HFE turns out the lights
Due to “a shift in business strategy,” Herschend Family Entertainment (HFE) is closing Celebration City in Branson, Missouri. The park, which featured 30 rides and attractions, opened in 2003 as an afternoon and evening alternative to HFE’s nearby Silver Dollar City.
HFE is already exploring various new development concepts for the site including an aquarium, destination retail and dining, other family attractions and re-theming of the current park, which was themed around early 20th Century America.
“As with businesses across the country, we have had to carefully examine our future strategic plans,” reports Joel Manby, HFE president and CEO. “We need to make smart, forward-thinking decisions in a tough economic climate. HFE has operated attractions in Branson for nearly 50 years and we are confident it will continue to grow as one of America’s premier vacation destinations for the long-term.”
Approximately 18 full-time employees are directly impacted by the closure, but HFE stresses it will be able to find new roles for most of the individuals. The company currently employs more than 2,000 year-round and seasonal staff properties in the region including Silver Dollar City, White Water and the Showboat Branson Belle.