Amusement Park Association Moves HQ To Orlando; Plans To Hold IAAPA Attractions Expo There Through 2030

Posted On: 11/17/2016

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TAGS: Teresa Jacobs, Orlando mayor, International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions, IAAP Attractions Expo

Teresa Jacobs, Orlando mayor, International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions
Teresa Jacobs

ALEXANDRIA, VA -- The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions' board of directors has announced that it will relocate its global headquarters from Alexandria, VA, to Orlando, FL. The move is tentatively planned for 2017. The board, which met in conjunction with the association's Euro Attractions Show in Barcelona in late September, also announced that the association plans to host the annual IAAPA Attractions Expo at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando through 2030.

This year's IAAPA Attractions Expo is underway now, and closes on Friday, Nov. 18, at 4 p.m.

The move from Alexandria and the convention contract extension are contingent upon support from the state of Florida and Orange County. Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs traveled to Barcelona to answer questions from IAAPA board members about the region, and to outline the county's interest in bringing the headquarters to Orlando and discuss the exposition extension.

"In addition to the obvious synergy with our world-class theme park and entertainment industries, the addition of another national association headquarters unit is tremendously important," Jacobs said.

Orlando has become the global epicenter of the theme park and attractions industry. It is home to world-renowned theme parks like Legoland Florida, SeaWorld Orlando, Universal Orlando Resort and Walt Disney World, and such best-in-class entertainment centers as Fun Spot, Ripley's Entertainment and Dave & Buster's. Additionally, many of the industry's leading manufacturers and suppliers have a presence in the region.

The central Florida location is expected to make it easier for IAAPA members from around the world to connect with each other and IAAPA's staff when they travel to the region to meet with industry suppliers and to review industry innovations at Florida's attractions. As IAAPA's staffing needs grow, the move will also facilitate the association's ability to recruit candidates with industry experience, the association explained.

"IAAPA is the global organization that supports and connects attractions industry professionals from around the world, and although we've done so successfully for almost 100 years, it's now time to look ahead and form our vision for the next 100 years," said association chairman John McReynolds, senior vice-president of external affairs for Universal Parks and Resorts. "I cannot think of a better place to build our future than in Orlando, the theme park and attractions capital of the world."

IAAPA has held many of its conferences and shows at the Orange County Convention Center over the years, and has done so annually since 2010. It previously committed to host the event in Orlando through 2025. That agreement will now be extended for five additional years through 2030. The weeklong event brings 30,000 people to the region and generates an estimated $51.3 million for the Orlando-area economy each year. The economic impact of the 20-year agreement will exceed $1 billion.