Ripley Entertainment Inc., a global leader in location-based entertainment, has acquired two of its most successful Believe It or Not! Odditorium franchises – in Orlando, Fla. and Branson, Mo.
The Orlando Believe It or Not! Odditorium has been an iconic attraction along International Drive for 18 years and Branson, on the Highway 76 strip in the popular Ozark Mountain tourist destination, has been in operation for 16 years.
Both are in high-volume tourism corridors and are well-known and respected members of their local business community. Both are built in Ripley’s patented “disaster architecture” style with the Orlando building appearing to be sliding into a sink hole while the Branson building appears to being broken apart by the colossal earthquake of 1812 that rocked the area.
“We are pleased that we were able to acquire these successful franchised attractions and look forward to incorporating them into our corporate-owned lineup, ” said Jim Pattison Jr., president of Ripley Entertainment Inc. “We like both the Branson and the Orlando markets very much and feel there are great opportunities in both to grow and expand our Ripley’s brand.”
Pattison noted that acquiring the Orlando Odditorium is especially gratifying because it gives the company an opportunity to build a strong flagship attraction only a few miles from corporate headquarters. “This gives us the chance to create an ever-changing exhibition of our newest acquisitions while having the incredible ability to test our new concepts, including our cutting edge ideas in interactive exhibitry.”
The Branson acquisition provides yet another opportunity for the company. “It is well-respected and located in a very well known drive-to market, exactly the type of destination in which Ripley has always done well, ” adds Pattison. “There is great potential there in the Ozarks for us to create additional tourism opportunities.”
Gary Daily, who has been with both locations for more than 10 years, will continue to oversee operations at both locations.
About Ripley Entertainment
Ripley Entertainment Inc. (www.ripleys.com), keepers of the venerable Ripley’s Believe It or Not! brand, is a global leader in location-based entertainment, entertaining more than 13 million annually at its 80 attractions in 11 countries. In addition to its 31 Believe It or Not! museums, the Orlando, Fla.-based company has publishing, licensing and broadcast divisions, best-selling books and the popular syndicated cartoon strip, Ripley’s Believe It or Not!, that still runs daily in 42 countries. Ripley Entertainment is a Jim Pattison Company, the third-largest privately held company in Canada.