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October 24, 2008

Herschend To Close Celebration City For New Development

Branson, MO -- Herschend Family Entertainment (HFE) announced today that Celebration City in Branson, Missouri will close this weekend after five years of operation. The decision to close the theme park is due to a shift in business strategy for the company.

Herschend Family Entertainment said they're already exploring ideas on how to redevelop the 110-acre Celebration City site, including an aquarium, other family attractions, re-theming the current park and destination retail and dining. The company would like to create an anchor destination for Branson's western edge.

"As with businesses across the country, we have had to carefully examine our future strategic plans. We need to make smart, forward-thinking decisions in a tough economic climate," said Joel Manby, president and chief executive officer for Herschend Family Entertainment.

Celebration City will close at the end of the day on Saturday, October 25, the last scheduled operating day of the season.

Manby added, "HFE has operated attractions in Branson for nearly fifty years and our businesses there have continued to expand with the market growth. We are confident Branson will continue to grow as one of America's premier vacation destinations for the long-term."

"As we plan the re-development of the Celebration City property, we will focus on projects with strong appeal to new and returning visitors to the market," concluded Manby.

The future of the theme park's flagship Ozark Wildcat roller coaster is unknown. The Great Coasters International designed wooden coaster was added to Celebration City in 2003.

Celebration City opened on May 1, 2003 operating on the site of the former Branson USA amusement park.

Related see: Ozark Wildcat, Celebration City,

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Number of Comments: 1

Comment by katie on October 24, 2008 at 5:04:50 pm

What a shame. I hope they can keep Ozark Wildcat or at least find it a good home.