BUFFALO, N.Y., and CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (June 28, 2013) – Delaware North Companies Parks & Resorts is set to open Space Shuttle AtlantisSM, the world’s most comprehensive and interactive attraction devoted to NASA’s 30-year Space Shuttle Program, on June 29 at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.
The $100 million attraction allows guests to get nose to nose with Atlantis, which flew in space 33 times and still bears the scars, scorch marks and space dust of its last mission. Atlantis is dramatically displayed as only astronauts have seen it before, tilted on its side at a 43.21-degree angle and seeming to float in space with its payload bay doors open and its robotic Canadarm extended, as if it has just undocked from the International Space Station (ISS).
The 90,000-square-foot attraction contains replica modules of the ISS, a full-scale, high-fidelity replica of the Hubble Space Telescope, four multimedia and cinematic productions and more than 60 interactive experiences that invite guests to “be the astronaut.” It also celebrates the people, passion and patriotism behind the shuttle program. All 135 space shuttle missions from 1981 to 2011 were launched and processed at Kennedy Space Center, the home of human spaceflight.
Delaware North is a global hospitality management and food service company that has operated Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex for NASA since 1995. Delaware North developed Space Shuttle Atlantis in partnership with NASA and in conjunction with St. Louis-based PGAV Destinations, a global leader in the planning and design of unique destinations with nearly 50 years’ experience in the attractions/destinations industry. Atlantis is the marquee element in a 10-year master plan that Delaware North created for the one-of-a-kind destination.
“There is nowhere else on Earth like Space Shuttle Atlantis,” said Bill Moore, chief operating officer of Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex for Delaware North. “Our Delaware North team, working with NASA, PGAV Destinations and a dozen other world-class companies, created an attraction with hi-fi replicas, simulators and interactive activities touching on all aspects of the shuttle program and its accomplishments.”
Delaware North also led the creation in 1996 of the visitor complex’s Apollo/Saturn V Center, which features a fully restored, massive Saturn V moon rocket and interactive elements that tell the story of man’s landing on the moon.
“Delaware North is incredibly proud of being entrusted with Atlantis by NASA and to create a stunning, comprehensive and awe-inspiring attraction to tell the compelling story of her missions and those men and women who flew her. I am confident that the millions of visitors from around the world who make the trip to see Atlantis will feel inspired and moved by her story,” said Rick Abramson, president of Delaware North Companies Parks & Resorts, who also is executive chairman of the company’s operations in Australia and Asia.
In addition to NASA and PGAV Destinations, Delaware North’s other key partners have included:
  • BRPH, an international architecture, engineering design and construction firm with offices in Melbourne, Fla.;
  • Cortina Productions, a McLean, Va.-based company specializing in media design, video and interactive experiences;
  • Design Island, one of the industry’s premier multimedia concept and production companies, based in Orlando, Fla.
  • Electrosonic, a worldwide provider of audio-visual systems with offices in Orlando, Fla.;
  • Guard-Lee Inc., based in Apopka, Fla., an acclaimed provider of high-fidelity aerospace replicas and models;
  • Ivey’s Construction Inc. a Merritt Island, Fla.-based construction firm and leader in Florida’s construction industry;
  • Mousetrappe, a Burbank, Calif. media-based design and production studio that creates entertainment and cultural attractions, exhibits and shows;
  • The Nassal Company, Orlando, Fla., a global leader for fabrication and installation of immersive and themed environments and the same company that fabricated and installed the exhibitry for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando’s Islands of Adventure;
  • Penwal Industries, a designer, fabricator and installer of aerospace and military models based in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.;
  • Unified Field Inc., a New York-based leader in the field of interactive media including multi-channel experiences and digital branding campaigns;
  • Whiting-Turner, a national provider of contracting and construction management services, with offices in Orlando, Fla.;
About Space Shuttle AtlantisSM
The world’s most comprehensive attraction devoted to the space shuttle, Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex’s new Space Shuttle Atlantis brings visitors nose-to-nose with Atlantis as only astronauts have seen it before – with payload bay doors open as if it were floating in space.
