ITEC Delivers: Theme Park Development, Expertise, Adventures Here and Around the World
By Lisa A. Junkerman
Last year, Florida became the first state to welcome more than 100 million out-of- state and international tourists. And while Central Florida is often recognized as the theme park capital of the world, what’s generally not known is that Orlando is also exporting its expertise in creating immersive experiences that last a lifetime – for hundreds of millions of people across the world to enjoy.
“We keep raising the bar for our clients based on what we know their guests want to experience,” says ITEC Entertainment Corporation President, Bill Coan. “That starts from the beginning with the development of entire theme park master plans, right through to the creation of the rides and shows and the unique technologies that help to bring them to life.”
Back in 1985, ITEC began as a vision among a few former Walt Disney Imagineers with varying industry expertise and a single project to jumpstart their entrepreneurial foray. Today, the Orlando-based company has established relationships in over 25 countries and more than 60 employees. The company also has a joint venture in Shanghai, China, currently manned by staff that was transferred from Orlando.
ITEC specializes in providing themed- entertainment attractions, which include project design, technology, production, programming and support. Current projects include new park plans in Korea, China, Vietnam and Norway and two recently completed attractions in Wuhan, China – Ultimate Energy and Power of Nature. Ultimate Energy is a 5D theatre that integrates 3D projection, live actors, props, stunts and special effects into one ride. Ultimate Energy riders are transported into the future and to a time when man is at war with machines. Guests visit an International Mech War Museum which commemorates the history of the worldwide conflict against a fictional character, Dai Wen, and his army of Mech warriors.
Around the World and Here At Home
Being here in Central Florida, ITEC has maintained a long-standing relationship with Universal Studios. Recently they completed their 50th project for the entertainment provider, which saw its attendance at the Florida park rise by 16 percent in 2015.
ITEC’s most recent projects for Universal include Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride at Universal Studios in Japan, Orlando and Hollywood, as well as a Ride Show Supervisor system for Skull Island: Reign of Kong at Universal’s Islands of Adventure in Orlando. ITEC’s Ride Show Supervisor system brings the King Kong story to life by coordinating and orchestrating a number of independent technologies to create an immersive, multi-dimensional guest experience. This state-of-the art system also has capabilities to deliver interactivity in the Skull Island queue area for added thrills.
Other, Florida-based ITEC clients include The Holy Land Experience, the Miami Seaquarium, Gatorland Zoo and Kennedy Space Center.
Employees are at the heart and soul of the ITEC culture and they take pride in delivering their talent and experience with each project. They have day-to- day interaction with leadership that encourages them to share their ideas and opportunities to learn from some of the masters in the entertainment industry.
Cindy Zhou, for example, an ITEC engineer who worked on all facets of the projects in Wuhan, China, said “I have felt valued here from the start. Traveling around the world can be challenging when you are away from your family for weeks at a time, but I have been fortunate in that the management here understands that and allows me to balance the family time when needed.”
“The cornerstone of ITEC’s culture is our relentless focus on quality. We need to ensure our high standards are delivered in an environment located over 7,000 miles away and with a vast, 13-hour time difference,” says Coan. ITEC addresses this with each project by developing an in-country project management team, which enables the company to extend its knowledge and skill set while reinforcing a successful client relationship and quality product.
ITEC regularly hosts business leaders and dignitaries from around the world at its U.S. headquarters in Orlando. Many times, they are visiting Central Florida for the first time. The company is also raising the level of awareness of Central Florida through each project opportunity.
Among other Florida business pioneers, Gov. Rick Scott has recognized ITEC President, Bill Coan, as an example of “Florida Exceptionalism” during his State of the State address last year. “Some of the people whose dreams are changing the world are here today,” said Scott, who lauded those who have dreamed big and helped make the state great. The Orlando Business Journal also recognized ITEC Entertainment as a business to know, naming the company a 2016 Tech IQ Award honoree.
ITEC is delivering on its corporate vision: to deliver entertainment that ignites the dreams of people all over the word. “We do this with leading edge, immersive and interactive experiences that let guests escape their day-to-day cares,” says Coan “Thanks to our clients, our work literally does touch the lives of hundreds of millions of people all over the world and we are humbled by that opportunity.”
WHERE IN THE WORLD IS ITEC?
Current, active clients include approximately 15 worldwide. Below is a representative roster of past and present ITEC clients:
- Blockbuster Entertainment Corporation
- Billy Graham Evangelistic Association
- Coca Cola Company
- Dalian Wanda Group
- Foot Locker Stores
- Fox Studios
- Herschend Family Entertainment
- Hilton Hotels
- Macy’s Herald Square
- Meraas Holding, Dubai Parks
- NASA/Kennedy Space Center
- Paramount Parks
- Planet Hollywood
- Parques Reunidos, Madrid, Spain
- Radio City Music Hall
- Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines
- Sea World of Florida
- Sesame Workshop (Sesame Street)
- Six Flags Parks
- Sun Group Corporation The Cartoon Network
- The Walt Disney Company, Florida, California, Japan and Paris
- Universal Studios Florida, Hollywood, Singapore, Spain and Japan