Dennis has been interviewed by numerous media publications including, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Washington Post, LA Times, London Times, China Post, Bloomberg, Park World and Fun World. Here is just a small sample of quotes:
“The future of our industry is going to be driven by Wi-Fi, social networks, anything that can improve waiting times and expedite the guest visit,” said Dennis Speigel, president of International Theme Park Services Inc. in Cincinnati.
But that kind of system is expensive. Mr. Speigel said Disney spent more than $1 billion on the program. Cedar Fair doesn’t have that kind of money, but Mr. Speigel said it still can find some of those benefits in mobile technology.
Toledo Blade - August 5, 2015
"They are on such a roll right now," said theme park expert Dennis Speigel, president of Cincinnati consulting firm International Theme Park Services. "They have had such tremendous growth over the last four years, the largest increases we've ever seen in the industry."
"They have to reinvent themselves and take out attractions and put new ones in," Speigel said, "but King Kong has a legacy going back to the '30s and '40s, so there's always something that people will continue to like about it."
Tampa Bay Times - May 6, 2015
However, according to Dennis Speigel, president of international theme park services, if the company wants to change community perception, it will need a total "reconstitution of their parks," something SeaWorld hasn't been good at. The company's main feature, shows with performing orcas, is pretty much its one trick and has been so from the beginning. To get away from that focus would pretty much mean building an entirely new theme park.
Motley Fool - March 12, 2015
They [Disney] have to be on top of their game,” says Dennis Speigel, a theme park consultant from Cincinnati who’s worked in China. “It better be sized correctly, it better be finished properly, because the Chinese are so into technology and social media, now they know what’s going on.”
Bloomberg, Juyl 20, 2015
Dennis Speigel, president of the 32-year-old International Theme Park Services, a consulting company in Cincinnati, OH, said that Disney’s price hikes are not prohibitive. “Theme parks are a national pastime, one of the few places the family can still go as a unit,” he said.
Press Enterprise – March 13, 2015
"It's more of an anomaly than anything else," said Dennis Speigel, president of International Theme Park Services, a management and consulting company that has worked with nearly two dozen theme parks around the world. "It's important to understand that when you look at theme parks, they're one of the safest places to be on the planet."
CNBC – July 9, 2014
“Your chances of being in a wreck or having a problem are greater driving down Interstate 75 than riding a roller coaster,” said Dennis Speigel, president of International Theme Park Services Inc., a Cincinnati-based industry consultant.
Toledo Blade - March 3, 2014
“They have to de-emphasize killer whales while making and protecting that franchise,” said Dennis Speigel, president of consulting firm International Theme Park Services. “They need to look at bringing more entertainment into their parks,” he said, adding that Manby’s tenure at Dollywood means he has the contacts to attract acts.
New York Post – March 20, 2015
Cities also love the wheels. They bring in tourists and create jobs, and offer an easy way to stand out. "These wheels are becoming their icon de jour," said Dennis Speigel, the president of International Theme Park Services, a consultant in Cincinnati. "And success breeds the development of other wheels in other cities."
New York Times – July 29,1997
Rather than dealing with the tremendous challenges associated with huge debt, Speigel says Six Flags officials can finally focus on a growth strategy. “It took management’s eye off of the ball,” says Speigel about Six Flags’ debt woes. “They couldn’t focus on growing the business.” But now Speigel says Six Flags has trimmed its debt “down to a manageable level.”
San Antonio Business Journal - May 21, 2010
Dennis Speigel, president of industry consulting firm International Theme Park Services Inc., said that by investing in Cedar Fair, Apollo Global Management has shown it believes theme parks will be profitable in the future. "It says that [the equity] group feels we have bottomed out as an industry," he said.
Los Angeles Times - December 18, 2009
“You don’t build, people stop coming,” says theme park consultant Dennis Speigel. “This is a mature industry, and we’ve reached maximum penetration in most markets. You can’t afford to lose people.”
The Gobe and Mail - April 29, 2010
"It's a very difficult market in which to operate a theme park. I say that based on the history and not just a gut feeling," said Speigel, president of International Theme Park Services, a Cincinnati firm. Speigel, who studied the park as both Jazzland and Six Flags, says he is watching closely this time around, too. "It was an ill-conceived concept in the wrong location and it just should not have been built. It's just one of those things you ought to bury it and let it go." Speigel thinks the eastern New Orleans site was always a bad idea. "To regenerate a theme park on that site is going to be almost impossible. I was never personally sold on that location for the Six Flags theme park and the Jazzland Theme Park," Speigel said. He thinks it would take an initial investment of more than $300 million to operate a successful theme park at the site. "It's on the wrong side of the city. It just doesn't look like that was the way that the growth was going."
