Canaveral, FL & Buffalo, NY – May 2017
/ Newsmaker Alert / Delaware
North, one of the largest privately-held hospitality and food service
companies in the world, has been awarded an eight-year extension to its
concessions agreement with NASA to continue operating Kennedy
Space Center Visitor Complex, the public component of the storied launch
in 2010 had selected Delaware North through a competitive bidding process
for a concessions agreement with a 10-year base period and options for
another 10 years. The early extension paves the way for the company to
continue operating the visitor complex to 2028.
2012, Delaware North has worked with NASA to implement new space center
tours and educational programs and increase visitor opportunities to see
NASA and private space company rocket launches from nearby Cape Canaveral
Air Force Station. Delaware North also oversaw the design and construction
of major new attractions such as the $100 million Space Shuttle Atlantis®
and Heroes & Legends featuring the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame®
presented by Boeing.
extension comes after the visitor complex set an annual attendance record
in 2016, surpassing the previous high recorded in 2009, the next-to-last
full year of the shuttle program.
behalf of Delaware North and the Jacobs family, I want to thank NASA for
giving us the opportunity to continue the work we have done together to
make Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex an absolute must-see experience
for all Americans and international visitors,” said Scott Socha, president
of Delaware North’s parks and resorts division.
in 1967 as little more than a bus tour of the space center’s launch pads,
the visitor complex will celebrate its 50th anniversary later this year
in August. Delaware North has operated the visitor complex for NASA since
1995, adding major attractions such as:
in recent years has also added exhibits to highlight current and future
space programs and NASA’s private space company partners and their initiatives.
For example, visitors can learn about current missions to the International
Space Station and upcoming missions to explore deep space, including traveling
to the Red Planet in Journey to Mars: Explorers Wanted. Recently, the NASA
Now exhibit welcomed NASA’s Orion Spacecraft crew capsule EFT-1, which
was launched in 2014 aboard a Delta IV Heavy rocket from Cape Canaveral.
Exploration Flight Test 1 was the first test of Orion as it is being developed
for NASA’s Space Launch System and the Journey to Mars.
V Center, a tribute to NASA’s lunar landing program, which opened in 1997
and features an actual Saturn V rocket, among other displays.
Launch Experience®, which allows visitors to experience a simulated
shuttle launch into orbit.
Shuttle Atlantis attraction, which opened in 2013 and tells the compelling
story of the 30-year Space Shuttle Program via a dramatic display of the
iconic spacecraft and 60 interactive exhibits.
& Legends featuring the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame® presented
by Boeing, which opened in November 2016, uses the early years of the space
program to explore the concept of heroism. It also features a new astronaut
hall of fame, replacing an offsite venue that was often missed by visitors.
with Delaware North is thrilled that this extension will allow us to continue
the momentum in enhancing the visitor complex over the next decade,” said
Therrin Protze, chief operating officer of the visitor complex. “We have
an incredible story to tell to millions of people about NASA’s current
and future space programs, as well as what SpaceX, Boeing, Lockheed Martin
and other private space companies are doing.”
pointed to a number of other factors that have shown how Delaware North
has been successful in repositioning the visitor complex as a top visitor
destination in the Orlando market:
Space Center Visitor Complex is completely funded by sales from admission,
food and beverage, retail and education programs with no contributions
from taxpayer dollars. A portion of the funds is invested to add and enhance
attractions and to maintain and preserve hundreds of priceless artifacts,
including Space Shuttle Atlantis, real spacecraft from Mercury, Gemini
and Apollo programs, and actual rockets featuring the only Saturn 1-B rocket
in the world and one of three remaining Saturn V rockets.
North has established several national marketing partnerships for the visitor
complex with high-profile brands such as National Geographic, Smithsonian,
History Channel, The Weather Channel, Little Caesars and Chick-fil-A.
first time, the cost to develop a new attraction was partially offset by
a corporate sponsorship, in this case by Boeing with Heroes & Legends.
complex has garnered extensive regional, national and international media
coverage, reaching an audience estimated at more than 1 billion people.
the visitor complex tied Walt Disney World for the highest customer review
rating and led in the highest percentage of positive reviews among Orlando
market attractions, according to Revinate data.
complex has enjoyed a significant increase in social media exposure, reach,
and engagement on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.
Shuttle Atlantis® on display at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex
Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex
Space Center Visitor Complex brings to life the epic story of the U.S.
space program, offering a full day or more of fun, inspiration and educational
activities, including its newest attraction, Heroes & Legends, featuring
the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame®, presented by Boeing, which opened
November 11, 2016. Other highlights include the Kennedy Space Center Tour
featuring the Apollo/Saturn V Center with an actual Saturn V moon rocket,
Space Shuttle Atlantis®, Shuttle Launch Experience®, IMAX®
A Beautiful Planet 3D and Journey To Space 3D films, Astronaut Encounter,
Journey To Mars: Explorers Wanted, Science on a Sphere®, Rocket Garden,
Cosmic Quest, and many other exhibits. Only 45 minutes from Orlando, Fla.,
Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex opens daily at 9 a.m. with closing
times varying by season. Admission is $50 + tax for adults and $40 + tax
for children ages 3 – 11. Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex offers annual
passes starting at $75 + tax for adults and $60 + tax for children ages
3 – 11. For more information, call 877-313-2610 or visit www.KennedySpaceCenter.com.
Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex on Facebook,
North is one of the largest privately-held hospitality and food service
companies in the world. Founded in 1915 and owned by the Jacobs family
for more than 100 years, Delaware North has global operations at high-profile
places such as sports and entertainment venues, national and state parks,
destination resorts and restaurants, airports, and regional casinos. Our
thousands of employee associates are dedicated to creating special experiences
one guest at a time in serving more than 500 million guests annually. Delaware
North has annual revenue of about $3 billion in the sports, travel hospitality,
restaurants and catering, parks, resorts, gaming, and specialty retail
industries. Learn more about Delaware North at www.DelawareNorth.com.
Public Relations Manager
Space Center Visitor Complex