Exactly a year after becoming a finalist in the theme park industry’s coveted Applause Awards, Holiday World was named the 2004-2005 winner of the international award this morning in Orlando, Florida.

“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.”

Koch, along with about a dozen members of his staff, is in Orlando this week attending the International Association of Amusement Parks & Attractions (IAAPA) convention. The Applause Award was announced this morning during the “What’s New Theater” general session.

“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 park in the U.S. to be named a finalist in the Applause Awards, which is presented every two years. The other finalists were Gardaland in Verona, Italy; and Tivoli in Copenhagen, Denmark.

With annual attendance of 883,000 in 2004, Holiday World is the smallest park ever to win an Applause Award. Previous winners of the Applause Award are Disneyland, Universal Studios Florida, Cedar Point of Sandusky, Ohio; and Europa Park in Germany.

For more information, log on to www.holidayworld.com or call 1-877-Go-Family.

Released: 17 November, 2004
Media contact: Paula Werne, fun@holidayworld.com; 812-937-5209

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