Matt Eckert Holiday World
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World’s First Theme Park Never Stops Transforming
Holiday World is considered to be the world’s first theme park and, according to two recent online polls (conducted by USA Today™ and TripAdvisor®), its adjacent water park, Splashin’ Safari, is ranked among the best of America’s 1,200 water parks. Pretty impressive for a park in a small Midwestern American town called Santa Claus, Indiana; population 2,500.
So how has this water park – which is only open for half of the year – managed to enjoy such success over the past 25 years? According to Matt Eckert, President & CEO, success can be attributed to:
- Honoring its storied history
- Having a passion for delivering family fun in a safe, clean and friendly manner
- Being dedicated to constant innovation
Delivering excitement on a foundation built for family fun
The idea for Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari was inspired by a father’s desire to bring family fun – and Santa – to America’s heartland.
Louis J. Koch, a retired industrialist from nearby Evansville, first visited the town of Santa Claus in 1941. According to Eckert, “Mr. Koch had a large family, with nine children. He envisioned a theme park for Santa Claus, Indiana, because he was concerned about children’s disappointment while visiting the town and discovering that Santa didn’t live there.”