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PGAV Destinations Announces Their 2010 Year-in-Review


Related: PGAV Profile / PGAV Destinations Celebrates 50 Project Openings in Ten Years / PGAV Destinations Wins “Best Cultural Project” Award / PGAV Destinations Hosts Educational Institute

Firm Celebrates Significant Growth as a Global Leader in Destination Development

PGAV Destinations, a global leader in destination planning and design, released its 2010 year in review, which highlights the firm’s performance throughout the preceding twelve months.

This year, the firm again bucked industry trends by showing increased growth and diversification with six major project openings at destinations including the Biltmore Estate, the Georgia Aquarium, and SeaWorld San Diego. During 2010, PGAV worked on dozens of projects in twelve US states and five countries.

PGAV Destinations continued to set themselves apart through international leadership in key market sectors, including Zoos and Aquariums, Cultural Destinations, and Entertainment Attractions. “Balanced strength in all of these destination market sectors, plus a significant increase in international projects has kept our billing volume very strong, even in a tough economy, ” according to Jim Moorkamp, Principal, PGAV Destinations.

During 2010, PGAV also announced their involvement at several projects that will open in 2011 at places like, Discovery Cove, Busch Gardens Tampa, The Louisville Zoo, and The Saint Louis Science Center. “We are also very busy on planning and design work for several projects that will open in 2012 and 2013, ” according to Mike Konzen, Principal, PGAV Destinations.

Selected 2010 highlights from PGAV’s market sectors include:

Zoo and Aquarium Highlights

  • Great Bear Wilderness opened at the Brookfield Zoo in Chicago, Illinois. This $27.3 million exhibit includes polar bears, grizzly bears, Mexican gray wolves, bison, and bald eagles.
  • Cold Water Quest opened at the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta, Georgia, featuring redesigned exhibits for two of the Aquarium’s marquee animals:  African penguins and southern sea otters.
  • Polar Bear Passage opened at the Kansas City Zoo in Kansas City Missouri. This $10 million project highlights these magnificent creatures and educates guests about their disappearing habitat.
  • Sea Lion Habitat at Glacier Run opened at the Louisville Zoo, in Louisville, Kentucky. This project is the first phase of a $24 million project that will ultimately include polar bears, Stellar’s sea eagles, and sea otters.
  • PGAV completed design on the Georgia Aquarium’s Dolphin Expansion, which opens in early 2011. This $110 million project won top honors as the “Best Overall Project of 2010” by Southeast Construction Magazine.
  • The Saint Louis Zoo announced the PGAV-designed Sea Island Sound project. This innovative exhibit features the popular sea lions and an underwater viewing tube.
  • PGAV was selected to develop the Columbus Zoo Master Plan, which will establish important strategic direction for the future growth of this institution.

Cultural Destination Highlights

  • Antler Hill Village opened in April at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina. This $18.6 million project is part of the PGAV-developed master plan for this historic estate.
  • PGAV was selected to develop a ten-year Master Plan for Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. The plan outlines several new improvements to the visitor experience at this iconic American place.
  • Saint Louis Science Center commenced construction on the PGAV-design Exhibit Hall Expansion.  This $9.5 million project will add 13, 000 square feet of changing exhibit space.
  • PGAV announced their work on the Terracotta Warriors Museum Expansion in Xi’an, China.  This project will provide enhanced interpretation and visitor amenities at the UNESCO World Heritage site.
  • PGAV completed their Destination Master Plan for St. Johns County, Florida. This project included several important recommendations for growing tourism in this region, which includes historic St. Augustine and Ponte Vedra Beach.

Entertainment Attraction Highlights

  • PGAV announced their work as leader project planner and designer for Ocean Kingdom in Zhuhai, China. This project is the featured part of a 20 billion RMB (US $3 billion) development undertaken by Chimelong, and will open in 2013.
  • Blue Horizons opened at SeaWorld, San Diego. PGAV served as architect for this state-of-the-art show that includes bottlenose dolphins and an array of exotic birds.
  • Busch Gardens Tampa announced the 2011 opening of Cheetah Hunt, an innovative new coaster that celebrates the spirit of the cheetah.
  • Discovery Cove in Orlando, Florida announced the 2011 opening of The Grand Reef. This project is the first major expansion of this PGAV-design park, and includes SeaVenture, an innovative underwater walking tour.

About PGAV Destinations

PGAV Destinations is a global leader in the planning and design of unique destinations. The firm uniquely combines award-winning storytelling and creativity with business strategy to create some of the world’s most important cultural, natural, and entertainment destinations. PGAV’s staff develops growth-oriented master plans and translates these plans into innovative new destination products. Now in its fifth decade, the firm has authored hundreds of highly successful projects in places such as SeaWorld, the Grand Canyon, Biltmore Estate, Niagara Falls, Busch Gardens, the Georgia Aquarium, Kennedy Space Center, and the Hoover Dam.

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