Dennis L. Speigel
Internationally recognized as a leader and expert in the theme park / leisure industry with 50 years of professional experience, Mr. Speigel directs International Theme Park Services, Inc. ("ITPS") with exceptional business and solid financial judgment, creating success for the clients of ITPS.
Mr. Speigel's early beginnings in 1960 as a ticket taker / seasonal employee at Coney Island Amusement Park (Cincinnati, Ohio) were the impetus behind his decision to make the theme park business his career. He quickly worked his way to Assistant Park Manager of Coney Island and then Kings Island Theme Park (Cincinnati, Ohio), where, as Assistant General Manager, he supervised general park operations, including personnel, rides, food / beverage, merchandise, games and guest hospitality.
In 1974, Mr. Speigel became the Vice President and General Manager of Kings Dominion / Lion Country Safari (Richmond, Virginia), which historically draws over 3 million in attendance per year. In addition to overseeing the planning and construction of the park, he administered a $60 million construction budget, utilized his creative marketing skills to establish and implement several long-range marketing / development plans. He was also responsible for managing the park for Taft Broadcasting and the Kroger Company, while generating 11 million in attendance and over $250 million in cumulative revenues from 1974-80. Mr. Speigel also successfully opened Lion Country Safari (a wild animal preserve), achieving an attendance record of 650,000 the first season.
Formerly affiliated with the Taft Broadcasting Company (Cincinnati, Ohio), Mr. Speigel served as Vice President of Operations from 1980-81, during which time he developed a standardized safety and security program, monitored union activity and oversaw activities with the Hanna-Barbera Studios.
As Vice President of International Operations from 1981-83, Mr. Speigel was directly responsible for overseeing and assessing potential leisure sites in foreign markets, including all negotiations, research and development, design, site selection and zoning, as well as securing investors. In these endeavors, he was instrumental in developing project negotiations in Singapore, Australia and Tokyo, and secured a management / design and planning / project development contract in London, England in March, 1983.
A graduate of Morehead State University with a Bachelor of Science Degree, Mr. Speigel is also past President of the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions ("IAAPA"). IAAPA is the global association representing leisure facilities and suppliers / manufacturers around the world. Currently, Mr. Speigel serves on the Board of Directors of IAAPA. He has also chaired many committees and special projects for IAAPA including, but not limited to: Education Committee, The IAAPA Workshop / 1991 entitled "Future of Amusement Parks," Chairman of the IAAPA Strategic Planning Committee to recommend long-term goals/objectives and Cornell University Educational Institute Program.
Mr. Speigel was instrumental in aligning the Association Das Empresas De Parques De Diversoes Do Brasil ("ADIBRA") with IAAPA to create strength within the industry. In addition, he brought the Nipon Amusement Park Organization into IAAPA.
Mr. Speigel often speaks on a variety of topics related to the leisure industry at seminars and meetings around the world. In March of 1995, Mr. Speigel was asked by IAAPA to head the Strategic Long-Range Planning Committee for the International Council.
In 1994 Mr. Speigel was appointed as Premier Advisor to China's Association of Amusement parks and Attractions ("CAAPA"). In this role, he advised on all matters pertaining to safety and other industry related matters.
Mr. Speigel was awarded the 1993 Outstanding Service Award from the IAAPA for his concept, development and implementation of the IAAPA Educational Program at the Cornell School of Hotel Management.
Called almost daily, Mr. Speigel gives industry insight to many newspapers and publications around the world. He has been interviewed and quoted by the Wall Street Journal, Cincinnati Enquirer, Park World, Fun World Magazine, USA Today, Red Book Magazine, Los Angeles Times, Amusement Business and many other local and foreign publications. In 1996, Mr. Speigel served as a guest lecturer at the Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management at the University of Houston.
Mr. Speigel has also served the community by giving of his time to the following Organizations and Boards:
- Conductive Learning Center of Greater Cincinnati
- Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Greater Cincinnati
- ACA College of Design
- Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
- Advisory Board of Universal Recognition of Special Achievement ("URSA") of Toronto, Canada
- Board of Patrons, Leisure Industry Council Week
- Co-Chairman, Advisory Board / Cincinnati Recreation Commission
- New Heritage USA Asset Management Team
- Board of Directors, First & Merchants National Bank
- Red Cross
- Amusement Industry Manufacturers & Suppliers International ("AIMS")
- Travel and Tourism Industry Advisory Council to the United States Senate
- Chairman, Hanover Company Cancer Crusade
- National Advisory Board of the Kentucky Folk Art Center, Inc.
- Morehead State University Foundation, Inc.- Board of Trustees
With broad, global knowledge of customs, cultures and respect for each, Mr. Speigel's management philosophy includes truth with diplomacy and implementation with expediency and care.
Dennis Speigel receives Kings Island Hall of Fame award along with Carment Electra
IAAPA Lifetime Service Award - 2010
Lifetime Service Award:
The Lifetime Service Award is presented in recognition of a member individual’s consistent and long-term achievements serving IAAPA and the industry in excess of 20 years.
DENNIS SPEIGEL – Lifetime Service Award
If you open any newspaper on any day, chances are there will be story about the attractions industry. There will be an even greater chance that Dennis Speigel will be the expert quoted in that story. Dennis Speigel is a bonafide expert in the attractions industry and no wonder, he has been in this business all of his life. His love of the industry started in the 1960’s when he was a ticket taker at Coney Island Amusement Park in Cincinnati, Ohio. Working his way up the ladder, he became assistant manager then moved on to open a new park, Kings Island in Cincinnati where he served as Assistant General Manager. Taft Broadcasting, Kings Island’s owner at the time, was so impressed with Dennis’ operations, marketing, and financial vision he was named Vice President and General Manager to oversee the new Kings Dominion park in Richmond, Virginia. With Taft Broadcasting, Dennis managed projects in Singapore, Australia, Tokyo, and England. In 1983, he founded International Theme Park Services, the company he still owns and operates today. ITPS has been involved with hundreds of projects in more than 40 countries ensuring well-planned, well-managed safe leisure environments. Dennis has also been a large part of IAAPA’s history. He served as chairman of the board in 1989 and there is not a committee on which he has not served. He was the force behind IAAPA’s Institute for Executive Education which today is thriving and will be hosted at San Diego State University in 2011. Thank you, Dennis, for making the attractions industry and IAAPA part of your life.
with Dolly Parton
Fun is Serious Business
with Bill Hanna
with Rene Aziz