Media Release  
CONTACT:   Cameron Andrews
Pier Communications


Opening on May 26, 1996, Pacific Park Has Entertained More Than 10 Million Guests While Enriching The Pier’s Colorful History

SANTA MONICA, Calif., (May 23, 2006) – Nestled in the middle of the 3-mile Santa Monica coastline, illuminating the City’s skyline with more than 7,000 light bulbs, and helping to draw over 3 million guests annually to the Santa Monica Pier in Pacific Park; officially celebrating its 10th year as part of the Santa Monica landscape on May 26.

Since opening in 1996, Pacific Park has entertained more than 10 million guests, provided over 24 million rides on its 12 amusement rides and has awarded more than 1.9 million pieces of plush at its Pier Pressure Zone’s 21 midway games.

Santa Monica Councilmember Pam O’Connor, who was the City’s Mayor during Pacific Park’s inauguration, says: “Pacific Park has been a wonderful, family-oriented addition to the Santa Monica Pier. I have fond memories of the opening and can’t believe 10 years have flown by. I look forward to the next 10, with Pacific Park continuing to help draw tourists and Santa Monica families to the Pier.”

Proudly anchoring the Pier, Pacific Park has received numerous accolades and achievements in its 10 year-run including its Pacific Wheel Ferris wheel’s selection by Reader’s Digest as Best in America 2006, recently surpassing its 3 millionth rider and its solar-power conversion in 1998.

“This is a momentous occasion for all of us associated with Pacific Park, its investors, the City of Santa Monica, the Pier Restoration Corporation and all Santa Monica residents,” says Mary Ann Powell, CEO and General Manger of Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier. “I’m very proud of our staff, employees and vendors for their ability to continue to provide a great family entertainment value in such a dynamic and challenging environment.”

Pacific Park’s successful business model centers on philanthropic spirit including in-kind donations of more than $100,000 to various organizations in the community since 1996. The Park also established a partnership with the Santa Monica Police Activities League (PAL) and created PALpalooza, its flagship charity event held annually at Pacific Park to raise funds for PAL’s youth programs comprised of cultural, educational and recreational curriculums.

With a seaside appeal to meeting and event planners, the Park has hosted numerous private and special events for organizations including Microsoft, Columbia Pictures, Pepsi, the Democratic National Convention, UCLA Children’s Hospital and McDonald’s.

The two-acre amusement park on the Santa Monica Pier boasts several eye-popping stats from daily operations over the last ten years including:

• The spinning of over 462,000 pieces of cotton candy.
• The scooping of more than 42,000 gallons of ice cream.
• The brewing of a perky 651,000 cups of coffee.

In addition, Pacific Park has served as location to more than 200 television commercials and shows, music videos, feature films and photo shoots; with over 500 cameo appearances. The Park has also enjoyed top billing in the opening shots for NBC’s Tonight Show with Jay Leno and served as location for television’s number one program American Idol on FOX.

A variety of celebrities have been spotted enjoying themselves at Pacific Park including Angelina Jolie and son Maddox, Halle Berry, Dustin Hoffman, Cher, Mark Wahlberg, Lily Tomlin, Vince Vaughn, Keanu Reeves, Adam Brody, and Paris Hilton among others.

The Santa Monica Pier is no stranger to fame and attention. Looking back, the Pier has achieved several milestones since opening on September 9, 1909, from the debut of the Hippodrome building in 1916, the dedication of the Santa Monica Arch and Route 66 designation in 1939 and the first appearance of the Carousel in 1942 to the citizen-driven Save Our Piers Forever campaign in 1973, the creation of the Pier Restoration Corporation in 1981, the Hippodrome building and carousel receiving National Historic Landmark status in 1983 and the opening of Pacific Park in 1996.

Pacific Park® on the Santa Monica Pier, LA’s only admission free amusement park, offers 12 amusement rides, 21 midway games and an oceanfront food plaza. For additional information and hours of operation, call (310) 260-8744 or visit