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December 1, 2001

IAAPA 2001: Celebrates Hall of Fame Inductees

Orlando, FL -- The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions honored inductees of the 2001 Hall of Fame during the "What's New Theatre" opening ceremony of IAAPA Orlando 2001, the association's annual convention and tradeshow in Orlando, Florida, USA on Wednesday, November 14, 2001.

During the program, two living inductees were honored:

John Graff -- For more than twenty years, John Graff has served as president and CEO of the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA). Retiring at the end of 2001, he leaves behind a legacy of an association that has grown from being a U.S.-based group with nine foreign associates, to an international organization with more than 5, 000members in almost one hundred nations. Today, IAAPA represents every facet of the amusement industry, and encompassing every aspect of the serious business of fun.

J. Henk Bemboom -- "Give people value for their money, and they'll come back." This is the principle Henk Bemboom has lived by since the age of 13. In 1958, Henk started a traveling pony show. Business grew, and Henk soon introduced a revolutionary concept: the Pony Park Slagharen, a holiday park of bungalows for rent, each including a pony and cart. Today, there are 1,000 bungalows with more than 100 rides in 2 amusement parks. Over the years, Henk has expanded his amusement facilities into Germany and the United Kingdom, where the pay-one-price system was welcomed with open arms. In 1980, Henk was knighted by the Queen of Holland.

After 65 years in the industry, Henk is still an active member of the amusement industry, always giving his guests value and smiles for their money.

IAAPA also honored two industry pioneers posthumously:

Bill Koch -- William A. Koch got involved in the amusement industry after returning home from serving the United States in WWII. What began as helping his father's "retirement project" became his life's work, and one of America's most treasured amusement parks. The project was Santa Claus Land, a small park in the town of Santa Claus, Indiana, USA., becoming the state's first theme park on August 3, 1946.

Over the years, Bill's park grew into Holiday World and Splashin' Safari and the entire town grew with it! Today, Santa Claus is the fastest growing community in Indiana.

Always an active leader with IAAPA, Bill helped develop the association's continuing education programs, seminars and workshops. He also worked tirelessly with state tourism associations, community and civic organizations and state and national politics. Bill's legacy is vividly apparent in his five children and six grandchildren, many who continue to work at the park he was so proud of. His family, and all who knew him, will remember him much like the namesake of the town he created: jolly, loving, generous and always full of good cheer.

Wilbert Morey -- Born in 1927, Wilbert Morey grew up in Wildwood, New Jersey and followed in his father's footsteps as a carpenter, and would later be credited with building dozens of Wildwood's classic motels. By the 1970's Will's company, the Morey Development Company, had built many of the area's favorite hotels. During that time, he and his brother bought a failing seaside restaurant and opened Surfside Pier. They added a giant fiberglass slide called the Wipe Out, and it was an instant success.

By the early '80's, Will added two more amusement piers and two waterparks to the area, along with the Sea Serpent, an inverted rollercoaster, the largest attraction ever installed on the boardwalk. He never stopped investing in Wildwood, adding a third pier and a luxury resort. Today, Morey's Pier is a tourism favorite, and Will Morey is remembered as a pioneer whose legacy and vision continue to inspire for many years to come.

Source: Press Release