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Themed Entertainment Association Hosts Annual Industry Summit and Thea Awards Gala March 6-7 in Anaheim


“Connecting with client decision-makers should be a top priority for every firm hoping to succeed in the coming months, ”says Steven J. Thorburn, president of the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA).

“In the case of the visitor attractions industry, the TEA Summit and TEA’s Thea Awards Gala are two of the top networking events
of the year – one educational and the other celebratory – March 6-7 at the Disneyland Hotel. If you want to know your industry and the people in it, if you want to receive project information and referrals, we say, ‘Get out there and network!’”

TEA website:
Tickets for both events:
or call 818-843-8497.

2009 TEA Summit, March 6 & 7, Disneyland Hotel

The 2009 TEA Summit is a TEA members’ 2-day international think-tank for the attractions industry, held March 6 & 7 at the Disneyland Hotel. Sessions are geared to identify markers of success in business and project creation, this year stressing simple survival. The keynote is “Business Survival in a Challenging Economy, ” presented by Barbara Lewis, president of Centurion Consulting Group. Advance tickets are necessary for the Summit; seating is limited.

or call 818-843-8497.

The Summit schedule also includes “Emerging Opportunities in a Post-Recession Entertainment Landscape, ” with Michael S. Rubin, Ph.D., MRA International, “Built to Last, How Three Companies Have Withstood the Test of Time, ” a discussion with Monty Lunde (Technifex), Jack Rouse (Jack Rouse Associates) and Julie Brinkerhoff-Jacobs (Lifescapes International). In the session “So What Now?” economic analysts John Robinett (Economics Research Associates) and Dave Schmitt (Management Resources) look at the future business landscape in the UAE, India, China, Europe and North America. “Celebrating the Magic of Placemaking” will feature Robert L. Ward, recipient of this year’s Thea Award for Lifetime Achievement, and Norm Newberry, who both played major roles shaping Universal Studios parks, resorts and entertainment properties.

“Project Case Studies” will focus on several current Thea Award recipients, including the 2008 Olympics Opening Ceremonies, Jungala at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, Florida, The Newseum, the National Museum of the Marine Corps, Operation Spy, an Interactive Adventure at the International Spy Museum, and the Audubon Insectarium.

15th Annual Thea Awards Gala, March 7, Disneyland Hotel

The 15th Annual Thea Awards Gala, open to the public, celebrates excellence in the creation of compelling experiences and places with a gala black-tie dinner and awards ceremony, sponsored by Economics Research Associates (ERA). Truly international in their recognition of outstanding productions, the Awards will be formally presented the evening of March 7, 2009 in the Grand Ballroom of the Disneyland Hotel.

or call 818-843-8497.

“Because the Thea Awards Gala is open to the public, it is an ideal ice-breaker for newcomers to our industry and our association, ” says TEA executive director Gene Jeffers. “In this most challenging year, the Thea Awards are are a vital, international opportunity to network – to renew old acquaintances, meet new contacts, and to be seen by our industry’s top people and decision-makers.”

The Awards stand as an important acknowledgement of the outstanding achievements of the international attractions industry. The Thea Awards Nominating Committee evaluated more than 120 nominations in order to recommend the current slate of 17 Thea recipients for the prestigious award, with final approval by the TEA International Board of Directors.

Like the TEA, the Thea Awards, sponsored by Economics Research Associates, were created to bring recognition to achievement, talent and personal excellence within the themed entertainment industry. From a modest beginning in 1994, the Thea Awards have become internationally recognized as a symbol of excellence. The name of the award is a play on three words: the first is "Thea, " the Greek goddess from whom all light emanates. Thea was the mother of Helios (the sun), Eos (the dawn), and Selene (the moon). The second key word is "Theater, " a word derived from the goddess Thea. The third word, of course, is TEA, the name of our association.

Recipients – 15th Annual Thea Awards

Thea Lifetime Achievement Award: Robert L. Ward
Thea Classic Award: EPCOT, Walt Disney World, Orlando, FL

Thea Awards for Outstanding Achievement (AOA)

Attraction: The Simpsons Ride at Universal Studios Florida and Universal Studios Hollywood
Attraction Limited Budget: BeWILDerwood (Norwich, UK)
Attraction Limited Budget: Molenheide The Forgotten Mine (Molenheide, Belgium)
Museum: The Newseum (Washington DC, USA)
Museum: National Museum of the Marine Corps (Quantico, VA, USA)

Museum Exhibit: Operation Spy, an Interactive Adventure at the International Spy Museum, (Washington DC, USA)
Museum Exhibit, Limited Budget: Forces of Nature at Arizona Science Center (Phoenix AZ, USA)
Learning Experience: Air Force One Discovery Center at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library (Simi Valley CA, USA)
Technical: Muppet Mobile Lab (Hong Kong Disneyland, China)
Science Center: Audubon Insectarium (New Orleans LA, USA)
New Theme Park Land: Jungala at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, Florida
Event Spectacular: 2008 Olympics Opening Ceremonies (Beijing, China)
Live Show: Finding Nemo The Musical (Walt Disney World, FL, USA)
Live Show: The Legend of Mythica, Tokyo DisneySeas, Japan
Casino Attraction: Wynn Macau’s Tree of Prosperity, Macau, SAR, China

About TEA

The TEA (Themed Entertainment Association) is an international nonprofit alliance founded in 1991 and based in Burbank, Calif. TEA represents some 7, 000 creative specialists, from architects to designers, technical specialists to master planners, scenic fabricators to artists, and builders to feasibility analysts working in more than 600 firms in 30 US states and 40 different countries. TEA presents the annual Thea Awards and the TEA Summit and hosts the annual SATE conferences (Story, Architecture, Technology, Experience). TEA also produces a variety of print and electronic publications, including the TEA/ERA Global Attraction Attendance Report, TEA Sourcebook, TEA Project Management Guidelines, and TEA Annual & Directory. Visit

About ERA – Sponsor of the Thea Awards Gala

ERA (Economics Research Associates) is the leading economic consulting firm serving the entertainment and leisure development industry. The company offers a wide range of economic, financial, marketing, planning, and management consulting services to both private and public clients. Since its first study for Walt Disney some 50 years ago, ERA has pioneered the analytical techniques and methodologies related to the planning, development and operational evaluation of many of the world’s leading attractions. Services include: Feasibility Analysis, Economic Master Planning, Development Strategies, Market Analysis, Expansion Strategies, Financial Analysis and Reinvestment Strategies. For each of these areas ERA offers concept development, market assessment, visitor capacity analysis, and financial modeling. Additional services include economic impact analysis, operator/investor identification, and peripheral land development. Website:

See also
From Concept to Installation:The Wild Ride of Special Venue Media Production
Themed Entertainment Association Announces 15th Annual Thea Awards Recipients

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