Rick Abramson’s story begins in Milwaukee where he got his start as a teenage food vendor for Delaware North Companies. Over the following 30 years, Abramson rose through the ranks to a variety of leadership roles within the same company. Today, Abramson is at the helm of Delaware North’s impressive Parks & Resorts division and its growing Australia and Asia subsidiary.
As president of Delaware North Parks & Resorts, Abramson provides strategic direction and ensures that short- and long-term plans are in place to drive business and enhance the company’s destination proprieties domestically and internationally. The Parks & Resorts division provides hospitality services at state and national parks, historic attractions and Delaware North-owned resorts. He also serves as executive chairman of Delaware North Australia and Asia leading the company’s extensive sports venue, travel hospitality and resort businesses in those regions.
Prior to his current role, Abramson served as president of Sportservice, the company’s largest and longest-standing division. Under his leadership, Sportservice’s annual revenue nearly tripled to exceed $760 million and grew to include operations at more than 50 professional sporting venues and entertainment complexes around the world. During this time, Sportservice expanded its retail business exponentially by building award-winning stores such as Chicago Sports Depot outside U.S. Cellular Field, and one-of-a-kind retail experiences for the Jets and Giants at MetLife Stadium.
Abramson served as the president and chief operating officer of Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. During his eight-year tenure, he turned the outdated museum into one of the most visited attractions in Central Florida. Of his achievements in Florida, Abramson is most proud of the $130 million redevelopment initiative he oversaw, which included opening the world-renowned Apollo/Saturn V Center, International Space Station Center and Launch Complex 39 Observation Gantry. Additionally, he managed the opening of several visitor complex educational programs and exhibits, such as Astronaut Encounter, Mad Mission to Mars 2025, Early Space Exploration, Exploration in the New Millennium, and the Dr. Kurt H. Debus Conference Facility.
Because of his forward thinking and diligence, Delaware North received two Themed Entertainment Association awards for the Apollo/Saturn V Center and Exploration in the New Millennium attractions. Abramson also was awarded a NASA Public Service Medal, NASA’s highest achievement award for non-government employees. In 2002, he joined the ranks of some of the most respected members of the space program when he earned the Dr. Kurt H. Debus Award from the National Space Club Florida Committee for his role in educating and inspiring the visitor complex’s millions of guests.
He served as Delaware North’s chief executive officer of Australian Venue Services (AVS) in Melbourne, Australia. There, he worked with AVS Catering clients such as Melbourne Showgrounds, Sydney Entertainment Center and Royal Exhibition Buildings, the Melbourne Cup Race, Australian Grand Prix and the Australian Tennis Open.