New Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex Attraction Slated to Open Summer 2013
Kennedy Space Center, Fla. (Sept. 24, 2012) – Space Florida has closed on a $62.5M credit facility with Bank of America to support the construction of the Space Shuttle Atlantis Exhibit at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.
Through a conduit financing and lease agreement between Space Florida and Delaware North Companies Parks & Resorts, operator of Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex for NASA since 1995, Delaware North will use the loan to complete construction on the $73 million permanent showcase facility for the retired Atlantis Orbiter. Slated to open in summer of 2013, the $100 million project includes the 90,000-square-foot Atlantis exhibit, orbiter display preparation, transportation, interactive exhibits and space shuttle program artifacts.
The financing agreement allocates a percentage of the revenues earned from Visitor Complex concessions to provide debt service on the loan. This innovative funding agreement is an example of the robust financing capabilities the Florida Legislature has provided Space Florida.
“We are pleased that we were able to leverage our unique financing capabilities to construct this exciting exhibit,” said Space Florida President Frank DiBello. “We look forward to having this new attraction on the Space Coast.”
The Space Shuttle Atlantis attraction will provide guests with a unique opportunity to see Atlantis up-close, while telling the story of the 30-year Space Shuttle Program through more than 60 interactive, hands-on experiences.
“We are honored to create the permanent home for NASA’s Space Shuttle Atlantis at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. The financing assistance provided by Bank of America and Space Florida for the development and construction of the attraction will help provide an exclusive opportunity for visitors from across the world to discover the marvels of space exploration,” said Bill Moore, Chief Operating Officer of Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.
Key partners to the financing transaction included Bank of America, Delaware North Companies, NASA-Kennedy Space Center and Space Florida.
According to a study by the Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast, the development and construction of the Space Shuttle Atlantis attraction is expected to bring 326 new construction jobs to the Space Coast community. The new jobs are expected to bring an estimated income of $29.2 million over the next two years.
Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is not funded through tax dollars or appropriated funds. The revenue generated by ticket, food and merchandise sales support the operation, maintenance and development of the Visitor Complex.
About Space Florida: Space Florida was created to strengthen Florida’s position as the global leader in aerospace research, investment, exploration and commerce. As Florida’s aerospace development organization, we are committed to attracting and expanding the next generation of space industry businesses. With its highly trained workforce, proven infrastructure and unparalleled record of achievement, Florida is the ideal location for aerospace businesses to thrive – and Space Florida is the perfect partner to help them succeed. www.spaceflorida.gov.
About Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex: Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex opens daily at 9 a.m. Closing times vary by season. Admission includes the Kennedy Space Center Tour, Shuttle Launch Experience, 3D IMAX® space films, Astronaut Encounter, Exploration Space: Explorers Wanted and all exhibits. Admission also includes the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame®