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Archive for Thursday, November 5, 1998

LAND OF OZ HIRES MARKETING FIRM

November 5, 1998

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Promoters of a Land of Oz theme park have hired a Michigan company to market the project being planned for a corner of the Sunflower Army Ammunition Plant.

Visual Services Inc. was named exclusive marketing provider for the $585 million park and resort that developers hope to open in 2002. Much federal and state red tape remains to be cleared before work could begin on the big project east of Lawrence.

Oz officials said VSI would develop and coordinate marketing, advertising, public relations and training for the project. Terms were not disclosed.

"VSI's ability to offer turnkey marketing solutions is instrumental in making The Wonderful World of Oz Theme Park and Resort a reality," said Robert B. Kory, founder and president of the Oz Entertainment Co. "The company's vast experience with other projects of this caliber will help determine the success of combining state-of-the-art attractions with the classic Wonderful Wizard of Oz Midwestern values and philosophy."

The company is a subsidiary of VSI Holdings Inc., a supplier of integrated applications of technology and systems. Oz said the company's selection was made through its contact with Advanced Animations, VSI's "edutainment" subsidiary. Advanced Animations is a creator of animatronics, the life-like robotic characters used in theme parks, casinos and retail industries. The company will provide animations for the Oz park.

The company recently predicted it would have 1998 operating income of $13.9 million on revenues of $160 million.

The Oz theme park and resort will include a 55-acre theme park, hotel, 50,000-square-foot conference center, 18-hole golf course, 600-space recreational vehicle park and campground.

-- Richard Brack's phone message number is 832-7194. His e-mail address is rbrack@ljworld.com.

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