11.14.2016
Delaware North on Nov. 11 celebrated the grand opening of the latest new major attraction that the company has developed in collaboration with NASA at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex (KSCVC): Heroes & Legends featuring the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame presented by Boeing. 
 
Designed to be the first stop upon entering KSCVC, Heroes & Legends uses the early years of the space program to explore the concept of heroism, and the qualities that define the individuals who inspired their generation. The 37,000-square-foot, retro-fitted building marries cutting-edge technology with mesmerizing special effects, priceless artifacts and thought-provoking exhibits.
 
A spirited pyrotechnics display marked the opening of the new attraction, which was attended by more than 25 veteran and current NASA astronauts, including revered Gemini and Apollo space program astronauts Buzz Aldrin, James Lovell and Thomas Stafford. They were joined by the adult children of the late-astronauts Alan Shepard and Neil Armstrong, as well as representatives from NASA, The Boeing Company and Delaware North. 
 
“I want to personally thank Therrin Protze and Delaware North, and the Boeing Company,” Robert Cabana, director of Kennedy Space Center, said at the ceremony. “Both of these companies made this happen, and you're going to love it when you go inside.”
 
Hundreds of park guests also attended the ceremony, which was held on Veterans Day to honor all military heroes, including the many astronauts who are also military veterans.
 
“The opening of Heroes & Legends today marks a true milestone for Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex,” said Therrin Protze, chief operating officer (COO) for Delaware North in operating KSCVC for NASA. “And it is such an honor to have so many astronaut heroes here with us to share in the celebration. We are so grateful that they can personally experience this living tribute to their sacrifices, determination and achievements.
 
“Heroes & Legends offers the opportunity to learn about the amazing attributes of our heroes behind the transformative and historical events that have shaped the way we look at space, the world and the future. It will not only entertain and inspire guests, but lay the groundwork for their interactions throughout the other amazing attractions to create memorable space experiences,” Protze said.
 
In addition to Protze, Delaware North was represented at the ceremonial ribbon-cutting by Rick Abramson, executive vice president and chief operating officer, who served as COO of KSCVC in the 1990s when Delaware North began enhancing the destination for NASA.
 
“We want every child who walks through the center’s gates to be inspired and awestruck by everything they see. That’s why we worked with NASA and Boeing to build this exhibit,” Abramson told the assembled crowd. “The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is a major point of pride for Delaware North. It’s a great compliment that we’ve been entrusted with the stewardship of this hallowed ground.”
 
Abramson praised Protze and the Delaware North team for their work on the new attraction, whose construction began in summer 2015. It marks an important development in bringing the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame, which had been operated by Delaware North a few miles away, to the KSCVC campus.

PHOTO CAPTION: The Delaware North officials joining NASA Kennedy Space Center Director Robert Cabana, third from right holding the scissors, in cutting the ribbon are, from Cabana's left, Rick Abramson, executive vice president and COO; Jim Houser, group president for Delaware North Sportservice, the parks and resorts business, and Patina Restaurant Group; and Therrin Protze, COO of Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.


 
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