The Times-Picayune - September 6, 2009
Dennis Speigel, a theme-park consultant in Cincinnati, said the unwinding of Universal and GE is to be expected. Other park operators have undergone a similar process after being sold, he said, such as when CBS Corp. sold its Paramount theme parks to Cedar Fair Entertainment Co. in 2006. ``When a park is sold, it goes through a decommissioning process. It's everything from intellectual property to insurance to buying power,'' Speigel said. Speigel said some of GE's presence within the parks could be assumed by Comcast. The key will be not to let any ownership instability affect the parks, he said. Uncertainty ``creates consternation in the parks. It doesn't allow them to really continue some of their capital planning and other necessary operational issues that give them continuity, because they never know who's going to be running the show and calling the shots,'' he said. But ``if Comcast comes in and has long-term plans for them, then I think the parks are OK.''
Orlando Sentinel - February 28, 2010
“The great thing about this deal is Blackstone is keeping the management team intact, so you don't have this shuffling of the deck, which creates issues and confusion for the consumer,” said Dennis Speigel, president of Cincinnati-based International Theme Park Services. “Blackstone is a smart organization, but the key here is they understand the operating challenges of this industry,” Speigel said. “Yeah, they're going to manage it in a profitable way, but I don't think they'll micromanage because (Busch Entertainment) has a damn good track record.” “This is a once-in-a-lifetime buy,” Speigel said. “Originally, this deal was estimated to be between $3.5 and $4 billion, and they got it for $2.7 billion, and the parks are in pristine condition.”
San Diego Union- Tribune - October 8, 2009
Dennis Speigel, president of theme park consulting firm International Theme Park Services, forecasts attendance will be down as much as 9 percent in 2009. This will hurt not only sales of admission tickets, which accounts for half of theme park revenue, but also food and beverage revenue, which tends to offer high margins. That has forced theme park operators to discount heavily to draw guests. 'You see Disney right now and it's discounting more deeply, more broadly than they ever have in their history,' Speigel said. "
Forbes - October 18, 2009
But industry consultant Dennis Speigel wonders if Hard Rock can make those numbers in a troubled economy and when the industry is saturated with attractions. "It's a very hefty price at $400 million and the projections they have published are very ambitious," he said. "Very few theme parks, with the exception of a handful, and primarily the Disney and the Universal Parks, have ever opened exceeding 2 million people in the first year." There's a theme park within a 2 1/2 hour drive of most major metropolitan areas, added Speigel, president of International Theme Park Services based in Cincinnati. "The people coming to Myrtle Beach probably have a major theme park close to them, whether they are coming from Canada or coming from Charlotte," he said. "I don't know if there is anything there that absolutely tips the scales in favor of somebody saying 'I can't leave Myrtle Beach without going there."'
USA Today - May 16, 2008
Dennis Speigel is president of International Theme Park Services Incorporated, an amusement park consulting company. He says the trend of smaller parks thriving in the recession applies to other parts of the country as well. “The boardwalk parks over on the east coast have done very well the last two years for two reasons. They’re capturing some of the tourism that’s still coming into those areas, but they’re also becoming the local stay-cation visitation spot,” he said. “And, certainly, having that free gate during this recession in 2009 has helped them a lot.” Bigger parks are still drawing millions of people. Disneyland drew nearly 15 million visitors in 2008, while SeaWorld drew about four million. Still, Speigel says attendance at larger parks stayed relatively flat in 2008 and didn’t improve much in 2009.
KPBS - April 15, 2010
Freestyle shouldn't reopen even if it receives the additional investment, said Dennis Speigel, an industry consultant with no business ties to the park. The park was ill-conceived and cannot succeed in its location no matter what it does, Speigel said. The park is too far from the beach, the Strand's main attraction, he said. "It's probably the largest catastrophe in our industry," said Speigel. "Quite frankly the park shouldn't reopen."
The Sun News - March 30, 2010
"They are the identifiable icon of SeaWorld and responsible for generating hundreds of millions of dollars to that organization," said Dennis Speigel, an industry consultant at International Theme Park Services.
The Wall Street Journal - March 9, 2010
"China is without a question the hottest spot on the planet," said Dennis Speigel, president of International Theme Park Services in Cincinnati.
Los Angeles Times - September 4, 2014
“For over two years, we have been questioning the numerous theme park developments in Dubai,” comments Dennis Speigel of International Theme Park Services. “SeaWorld, Universal, Lego, Paramount, Warner Bros, Marvel, Six Flags and DreamWorks all announced they would be building multi-million/billion dollar projects. Dubai and our industry got caught up in a licensing/intellectual property engagement frenzy.
Park World - March 3, 2009
While it won't disclose the size of the investment, International Theme Park Services consultant Dennis Speigel predicts they could easily spend $500 million to get it right. The specter of a dead Harry could dampen some of the fun. But Universal Parks Chairman and CEO Tom William says the 20-acre attraction is "going to be a game-changer" and pledges to do "the biggest and best job on this as on any job we've ever taken."
Business Week - July 2, 2007
"It's just a grand slam deal for Disney," said Dennis Speigel, president of International Theme Park Services, a consulting group in Cincinnati that brokers theme park purchases. "It adds a great stable of characters to the already-strong business they have. … If I were Universal, I would be very concerned right now. We're talking about more powerful direct competition to Universal right in their backyard."
Tampa Tribune - August 31, 2009
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