RWS Entertainment Group Acquires International Attraction Design Firm, JRA, Creating The World’s Exclusive, Full-Service Provider of Award-Winning Guest Experiences and Attractions
NEW YORK, Nov. 16, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- In a press conference today at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL, RWS Entertainment Group (RWS) Founder and Chief Executive Officer Ryan Stana, along with JRA Chief Executive Officer Keith James, announced the acquisition of JRA by RWS. This acquisition expands RWS’ capabilities and creates the world’s exclusive, full-service provider of visitor attractions and experiences.
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.
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.
“JRA is launching into one of the most prolific years in its history,” said Keith James. “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.”
“RWS Entertainment Group has also experienced unprecedented growth this year,” added Ryan Stana. “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.”
Since opening in 2003, RWS Entertainment Group 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, RWS expanded to include casting for television, commercials and Broadway. The company’s new Leased Experiences Division provides interactive exhibits, delivering well-known brand activations to even the smallest museums and gardens.
RWS operates attractions, too. Launched in 2020 out of a need to fill seasonal staffing positions left vacant by COVID-19, the RWS Fun Crew: Staffing Reimagined provides hospitality-minded, front-of-house personnel with the charisma and training to truly engage guests and raise their experience with moments of surprise and delight.
Over the past two decades, RWS has opened a unique career path for performers and technicians, giving them the opportunity to follow their dreams, discover a new passion and even make it to Broadway, TV or film. Filling roles for more than 4,500 performers and technicians year provides a memorable summer job, journey to success or the opportunity of a lifetime.
With the acquisition of JRA, the opportunities have become endless. The RWS Entertainment Group 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.
“Selling JRA to RWS Entertainment Group is a natural evolution for the company, staff, and clients I love so much,” said Keith 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.”
“I have admired Keith James for as long as I can remember,” said Ryan Stana. “To have the opportunity to work side-by-side with him, expanding his team’s creative vision to theater and cruise ships, and bringing live entertainment to even more venues throughout the world, is truly the realization of a dream. Thanks to the hard work, discipline and drive of both our teams, we are enjoying a record 2021 with even bigger projects and plans on deck for 2022 and beyond.”
Following the press conference, James and Stana celebrated a toast to James’ 50th anniversary in the entertainment industry along with a few hundred of Keith’s friends, colleagues, clients and vendors who were at the Orange County Convention Center for the annual IAAPA Expo. More information, photos and video are available at experiencerws.com/newsroom.
More information, photos and video are available online at experiencerws.com/newsroom.
ABOUT RWS ENTERTAINMENT GROUP:
RWS Entertainment Group is a global, Emmy Award-winning entertainment company with headquarters in New York City, London and Cincinnati. Together with its subsidiaries, RWS designs, fabricates, installs and operates custom entertainment, live events and branded experiences delivering over 400 live productions and providing more than 4,500 career opportunities each year. With projects on six of the world’s seven continents and all the oceans in between, RWS provides services 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, corporate and branded experiences.
Founded in 2003, RWS operates the largest live production facility in New York City which includes 56,000 square feet of office space, a rehearsal studio complex and performer housing. RWS properties include a Theatrical and Ticketed Experiences division; Binder Casting serving the stage, film and commercial markets; the innovative RWS Fun Crew: Staffing Reimagined; RWS Décor Products and RWS Leased Experiences.
RWS has supplied ground-breaking productions and custom brand experiences for an impressive roster of clients that includes Warner Bros., Apple, Disney, NBCUniversal, Hasbro, O, the Oprah Magazine, Vera Wang, Holland America Line, Disney Cruise Lines, Azamara, MSC Cruises, Virgin Voyages, Hard Rock Resorts, Iberostar Hotels & Resorts, The Galleria Al Maryah Island, Europa-Park Resort, Paultons Park, Six Flags, Hershey Entertainment and Resorts, Cedar Fair Entertainment Company, The Denver Zoo and many more.
In 2021, RWS acquired JRA, an award-winning creative studio with headquarters in Cincinnati, Ohio. JRA plans, designs and delivers exceptional visitor experiences for theme parks, museums, brand experiences, children’s experiences, attractions, theater venues, visitor centers, cruise ships and port of call destinations. Services include master planning, writing and content development, attraction/exhibit planning and design, graphic design, executive media production, art direction and project management.
For more than thirty years, a diverse group of clients has trusted JRA to turn their dreams into successful realities. Clients include Warner Bros., Lionsgate, The Coca-Cola Company, Universal Studios Florida, Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, National Comedy Center, Science Centre Singapore, Space Center Houston, The FRIENDS™ Experience by Superfly X, Toyota and more.
About JRA: (JRA only. To be used when the full version is too long for the intended use and/or with news releases exclusively about JRA products, developments and features.)
JRA, part of RWS Entertainment Group, is an award-winning creative studio with headquarters in Cincinnati, Ohio. JRA plans, designs and delivers exceptional visitor experiences for theme parks, attractions, zoos, aquariums, museums, theater venues, casinos, hotels and resorts, botanical gardens, visitor centers, retail and real estate, municipalities, airports, cruise lines and port of call destinations. Services include master planning, writing and content development, attraction/exhibit planning and design, graphic design, executive media production, art direction and project management.
Founded in 1987, JRA works on a global scale, with JRA-designed destinations welcoming visitors on six of the world’s seven continents. For more than thirty years, a diverse group of clients has trusted JRA to turn their dreams into successful realities. Clients include Warner Bros., Lionsgate, The Coca-Cola Company, Universal Studios Florida, Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, National Comedy Center, Science Centre Singapore, Space Center Houston, The FRIENDS™ Experience by Superfly X, Toyota and more.
Around the world, RWS Entertainment Group creates and operates custom entertainment, live events, attractions, destinations and branded experiences, delivering over 400 live experiences and providing career opportunities for more than 4,500 professionals each year.
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SOURCE RWS Entertainment Group