When Thanksgiving Point, a museum complex in Lehi, Utah, wanted to take its gift shops to the next level of fiscal responsibility and guest satisfaction, the staff turned to Service Systems Associates (SSA) and signed a multi-year retail contract. The Denver-based company will be managing four retail shops at the venue, which attracts more than 1.9 million guests each year from all 50 states and around the world.
Founded in 1996, the Thanksgiving Point complex includes 55 acres of manicured estate gardens with over four miles of winding walking paths. Adjacent to the Gardens is the upcoming Museum of Natural Curiosity, which includes a 40,000 square foot gallery area offering exhibits in science, art, history and culture and an adjoining Children’s Discovery Garden, which offers a maze, a climbing area and pools of water and a shooting fountain. This venue is scheduled to open spring 2014. Farm Country gives guests the opportunity to pet and feed farm animals as well as learn about the American farmer and the origions of our food supply through several hands-on exhibits.. The Museum of Ancient Life offers 50 interactive, hands-on displays, 60 complete dinosaur skeltons as well as a working paleontology lab. An adjacent 3D National Geographic Theatre features a six-story, large-format movie screen.
Thanksgiving Point Vice President of Operations Kendall Wimmer said the staff interviewed several companies and decided that SSA provided the best overall match with the organization’s mission and values. He added, “SSA is genuinely interested in our mission, and the unique visitor experiences offered in each of our venues. With that in mind, they seem committed to matching the offerings in the gift shops with the experiences in the venues creating a more holistic guest experience.”
SSA President and CEO Tim Brantley said, “SSA has a proven track record in providing the highest level of guest services in cultural attractions, and we plan to continue this successful model. We look forward to becoming an integral part of Thanksgiving Point’s family.”
Wimmer predicts that this partnership will be a positive one. He said, “While providing exceptional guest experiences in our venues, we have felt that the gift shops have not been on-par with those experiences. We’re excited to have SSA’s expertise and its retail team partner with Thanksgiving Point in creating truly remarkable guest experiences.”
SSA Director of Retail Operations Patrick Brown will provide oversight on the partnership. He said, “Thanksgiving Point provides an incredible, varied Guest experience, and we are excited to be involved in extending this experience with unique, cool and mission-connected product. I look forward to our partnership as Thanksgiving Point’s desire to create extraordinary Guest experiences is mirrored by our own. That’s a recipe for success.”
About Service Systems Associates: SSA manages retail, culinary and guest services amenities at more than 40 museums, botanic gardens, zoos and aquariums in the United States, including the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Saint Louis Science Center, Utah’s Hogle Zoo, and the Los Angeles, Miami, San Francisco and Denver Zoos. The company is a national leader in guest service amenities for cultural attractions, serving over 27 million guests annually. For more information, please visit the website at www.KMSSA.com.
About Thanksgiving Point: Thanksgiving Point is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization comprised of a farm, garden, and museum that collectively is dedicated to providing opportunities for transformative family learning and fostering an environment where positive, meaningful experiences naturally happen. Created in 1996 by Alan and Karen Ashton, Thanksgiving Point has become a center of community engagement for more than 1.9 million annual visitors from all 50 states and around the world. Thanksgiving Point is located at 3003 North Thanksgiving Way in Lehi. For more information, call 801-768-2300 or visit www.thanksgivingpoint.org.