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Premier Parks Acquires Valcartier-Calypso Group
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Premier Parks, LLC, North America's largest independent operator of visitor attractions and experiences has acquired Valcartier-Calypso Group. Premier is helmed by former Six Flags Chairman and CEO Kieran Burke.

What does the acquisition include? A four-star resort hotel with upscale spa and indoor water park, two premium outdoor water parks, a large destination campground, a unique ice hotel, and the largest winter games center in North America.

With this acquisition Premier now holds 15 properties in its quiver of venues.

According to Burke, “This is an exciting time to welcome Village Vacances Valcartier and Calypso to our family of fifteen unique properties in the U.S. and Canada…Collectively, Premier Parks' management team has launched and developed more new rides, parks, and attractions than any other team in the themed entertainment industry.”

 The new properties are varied. Calypso Waterpark is Canada's largest, with 35 water rides and slides, including the tallest waterslide tower in Canada, two river rides that are both themed, and the largest wave pool in Canada. ADG designed and constructed the 25-acre waterpark to specifically include the 42,250 square foot wave pool, powered by ADG's WaveTek™ wave generation system. For the smallest guests, Calypso offers the gentle Zoo Lagoon. The park is located 22 miles east of Ottawa in Limoges, Ontario.

Just north of the city of Quebec is Valcartier Vacances Village in Saint-Gabriel-de-Valcartier, which contains the largest winter playground in North America and two water parks. The location is open all year.
Hotel Valcartier is the upscale 153-room resort property on site, and it includes themed dining options, retail shops, and the luxury Aroma Spa. It also includes Bora Parc, the 102,000-square-foot indoor Polynesian themed water park. The attraction has 14 water slides, a large family pool, a winding themed adventure river, a double wave surf machine, and maintains 86-degree water all year. Also a part of the complex is Valcartier Water Park, with 35 water slides, 100 water games, two themed rivers and a large-scale wave pool. Indoor surfing is another popular draw for the park. At this location, little ones can enjoy the Enchanted Forest, which features light shows, a mini slide, and interactive water games. And Valcartier Vacances Village is also the location of Hôtel de Glace, an ice hotel that draws over 100,000 winter visitors annually. The property features themed suites, a grand hall, ice bar, and a chapel.

Finally, there is the Valcartier Winter Playground, the largest winter slide complex in North America. As such, this park includes 35 snow tube slides, as well as the thrill of the Himalaya high-speed slope; Mont Avalanche snow rafting; and Everest, a heart-pumping high acceleration slide with a 110-foot drop billed as the steepest, highest acceleration slide in Canada. A night-illuminated 1 km-long skating pathway is another wintery attraction.

For warmer weather, there is Camping Valcartier, positioned in natural woods near both the main hotel and water park, with over 600 sites for tents, trailers, and RVs.
According to Premier Parks executive vice president of business development, Tom Iven, the organization is seeking to continue expanding both their domestic and international portfolio. “Our operating skills are wide and diverse and include theme and water parks, adventure parks, marine life and animal parks, indoor water park hotels, campgrounds, resort hotels and marinas. We have enjoyed tremendous success with parks of all sizes, small to large, across a variety of market areas.”

Currently, Premier Parks' diverse properties include Wet ‘n' Wild water parks in Toronto and Hawaii;  Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier; City Museum in St. Louis; Elitch Gardens Theme & Water Park in Denver; Wild Waves Theme & Water Park in Seattle; Nashville Shores Lakeside Resort; Ocean Breeze Waterpark in Virginia Beach; Hawaiian Falls The Colony and Garland water parks in Dallas; Magic Springs Theme & Water Park in Hot Springs; Island H2O Water Park in Orlando; Rapids Water Park in West Palm Beach and now, of course, the Valcartier-Calypso Group.

Traci Blanks, chief marketing officer for Premier Parks, says the company has no specific plans at this time to make any changes to the water parks or winter slide park acquired from Valcartier Calypso. “At present, our plan is to support the wonderful teams in place at these parks. Their insight, and our experience, will guide future plans.”

Asked how she feels the resorts will fit in with existing Premier Parks properties, she relates that “The experience we have, both with our current portfolio, as well as projects we have been part of in the past, bring a level of expertise that we feel will benefit the Valcartier-Calypso Group. At the same time, the team in Quebec has an outstanding track record of delivering incredible guest experiences. There are no doubts about programs and ideas that we can share across our diverse group of properties.”

And as to what inspired the new park acquisitions, Blanks says “Premier Parks is actively seeking opportunities, both domestic and international. Our previous work in Quebec, and our current operations in Toronto, make this acquisition a terrific fit.”

From waterparks to snow parks, Premier Parks is continuing its steady growth.
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