John Gerner, Managing
Gerner is a leisure industry expert with more than 20 years of
consulting experience. With Leisure Business Advisors LLC (LBA), he has
been involved with new leisure projects in North America, Asia, Europe,
Africa, and the Middle East. Click here for a more detailed
of his international experience.
With LBA, he prepared the cultural business plan for the reuse
Monroe. This 565-acre military base contains the largest stone
fort ever built in America and more than a 100 historic buildings. He
evaluated Pavilion Nostalgia Park at Broadway at the Beach for the
Burroughs & Chapin Company. He also prepared feasibility
for the City of Concord (North Carolina) and Andy Alligator's Fun Park.
He recently served as an expert witness on leisure development in a
New York State Supreme Court case. Click here for the court's decision.
With Gerner Consulting (before it became Leisure Business
Advisors), he conducted planning efforts for many attractions. Clients
include Canadian Geographic, the National Trust for Historic
Preservation, the National Golf Foundation, the Maine Aquarium, and
Celebrating Patsy Cline, Inc.
As a subcontractor to International
Theme Park Services (ITPS), he has prepared market and financial
projections for many new and existing attractions in Asia, Europe,
Latin America, the Middle East, and North America. This includes Hopi
Hari in Brazil, one of the leading theme parks in Latin America.
Consulting work for other ITPS clients included Cedar Fair L.P.,
Wildlife Conservation Society (Bronx Zoo), and Wisconsin State Fair
Previously, Mr. Gerner served as President of Berkshire
Ridefilm. During this time, the company produced the highly acclaimed
simulation film for Universal Studios' "Back to the Future - The Ride",
which was directed by Douglas Trumbull. Click here to view a
promotional video for the ride experience, and the company's brochure
at that time.
Berkshire Ridefilm provided concept development
for a new theme park attraction at Universal Studios that was presented
to management and Steven Spielberg. The company also created the
concept for a new themed attraction in Tokyo.
to joining Berkshire Ridefilm, Mr. Gerner was a Principal with
Economics Research Associates (ERA), and managed one of the firm's
regional offices. During the years he was with ERA, he evaluated
concepts, expansion alternatives, market potential and financial
feasibility for a variety of existing and planned visitor attractions.
For the Walt Disney Company, he evaluated potential foreign theme park
locations in Latin America. For Marriott Corporation he evaluated
market demand for a new restaurant concept. For Cedar Point, he
evaluated the impact of various factors, such as expansion, the
economy, and weather on annual attendance.
expansion alternatives for the National Aquarium in Baltimore and Miami
Seaquarium. For Spaceport USA (the visitor center for the Kennedy Space
Center), he analyzed crowd flow and determined future facility needs.
He studied the feasibility of developing a major tourist attraction in
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
He determined the economic impact of the
Beach Boys' Fourth of July concerts in Washington D.C. for their
management. He assessed the feasibility of performing arts facilities
in Arlington, Virginia and Columbia, Maryland. He prepared a tourism
development/promotion plan for Venango County, Pennsylvania. Other
clients included the Boston Museum of Science, Dentsu, Ringling Bros.,
and the Country Music Foundation. As a subcontractor to ERA, he
conducted the feasibility study for the Nanshan Buddhist Cultural Park
themed attraction in China.
During the early 1980s, he served
as a Productivity Improvement Supervisor for Busch Entertainment
Corporation. Before that, he was an Operations Area Supervisor for
Busch Gardens Williamsburg, supervising more than 90 ride and area hosts in the
Oktoberfest and Italy sections of the park. He worked in park
operations from 1975 to 1981 at Busch Gardens (Williamsburg and Tampa), Kings Dominion, and Walt
He has been a speaker at many annual conventions
for the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions
(IAAPA). Most recently, he spoke about "Attraction Development and
Expansion: Taking the First Steps." Click here for the presentation
slides. In the
past, he spoke on "Modeling the Visitor Experience." Click here for his
presentation slides. In 2005, he spoke on "How Much is Your Attraction
Worth? Identifying and Maintaining Value." Click here to download his
presentation slides. He has also been a speaker at the World Waterpark
Association (WWA) annual convention. He was a member of
IAAPA's Facility Operations Committee. He also was a featured speaker at a management workshop in Brazil. Click here for an article describing the event.
He has been interviewed
and quoted by the Wall Street Journal, Business Week, CFO Europe, Canadian Business,
USA Today, Hollywood Reporter, Variety and many local newspapers. Click here to read selected comments
to the press on a variety of leisure industry subjects.
contributed articles to Amusement Business, Funworld, and World's Fair.
He served as the tourism specialist on a Regional/Urban Design
Assistance Team (R/UDAT) program jointly sponsored by the American
Institute of Architects and the Royal Architectural Institute of
Canada. He was a guest lecturer at the University of California in Los
Angeles (UCLA) on the subject of developing leisure attractions.
is a graduate of the College of William and Mary ('80),
double-majoring in education and philosophy. He was recently interviewed by his alumni association. Click here to see the article.
After graduation, he
taught general and remedial math at Powhatan High School. He then
worked full-time at Busch Gardens in Williamsburg as a productivity
improvement supervisor before becoming a consultant. He grew up in the
Richmond area, and returned there after spending years in Washington,
Los Angeles, Fort Lauderdale, and Massachusetts. He now lives in the
city's historic area with his wife, Elaine, a professional
John is active in his local community, and is Chief Election Officer at his voting precinct. Click here for his comments on election
day in 2008.
He served as the City of Richmond's Liaison Consultant for
the Performing Arts Committee, representing both the Mayor and City
Council. Click here for a profile article in the
newspaper. In the Fall of 2006, he helped tone down the rhetoric on
both sides and cooperatively resolve this difficult issue. The
committee's report recommended a scaled-down compromise plan that
included City ownership of the Carpenter Center and Mayoral appointment
of board members. This approach was later approved by City Council. He
was also the City Administration's Consultant for School System
He can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at +1 (804) 644-3544.
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