New Master Plan for NASA's Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex Designs include a home for a space shuttle Orbiter

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla., Dec. 15, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Design work has begun on a new master plan to transform NASA's Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex into a place where explorers of all ages can tour America's spaceport to engage with the people and machines that shape the future of our world. PGAV Destinations, a global leader in the planning and design of cultural and entertainment destinations, was selected by Delaware North Companies Parks & Resorts at KSC, Inc., operators of Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, to design the ten-year master plan.

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The new master plan will create excitement for guests as they discover the connection between NASA and their everyday lives. Immersive thematic zones will connect with guests of all ages in a personal way, integrating interactivity through exhibits and live presentations by astronauts and workers, while incorporating the unique role that Kennedy Space Center plays in human spaceflight and space exploration. Touring Kennedy Space Center will evolve into an expedition of a working space place, honoring the storied past of the human spaceflight program while embracing the future and celebrating the spirit of human determination.

The marquee element of the master plan for America's spaceport is a $100 million exhibit displaying a flown space shuttle orbiter. Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex has requested to be selected by NASA to display one of the three remaining orbiters. Initial design concepts for the 64,000 square-foot orbiter home include viewing the space shuttle in flight, showing how the spacecraft worked in space and providing a unique vantage point for guests looking at this remarkable vehicle up-close. Complementing the orbiter display will be interactive features reflecting major accomplishments of the Space Shuttle Program including the Hubble Space Telescope and construction of the International Space Station.

"We would be honored to showcase one of the space shuttle orbiters so we have begun designing a dynamic, interactive exhibit to tell the space shuttle story from our own unique perspective," said Bill Moore, Chief Operating Officer of Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. "Kennedy Space Center is home to the space shuttle; all of the 132 missions have launched from here."

The master plan is funded through revenue generated by visitor admission, food and retail sales at no tax payer expense. It will showcase up to ten themed areas, plus new and enhanced visitor amenities, bringing authentic and exciting NASA programs to life.  

Delaware North Companies has operated Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex and worked closely with NASA to tell the story of space exploration to millions of guests from around the world since 1995. In February 2010, NASA/Kennedy Space Center awarded Delaware North Companies the contract to continue operating Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.

About Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is located just east of Orlando and is the gateway to a working space center and one of Florida's most popular destinations. It's a 70-acre arena of inspirational, educational and entertaining experiences.  More than 1.5 million visitors annually tour Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex opens at 9 a.m. Closing times vary by season.  The Visitor Complex is open daily except December 25 and certain launch days.  Admission includes the Shuttle Launch Experience, Kennedy Space Center Tour, 3D IMAX® space films, Astronaut Encounter, all exhibits, and the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame®, featuring historic spacecraft and the world's largest collection of personal astronaut memorabilia. Parking, wheelchairs, strollers and pet kennels are free of charge. Admission is $41 + tax for adults and $31 + tax for children ages 3-11. The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex Commander's Club Annual Pass is $53 + tax for adults and $43 + tax for children ages 3-11.  For more information, call 877-313-2610 or visit www.KennedySpaceCenter.com.

About Delaware North Companies Parks & Resorts

Delaware North Companies Parks & Resorts is a subsidiary of Delaware North Companies, a leading hospitality provider with significant experience in hotel, retail, food service, recreation and transportation operations. The company's portfolio includes historic properties in North America, such as Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex; Yosemite, Sequoia, Yellowstone and Grand Canyon national parks; Tenaya Lodge and Apple Tree Inn; Harrison Hot Springs Resort & Spa; Niagara Falls State Park; The Lodge at Geneva-on-the-Lake; Gideon Putnam Resort; and a newly acquired hotel in West Yellowstone. To learn more about Delaware North Companies' expertise in the hospitality industry, visit www.experiencednc.com.

About PGAV Destinations

PGAV Destinations is a global leader in the planning and design of unique destinations. The firm uniquely combines award-winning storytelling and creativity with business strategy to create some of the world's most important cultural, natural, and entertainment destinations.  PGAV's staff develops growth-oriented master plans and translates these plans into innovative new destination products.  Now in its fifth decade, the firm has authored hundreds of highly successful projects in places such as SeaWorld, the Grand Canyon, Biltmore Estate, Niagara Falls, Busch Gardens, the Georgia Aquarium, Kennedy Space Center, and the Hoover Dam.  www.pgavdestinations.com

SOURCE Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex



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