Herschend Family Entertainment honored as Champion of Enterprise
The Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry has awarded Herschend Family Entertainment with the Champion of Enterprise Award. This award recognizes Missouri employers that have demonstrated a true enterprising spirit and have made a significant contribution to our state through the years. The award was presented during the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry Annual Meeting and Awards Banquet, which was held at Big Cedar Lodge in Ridgedale, Mo. on Dec. 8, 2016. Herschend Family Entertainment founder, Peter Herschend, and Brad Thomas, President of Silver Dollar City, accepted the award.
“The story of Herschend Family Entertainment is much more than just Silver Dollar City, which in itself is a business legend,” said Dan Mehan, Missouri Chamber president and CEO. “Herschend Family Entertainment is an anchor and in a great way, the author, of Southwest Missouri’s tourism economy. Millions of lives have been improved because of the jobs and economic opportunities this family has spurred.”
Peter and his brother Jack began working with the family business, Marvel Cave, as teenagers. The massive cave drew thousands of tourists who needed entertaining, above ground, while waiting to tour. So the brothers went out to find craftspeople, who could demonstrate their wares for the guests. With attendance more than tripling that first year, the family quickly realized they were in the theme park business!
From that one cave, the company has grown to own entertainment venues in 10 states, including Silver Dollar City, Dollywood, Wild Adventures, Stone Mountain and even the Harlem Globetrotters!
The impact of Herschend Family Entertainment goes beyond business. The family is involved in numerous civic causes, such as public education.
“Perhaps the most meaningful impact provided by Herschend Family Entertainment are the memories and family moments the company has given millions of people around the world!” Mehan said.