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IAAPA Connections Debuts February 24 – 26, 2009 in Bahamas

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Online registration is open for IAAPA’s first-ever Connections event February 24 – 26, 2009, at Atlantis, Paradise Island, Bahamas, and discounted registration is available until January 23.

Attendees will have access to exclusive seminars and tours of Atlantis’ multi-faceted resort during the week. Keynote speakers include Dr. Roch Parayre, from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania and Richard Dennison, Director of Disney Project Development and Company Manager for La Nouba, Cirque du Soleil.

On Wednesday, Feb. 25, Parayre will discuss the bestselling book, “Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make the Competition Irrelevant.” He will teach participants to look for untapped market space with innovative ideas. Six principles will be outlined for participants, who will break off into market-specific groups to formulate specific ideas to implement when they return home.

Dennison will continue the innovation theme on Thursday, February 26, by chronicling how Cirque du Soleil made the competition irrelevant by creating a new market and entertainment concept for an existing audience. He will present Cirque du Soleil’s history as a strong model for success.

Behind-the-scenes tours will look at Atlantis’ operations and participants will get a unique look at the new Aquaventure waterpark, Atlantis aquariums, “Dolphin Cay, ” food service, human resources, family programming, landscaping, and Atlantis’ “Blue Project.” Atlantis encompasses multiple IAAPA constituencies, as it contains a wide range of attractions and services, from a casino and aquarium, to waterpark and food and beverage services.

Networking events at Connections include the Celebration Welcome Reception and the IAAPA Young Professionals Get-Together on Tuesday, Feb. 24, where colleagues and new acquaintances can meet and share ideas. Establishing connections in the attractions industry will be Wednesday’s focus, which includes a networking lunch and happy hour and the Rendezvous Atlantis Reception, a social with food and drink. The Closing Night Party on Thursday, Feb. 26, will send off Connections guests Bahamian style.

“Excitement continues to build for Connections and the new focus it will bring to a classic event, " said Charlie Bray, president and CEO of IAAPA. “IAAPA wants its members to meet, network with, and learn from experts and colleagues, and this is the perfect event at which to do so while learning about the latest trends in the attractions industry.”

A summary of the Connections schedule follows:

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 24
 Connections Celebration Welcome Reception (7–9:30 p.m.)
 IAAPA Young Professionals Get-Together (9–11 p.m.)

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 25
 Keynote Address: Blue Ocean Strategy; Speaker: Dr. Roch Parayre (9–10 a.m.)
 Blue Ocean Action: Applying the Six Core Strategies to Your Business;  Breakout Sessions by Market Segment (10:30 a.m.–noon)
 Networking Lunch (Noon–2 p.m.)
 Free time to explore what Atlantis has to offer.* (2–4 p.m.)
 Networking Happy Hour (4–5 p.m.)
 Rendezvous Atlantis Reception (7–11 p.m.)

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 26
 Keynote Address: Blue Ocean Strategy: Cirque du Soleil; Speaker: Richard Dennison, Director of Disney Project Development/Company Manager, La 
     Nouba, Cirque du Soleil (9–10 a.m.)
 Access Atlantis: Best Practices Tours (10:30 a.m.–noon)
 Free time to explore the island adventures of Atlantis.* (noon–6 p.m.)
 Closing Night Party — Bahamas Style (7–11 p.m.)

Guests will have free time on Wednesday and Thursday to enjoy Atlantis activities which include:
 Golf at Ocean’s Club Golf Course
 Water sports like snorkeling, scuba diving, canoeing, kayaking, kite boarding, and parasailing
 Boat charters and rentals for day cruises, sailing, and fishing
 Ecotours for birding, nature tours, and biking tours
 Fort Charlotte: Nassau’s largest fort covers 100 acres and has a view of Paradise Island

IAAPA members can log in and register online for $500 before January 23; after deadline, registration is $575. Nonmembers must create a login account before registering online for $675 before January 23; after deadline, nonmember registration is $725. Hotel accommodations can be made at IAAAPA.org/connectionshousing.

About Atlantis
Kerzner International’s Atlantis, Paradise Island is known worldwide as a resort destination that has redefined entertainment and gaming in the tropics with fun and playfulness. This tropical destination offers a variety of guest accommodations; more than 35 restaurants, bars and lounges to satisfy any palette; the largest casino in The Bahamas; extensive meeting facilities; and a marina capable of handling yachts of any size. The focal points of the unique family entertainment experience at Atlantis are the 20 million gallons of fresh and salt-water pools and lagoons, amazing water adventures, cascading waterfalls, and a marine habitat featuring exhibit lagoons and underwater formations—all located on a stretch of beach which has been called the most beautiful in the world. atlantis.com

About IAAPA
IAAPA is the premier trade association for the attractions industry worldwide.  Founded almost 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 amusement industry. IAAPA represents more than 4, 100 facility, supplier, and individual members from more than 90 countries. Member facilities include amusement/theme parks, waterparks, attractions, family entertainment centers, arcades, zoos, aquariums, museums, science centers, resorts, and casinos.  IAAPA is a nonprofit organization.  Funds generated for the association by its involvement in trade shows and other activities are returned to the association to fund services for its members and the industry. IAAPA maintains offices in Europe and the United States. In addition, the association’s Global Alliance partnership program includes international liaisons representing Latin America; Southeast Asia; Australia and New Zealand; India; and People’s Republic of China.

Contact information:
IAAPA Press Office: 703-299-5127
David Mandt: dmandt@IAAPA.org
Marion Hixon: mhixon@IAAPA.org

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