US entertainment company RWS eyes lucrative Mideast leisure industry

RWS, a US-based entertainment company, has acquired JRA, a specialist in the creation of immersive experiences for theme parks and leisure destinations. Together, they will launch entertainment package for clients across the globe, including Middle East.

RWS, an award-winning entertainment company based in the US, has announced the acquisition of JRA, a major design company specialising in the creation of immersive experiences for theme parks, attractions, zoos, aquariums, museums, theater venues, casinos and hotels and resorts worldwide.
It also caters to retail and real estate sector, municipalities and airports in addition to botanical gardens, cruise lines and port of call destinations.
This acquisition expands RWS’ capabilities and creates the world’s exclusive, full-service provider of visitor attractions and experiences. 
Together, JRA and RWS will create complete entertainment packages for clients around the world, including the Middle East.
Their portfolios already include work for Ferrari World theme park, or The Galleria Al Maryah Island shopping centre, both based in Abu Dhabi. With this acquisition, the brands are looking to expand their business in the region.
Since its launch in 2003, RWS has grown to include live performances and experiences at theme parks and resorts, on cruise ships and at major events. With the 2016 acquisition of Binder Casting, the company expanded to include casting for television, commercials and Broadway. 
Its new Leased Experiences Division provides interactive exhibits, delivering well-known brand activations to even the smallest museums and gardens. 
Announcing this at a press conference at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, RWS Founder and Chief Executive Officer Ryan Stana said with the JRA acquisition, the company now delivers a complete array of design, production, performance and operation services to theme parks, attractions, cruise ships, zoos, aquariums, museums, theater venues, casinos, hotels and resorts.
"With the acquisition of JRA, the opportunities have become endless. RWS companies can truly take an idea from dream to design and realization to operation, covering every touchpoint in attraction development for both guests and the creative professionals that bring ideas to life," he noted.
According to Stana, RWS had experienced unprecedented growth this year. 
"We’ve tripled our cruise ship activations, added a new Leased Experiences Division, new RWS Décor Products line and launched the RWS Fun Crew: Staffing Reimagined. Adding the design, project management and media production experience of the JRA team to the RWS portfolio allows our clients to dream even bigger and achieve even more in terms of guest satisfaction and return on investment," he added.
The acquisition comes at a time when both firms are busy preparing for record growth in all sectors, and RWS embarks on a holiday season filled with lights, décor, performances and openings on two continents.
For decades, both leaders have pioneered the attractions industry’s approach to entertaining and educating guests. 
Today, with headquarters in New York City, London, and now Cincinnati, this powerful combined RWS team of dreamers, designers, creators, and operators is set to provide endless experiences for theme parks, attractions, cruise ships, zoos, aquariums, museums, theater venues, casinos, hotels and resorts, botanical gardens, visitor centers, port of call destinations, retail and real estate, municipalities, airports and corporations around the world, he added. 
JRA Chief Executive Officer Keith James said it is gearing up for one of the most prolific years in its history. "Over a dozen JRA-designed attractions will open in 2022, with still more in development through 2025. Whether it’s children’s museums, science centers, indoor theme parks, outdoor theme parks, or branded attractions, JRA designs will bring smiles to visitors across the globe," he stated.
"Selling JRA to RWS Entertainment Group is a natural evolution for the company, staff, and clients I love so much,” said James, who will remain as President of JRA. 
"With Ryan’s support, enthusiasm and energy, I can continue to do the work that excites me, lead our amazing team in Cincinnati, and stay engaged with the University of Cincinnati’s School of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning (UC DAAP). I could not be more thrilled that Ryan has invited our team to join with his as we embark on a shared, expanded vision for themed entertainment," he added.-TradeArabia News Service