The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) has added four individuals to its Hall of Fame. This group influenced the industry in a range of areas, from creative to business and finance.
Joan Ganz Cooney: The television writer and producer is a founder of Sesame Workshop, which delivered the children’s show “Sesame Street.” Her work in pioneering edutainment has greatly and directly influenced theme parks, IAAPA in a press release: “From Sesame Place to KidZania and LEGOLAND, her influence is seen in the interactive exhibits at museums and zoos, education-based programming incorporated into attractions, and even in FECs.”
Xavier Lopez Ancona: The driving force behind the KidZania franchise found in 15 countries, Ancona influenced creative concepts and financing approaches. “He took the simple idea of child role-playing and turned it into a major, heavily invested and extremely innovative attraction, to be located in retail malls,” IAAPA said.
Darrell Metzger: Over more than four decades, Metzger specialized in the development, operation and revival of leisure/resort/residential communities and attractions around the world. He gained a reputation for his expertise in positioning and repositioning of major destinations, theme parks and resorts on a global scale. "He is a true icon of our industry," IAAPA said.
Dennis Speigel: Over his 60-plus years in the amusement and leisure industry, Speigel has traveled the world advising and consulting investors, bankers, developers, students,enthusiasts, researchers, suppliers, and buyers. "Mr. Speigel has long been regarded the ‘go to’ guy when an opinion or the most updated information is being sought," IAAPA said.