Jungle Island Hurricane

Jungle Island’s animals are safe, but the park didn’t fare as well

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BY CARLI TEPROFF cteproff@miamiherald.com SEPTEMBER 11, 2017 11:54 PM All of Jungle Island’s 600 monkeys, birds and other animals weathered Hurricane Irma “just beautifully” — but the park, “not so much,” said Christopher Gould, the park’s managing director. “We have weeks of work ahead of us to overcome this type of damage,” said Gould, who rode out Hurricane Irma at the theme park with about 10 other people. “Our landscape director, who was with the company during Hurricane Andrew, said the tree damage was worse this time around.” Gould, who didn’t know when the park would be able to reopen, said there were hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage and […]

Aventura firm closes on $60M Jungle Island deal, plans new attractions this summer

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ESJ will add exhibits, private beach club, water slides and a multi-acre crystal lagoon April 05, 2017 01:30PM By Katherine Kallergis Aventura-based ESJ Capital Partners has closed on the $60 million lease transfer of Jungle Island, and plans to begin soon on its multimillion-dollar renovation of the Watson Island attraction. Bern Levine sold the lease for the 18-acre park to ESJ, a deal that has been months in the making. It includes the assumption of about $45 million of existing park debt to the city of Miami, Miami-Dade County and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and to a private lender, Arnaud Sitbon, ESJ’s president and co-founder, said. […]

Jungle Island: Investors closer to $60 million takeover of Miami Theme Park

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Investors are closing in on a complex $60 million deal for Jungle Island, the animal theme park on city-owned Watson Island with a troubled financial past. On Thursday, Miami commissioners will consider approving the transfer of the lease from the park’s private ownership group to ESJ Capital Partners, an Aventura-based real estate firm with strong backing from European investors. It’s the first step in a planned, multi-year rebranding-and-renovation project that ESJ hopes will make Jungle Island into one of Miami’s premier tourism destinations. “Jungle Island is an incredible jewel, located right on the water, situated right between Miami and Miami Beach,” said Alexander Tachmes, an attorney at Shutts & Bowen […]

Brevard Zoo Launches New Sales Initiative

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MELBOURNE, Fla., February 3, 2016 – Brevard Zoo is home to unique and special experiences from kayaking around Africa to ziplining high above the Florida Wetlands. In partnership with Operation: Pineapple, the zoo has launched the BLOOM Growth Formula, a sales initiative designed to connect more arriving zoo guests with special experiences while simultaneously growing revenue. Operation: Pineapple began working with Brevard Zoo last August to redefine the zoo’s many product offerings including day passes and memberships. Operation: Pineapple made several key recommendations that the zoo implemented in early January. Now, the zoo’s most frequent guests can choose from three different levels of membership all year long. Another exciting change […]

IAAPA-2015

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FEC Education – January 2015  ‘Little Things Make a Big Difference’ at FECs The family entertainment center (FEC) track at IAAPA Attractions Expo 2014 started with a literal bang as Shaun McKeogh led the packed meeting room in a chant of “IAAPA,” followed by an audience volunteer thumping a drum. After the booming introduction to “Little Things Make a Big Difference When It Comes to Training,” McKeogh described how the “insignificant bits” can have a huge impact when it comes to brand, procedures, safety, retention, and—especially—profits. “They’ll be able to upsell your hot dogs and popcorn,” said McKeogh, vice president at Management Resources and head of International Training Academy. Among […]