Friday, November 12, 2010

Dutch Wonderland Sold To Parques Reunidos

Hershey Entertainment and Resorts has sold Dutch Wonderland to Palace Entertainment, the U.S. arm of Parques Reunidos.  Palace has more than 20 properties in the U.S., including Kennywood, Lake Compounce, and Idlewild, and in all Parques Reunidos has more than 70 properties across the globe.

From the company's press release, "Dutch Wonderland is a 43-acre “kingdom for kids,” a family-style amusement park with a wide range of activities including more than 30 rides, a water-play area, and live entertainment. The goal of Dutch Wonderland is to provide a unique place for families and young children to have memorable fun, while enjoying the sightseeing, shopping, and timeless beauty of Lancaster’s Amish country. It was founded in 1963 by the Clark family."

"Fernando Eiroa, Palace Entertainment President and CEO, commented, “We are very proud of the integration of a leading park like Dutch Wonderland within our group. We are fully aware of the unique position that Dutch Wonderland holds within its community and we will be doing everything to enhance the Dutch Wonderland brand, while keeping the special family appeal of the park."

I will admit that I was quite scared of what would happen to parks like Kennywood when Parques Reunidos purchased them, but after seeing the property in person I was quickly reassured that it was a good move.  Hopefully Dutch Wonderland will even see some further development as a result of the sale.

A spokesperson for Hershey said that the sale will allow them to focus their energies on Hersheypark and the Hotel there - they also pointed out that Parques Reunidos came to them about the sale, not the other way around.

Hershey Entertainment also once owned Lake Compounce in the mid '80, but sold it after only a couple years.  They owned Dutch Wonderland for about 10 years, and now both that park and Lake Compounce are owned by Parques Reunidos.  Small world!