dozen of his staff are in Orlando this week attending the convention.
"This award is a reflection of the spirit of our staff," says Koch. "Our full-time staff and seasonal employees believe in our innovations such as free soft drinks and free sunscreen. They embrace our determination to be the cleanest and friendliest park. It's their hard work that we honor with this incredible award."
The Applause Award, which is presented by Amusement Business trade journal and Sweden's Liseberg Park, is a highly coveted international honor. The criteria for the award include foresight, originality and creativity, plus sound business development and profitability.
Last fall, Holiday World was the only U.S. park to be named a finalist in the Applause Awards. The other finalists were Garadaland in Verona, Italy and Tivoli in Coppenhagen, Demark.
This is a huge honor for Holiday World, which is the smallest park to ever win the Applause Award. Holiday World's 2004 attendance was 883,000.
Previous winners of the award are Cedar Point, Disneyland, Universal Studios Orlando and Europa Park in Germany.