More than 60 exciting, educational touch-screen experiences and high-tech simulators invite guests of all ages and all interest levels – from students to “space geeks” – to “be the astronaut,” bringing to life the people, passion and patriotism behind NASA’s 30-year Space Shuttle Program as well as the complexity of the engineering marvel that launched the Hubble Space Telescope and built the International Space Station (ISS). Visitors can spend their vacations making memories such as conducting a virtual space walk; docking to the ISS; creating sonic booms and gliding down the Re-entry Slide; experiencing the sensation of floating in space; and strapping in to the sights, sounds and sensations of a shuttle launch, among many other interactive experiences.
Space Shuttle Atlantis is the centerpiece of the 10-year master plan developed by Delaware North Companies Parks & Resorts, operator of Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex for NASA since 1995. The Visitor Complex is not funded through tax dollars or appropriated funds. Operation, maintenance and development are funded through revenue generated by ticket, food and merchandise sales. Space Shuttle Atlantis is the culmination of years of development by Delaware North Companies Parks & Resorts and St. Louis-based PGAV Destinations, in partnership with NASA. The attraction is included in regular admission to Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.
About Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex
Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex brings to life the epic story of the U.S. space program, offering a full day or more of fun and educational activities, including the Kennedy Space Center Tour featuring the Apollo/Saturn V Center with an actual Saturn V moon rocket, the new Angry Birds Space Encounter, Shuttle Launch Experience, 3D IMAX® space films, Astronaut Encounter, Exploration Space: Explorers Wanted and many other interactive exhibits. Admission also includes the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame®, featuring historic spacecraft and the world's largest collection of personal astronaut memorabilia, which opens daily at noon and closing times vary by season. 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. Delaware North Companies operates Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.
In honor of the Year of Atlantis, the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex Commander’s Club Annual Pass is on sale for a limited time at a discounted rate of $55 + tax for adults and $45 + tax for children ages 3-11 when purchased online or by phone only. Regular price of $63 + tax for adults and $53 + tax for children ages 3-11 applies for all gate purchases. For more information or to purchase tickets or an annual pass, call 877-313-2610 or visit www.KennedySpaceCenter.com.
Twitter: @ExploreSpaceKsc
About Delaware North Companies Parks & Resorts
Delaware North Companies Parks & Resorts is an industry leader, providing Stewardship and Hospitality in Special Places SM with hotel, retail, food service, recreation and transportation operations at historic and scenic properties in North America and Australia. It is a subsidiary of Delaware North Companies, one of the most admired privately held hospitality companies in the world. The company operates Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida; in Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, Sequoia, Olympic (Kalaloch Lodge), Shenandoah and Yosemite national parks, including The Ahwahnee and other Yosemite lodges; The Lodge at Geneva-on-the-Lake in Ohio; Harrison Hot Springs Resort & Spa in British Columbia; Gideon Putnam Resort in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.; Peaks of Otter Lodge on the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia and in Niagara Falls State Park. The company also owns and operates Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite; the Park Gate Lodges at Yellowstone, which are the West Yellowstone Holiday Inn, Gray Wolf Inn and Suites and Yellowstone Park Hotel, as well as the Explorer Cabins, all in West Yellowstone, Mont.; and five luxury resorts in Australia: Lizard Island Resort, Heron Island Resort, Wilson Island Resort, Kings Canyon Resort and El Questro Homestead and Wilderness Park. To learn more about Delaware North Companies’ hospitality management expertise, visit http://www.delawarenorth.com/parks-and-resorts-home.aspx.
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Glen White
Director, Corporate Communications
Corporate, Gaming, Parks and Resorts
Email: GAWhite@delawarenorth.com
Phone: 716-858-5753
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