SANTA CLAUS, IN - Holiday World & Splashin' Safari will continue to be owned and operated by the Koch family "into perpetuity," according to the park's new president and CEO, Dan Koch.
Koch, 46, takes the helm following the sudden death of his brother Will earlier this month.
"Will and I have been business partners for decades and have spoken on the phone daily for more than 30 years," says Koch. "I consider it an honor to step in as president and continue the expansion plans my brother and I crafted together. In the meantime, Will's three children will have time to finish their education and learn more about the family business before they decide how they would like to be involved in the future of the park."
Koch says his mother, Pat, will continue as the park's Director of Values, greeting guests at the front gate and providing motivation and guidance to the management and staff.
"Our company was reorganized two years ago, when Will promoted two of our park directors to general managers," says Koch. "These GMs will keep the park running smoothly as we move into the heart of the season and prepare for next year."
Koch adds he plans to "stay the course" with Holiday World & Splashin' Safari's long-range expansion plans, community involvement, and philanthropic efforts.
Koch is a partner in the law firm Koch & Trushin in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He plans regular trips to the Santa Claus park and daily communication with management. He is married and has two young children.
Along with his four siblings, Koch grew up in the town of Santa Claus; his first job was playing a costumed elf at Santa Claus Land, as Holiday World was called prior to 1984. His other seasonal jobs at the park included working in the games department, helping on the parking crew and hauling trash. He graduated from Heritage Hills High School in 1982 and the University of Miami in 1986 with a degree in Business Administration and Finance. Following a year working fulltime at Holiday World, Koch returned to the University of Miami, where he earned a law degree in 1990. He practiced law in Miami for 15 years before opening Koch & Trushin law firm in 2005.
Holiday World & Splashin' Safari are open daily for the season, featuring the new Wildebeest, the world's longest water coaster. For more information, visit www.holidayworld.com or call 1-877-Go-Family.