Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Franchise in Panama City Beach is Acquired by Ripley Entertainment Inc.
ORLANDO, Fla. (April 23, 2012) – Ripley Entertainment Inc., a global leader in location-based entertainment, has acquired its Believe It or Not! Odditorium and the Ripley 3D Moving Theater franchise in Panama City Beach, Fla.
Ripley Entertainment acquired the attraction from long-time franchisee, Nole One, LLC., and the effective date of the acquisition was April 20, 2012.
Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium and Ripley’s 3D Moving Theater opened during June 2006 and is housed in an amazing replica of a 1950s vintage luxury liner that had run aground on Panama City Beach. Since then, the building, with its twin 75-foot tall smokestacks, 94-foot tall mast, and three enormous propellers has become a local landmark, just a few blocks from the Gulf of Mexico.
“We appreciate the important role that Gary Walsingham and his family have had in building and operating an iconic and very successful Ripley’s attraction in Panama City Beach. This growing market has a very bright future and we are excited to be part of it,” said Jim Pattison Jr., president of Ripley Entertainment Inc.
“Our family has greatly enjoyed our association with the Ripley Entertainment family,” said Gary Walsingham, who, along with other family members owned the franchise. “I wish Ripley Corporate well as they now take over the operation of this unique facility. I know it will be a great asset for them in a great and growing market.”
Among its one-of-a-kind artifacts and exhibits, the Panama City Beach collection features a 23-foot long Lincoln Town Car covered with 23,000 gold-plated British coins valued at $1.3 million, an 11-foot tall Eiffel Tower made entirely of matchsticks and a two-ton Chinese dragon ship made of carved jade. A genuine Jivaro Indian shrunken head comes from Ecuador and a two headed, six-legged calf is on display from Robert Ripley’s personal collection.
Ripley’s Moving Theater is a high-tech dynamic motion-based simulation ride that features four different ride film experiences and takes guests on a pulse-pounding sight-and-sound experience. Sitting in individual seats synchronized with the action on the screen, guests wear 3-D glasses making them feel a part of the movie. In addition, they will experience a fourth dimension – wind, water and other elements.
The Franchisee, Nole One, LLC, was represented on the transaction by William Pergolini of Audientis Financial, LLC.
Ripley Entertainment Inc.
615-646-7465 – office
615-496-5949 – cell
About Ripley Entertainment
Ripley Entertainment Inc. (www.ripleys.com), keepers of the venerable Ripley’s Believe It or Not! brand, is a global leader in location-based entertainment, entertaining more than 12 million annually at its 80 – plus attractions in 11 countries. In addition to its 32 Believe It or Not! Odditoriums, the Orlando, Florida-based company has publishing, licensing and broadcast divisions, best-selling books and the popular syndicated cartoon strip, Ripley’s Believe It or Not!, that still runs daily in 42 countries. Ripley Entertainment is a Jim Pattison Company, the third-largest privately held company in Canada.