October 31, 2019
ATLANTA (October 31, 2019) – Callaway Resort & Gardens today announced that it has reached an agreement with Herschend Family Entertainment (“HFE”) to operate and manage its resort and garden attractions in Pine Mountain, Georgia. Georgia based HFE owns, operates and manages family-oriented theme parks and attractions and is a unit of Herschend Enterprises, the nation’s largest family owned themed attractions and entertainment company. Callaway Resort & Gardens is owned by the non-profit Ida Cason Callaway Foundation (Foundation).
For more than 67 years, Callaway Resort & Gardens has invited families to its 2,500 acre nature and outdoor-based destination to fulfill its mission of connecting people and nature. As it evaluated the resort’s future, the Foundation Board discussed the idea of partnering with an experienced operator. HFE was chosen based upon its aligned ideals and goals of bringing families closer together through memorable experiences.
Per the agreement terms, HFE will have full operational control over all operations, marketing, programming and guest service strategy of the Pine Mountain, GA-based campus. The agreement is effective November 1, 2019 and covers all of Callaway Resort & Gardens’ operational components. Current plans call for enhancing Callaway Gardens’ acclaimed Fantasy In Lights holiday show in 2020 and exploration of adding a signature fall festival to the property’s event offerings.
“We’re excited to begin this relationship with Herschend Family Entertainment,” said Fran Rogers, Chairman – Ida Cason Callaway Foundation. “As our Board considered the best ways to position Callaway for long-term success, we are glad to have found an operating partner that shares our commitment to creating wonderful experiences for guests and taking care of employees and the community.”
Added Herschend Family Entertainment President Jane Cooper: “We are honored to work with a highly regarded brand like Callaway Resort and Gardens that shares our commitment to help families create memories through unique experiences. As we begin management of the facilities, we are seeking more ways to drive guest engagement, enhance customer service and strengthen operations, while keeping those things that make Callaway such a special place.”
Since it opened to the public in 1952, Callaway Resort & Gardens has been consistently recognized as one of the nation’s most popular, family friendly destinations. Its annual signature events include the Masters Water Ski & Wakeboard Tournament (May), Labor Day Weekend Hot Air Balloon Festival (September), The Steeplechase (November) and Fantasy in Lights (December). Callaway Resort & Gardens is conveniently located within an hour’s drive of Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, making it easily accessible to thousands of daily travelers and nearby residents.
About Callaway Resort & Gardens. For more than 67 years, Callaway Resort & Gardens has provided “a place of relaxation, inspiration and a better understanding of the living world” for millions of visitors. Owned and operated by the non-profit Ida Cason Callaway Foundation, the destination includes a scenic woodland gardens and resort on 2,500 acres in Pine Mountain, Georgia. Highlights include a tropical butterfly conservatory, discovery center, chapel, inland white sand beach, nature trails, a zip line/obstacle course and special events throughout the year. In addition, Callaway Resort & Gardens offers meeting space, wedding and event venues, 674 guest rooms, a world-class spa, a variety of restaurants, shops, 36 holes of golf, tennis, fishing, signature seasonal and holiday events and more. For more information, visit www.callawaygardens.com.
About Herschend Enterprises. Launched in 1960, Herschend Enterprises is a family of companies that focus on family entertainment. Its operating companies include Herschend Family Entertainment (Dollywood® Parks & Resorts, Silver Dollar City®, Adventure Aquarium®, Newport Aquarium®, and Wild Adventures®), Herschend Live (Harlem Globetrotters®), Herschend Entertainment Studios (Splash & Bubbles® and Chuggington®) and Herschend Adventure Holdings, LLC (Pink Adventure Tours®). Each year, Herschend entertains more than 14 million guests annually at 25 properties in eight states. For nearly six decades, Herschend has operated with the purpose of bringing families closer together by Creating Memories Worth Repeating®. For more information, visit www.herschendenterprises.com.
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