Premier Parks, LLC, is the new operator of Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier in California.. Pacific Park is the iconic two-acre amusement park that includes 12 amusement rides, 14 midway games, an oceanfront food plaza and beachside retail.
Premier Parks operates 15 theme and water parks across the U.S. and Canada with combined annual attendance of approximately 6 million visitors. The company currently operates more water parks than any other business in North America. Many of these parks bear the Wet ‘n’ Wild name, one of the most recognizable brands in the water park industry.
“Pacific Park is a terrific addition to our diverse portfolio of theme and water park properties,” said Kieran Burke, Chairman, President and CEO of Premier Parks. “Pacific Park’s location on the historic Santa Monica Pier, its worldwide recognition and top locals’ destination provides us with a unique opportunity as operators of such an iconic property.”
Pacific Park’s present management team led by Jeff Klocke, Vice President and General Manager, will continue to operate the Park under the new ownership. The well-established group has over 120 years of combined industry experience and over 50 years of combined Pacific Park management experience.
Mary Ann Powell joined Pacific Park as CEO in 1997 and acquired the operating company in 2012. She achieved continuous year over year revenue growth, all while streamlining operations, creating an industry-leading customer service program, opening 25 rides and attractions, refurbishing the midway games area and branding the oceanfront food plaza.
“I am grateful to the amazing team at Pacific Park and the local community for their support in making Pacific Park a family favorite,” said Mary Ann Powell, former Pacific Park CEO. “Pacific Park was simply a dream opportunity more than 21 years ago and I’m so proud to be a part of the overwhelming success that it is today.”
While Premier Parks, LLC, now operates Pacific Park, the ground lease and physical assets are owned by EPR Properties in Kansas City, Mo. EPR Properties is a specialty real estate investment trust (REIT) that invests in properties in select market segments which require unique industry knowledge, while offering the potential for stable and attractive returns. EPR Properties total investments exceed $6.6 billion and its primary investment segments are Entertainment, Recreation and Education. Pacific Park falls under its Attractions portfolio in the Recreation segment that includes 20 properties, 7 operators and 570 rides and attractions.
In May 2016, Pacific Park celebrated its 20th Birthday by debuting a million dollar new lighting system on the world-famous Ferris wheel that features higher resolution, greater color depth and faster “frames per second” display speed.
Standing 100 feet (30 m) above the Pacific Ocean, the Pacific Wheel’s new 174,000 LED lights are mounted on the Ferris wheel’s structure including the 40 spokes and two hubs. The world’s only solar-powered Ferris wheel’s new lighting system features 16.7 million color value combinations while the new programming and display software upgrades increase imaging to 24 frames per second to display dynamic, custom, computer-generated lighting entertainment. The eco-friendly, enhanced LED lighting provides 81 percent greater energy savings than most Ferris wheel’s traditional incandescent bulbs.
The nine-story tall Pacific Wheel Ferris wheel first debuted in May 1996 with the opening of Pacific Park and was adapted as the world’s first solar-powered Ferris wheel in November 1998.
Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier, Los Angeles’ only admission free amusement park, offers 12 amusement rides, 14 midway games, an oceanfront food plaza and beachside shopping. In addition to the Pacific Wheel solar-powered Ferris wheel, Pacific Park’s signature rides include The West Coaster, a steel roller coaster that races 55 feet (17 m) above the Santa Monica Bay; and Inkie’s Air Lift Balloon Ride, the high-flying, family-sharing kids’ ride.