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Amusement Parks: Conner Prairie Receives International Recognition

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The International Association of Amusement Park and Attractions has named Conner Prairie Interactive History Park as the winner of its Spirit of Excellence award for Best Guest Services Training Program. 

The award honored Conner Prairie for its “Opening Doors to Great Guest Experiences” training resource. The museum says since implementing the program six years ago, the average guest visit has extended from three to four hours and Conner Prairie’s attendance has increased by 47.5 percent.

Conner Prairie Interactive History Park is among an elite, international group of award winners from the International Association of Amusement Park and Attractions (IAAPA). At this year’s IAAPA Attractions Expo last week in Las Vegas, Conner Prairie was given the Spirit of Excellence award for Best Guest Services Training Program. This award recognizes an IAAPA member-facility that is dedicated to excellence in training.

Conner Prairie won this award for its “Opening Doors to Great Guest Experiences” training resource, which is based on transformative guest research, documented best practices from the attractions industry and information-learning principles. Opening Doors is shared through video analysis of staff/guest interaction, guest feedback, guest motives and learning styles, providing front-line staff with knowledge and skills to facilitate memorable learning experiences. Since implementing Opening Doors in 2003, the average guest visit has extended from three to four hours and Conner Prairie’s attendance has increased by 47.5 percent. Additionally, museums and other attractions in all 50 states and more than a dozen countries have implemented the Conner Prairie training program through a DVD/CD-ROM resource created by the park.

Past IAAPA Best Guest Services Training Program winners include Warner Village Theme Parks in Gold Coast, Australia; Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tenn.; Legoland in Carlsbad, Calif.; CN Tower in Toronto, Canada; and Sentosa Island Resort in Singapore.

Conner Prairie’s Opening Doors program DVD/CD-ROM resource was also recognized by the American Association of Museums as an outstanding achievement in museum media. The program won the Gold Aurora Award for its effectiveness, creativity and production quality in the instructional/educational/training category in 2007.

IAAPA is the premier trade association for the attractions industry worldwide. Founded more than 90 years ago, IAAPA is the largest international trade association for permanently situated amusement facilities and attractions and is dedicated to the preservation and prosperity of the attractions industry. IAAPA represents more than 4, 000 member facilities from 90 countries throughout the world.

About Conner Prairie

Conner Prairie interactive history park, created by Eli Lilly in 1934, is Indiana’s only Smithsonian Affiliate. Families of today engage, explore and discover what it was like to live and play in Indiana’s past. Explore five themed historic areas on 200 beautiful, wooded acres including the newest exhibit, 1859 Balloon Voyage. This exhibit educates guests about Indiana’s aviation history and culminates with a voyage 350 feet above the prairie in a tethered helium balloon. Every visit is a unique adventure that provides an authentic look into the history that shapes us today. For additional information about Conner Prairie, visit www.connerprairie.org or call 317.776.6006 or 800.966.1836.

See also:
Amusement Parks: IAAPA Hall of Fame to Luna Park Creators, History Project Accepts Award 
Amusement Parks: Dollywood Wins Fourth Consecutive International Heartbeat Award

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