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November 16, 2010

Holiday World Visionary Inducted Into Theme Park Hall Of Fame

Santa Claus, IN – Will Koch, owner and president of Holiday World & Splashin Safari was inducted into the amusement industry's Hall of Fame this morning by International Association of Amusement Parks & Attractions (IAAPA). The visionary who passed unexpectedly in June at the age of 48, will be remembered for introducing "free unlimited soft drinks", his extreme emphasis on friendliness and cleanliness and a trio of the world's most popular wooden coasters.

Will Koch was honored by his peers this morning during the opening ceremonies of the IAAPA Attractions Expo Conference & Trade Show in Orlando. More than 25,000 are expected to attend the week-long event.

According to an IAAPA news release: Koch was a savvy marketer. He enhanced Holiday World's family-friendly atmosphere by offering free parking, sodas, and sunscreen to all guests and he insisted the park be "open" with fans and the press alike. Under Koch's leadership, Holiday World was one of the first major theme parks to actively embrace social media through blogs and Twitter, among other online platforms. The Hall of Fame honors leaders, legends, and pioneers for their significant and lasting contributions to the worldwide attractions industry.

"The IAAPA Hall of Fame is the highest honor our industry can bestow and includes such luminaries as Walt Disney and Milton Hershey," says Koch's brother, Dan, who became Holiday World & Splashin' Safari president in late June. "Will's family – including his park family – miss him dearly. We're so proud of what Will created during his 20 years as president and pledge to continue to follow his vision in the years ahead."

Will Koch's widow, Lori, accepted the award on behalf of her family who were also present at the ceremony.

The IAAPA Hall of Fame was established in 1990 to celebrate outstanding achievement and contributions to the growth and development of the amusement park and attractions industry; an industry that, like few others, depends on the imaginations, talents, and vision of its dream builders.

Will Koch joins his father Bill who was also inducted into the IAAPA Hall of Fame in 2001.

The Koch family has owned and operated Holiday World & Splashin' Safari since 1946. In 2011, the Santa Claus, Indiana theme park and water park will celebrate its 65th anniversary. For more information, visit

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