Additions to Include Global Support and North American Operations
It’s another month and another announcement about Merlin Entertainments expanding their Central Florida presence (and we are all thankful for so much good news)! But this is HUGE news. Merlin Entertainments, the parent company of LEGOLAND Florida Resort and the second largest attractions operator in the world, has decided to make Polk County home to their North American Operations and global support through two new support locations – one in Winter Haven and one in Lake Wales. Why is this so beneficial? Because this is a sizable investment in our area outside of the traditional jobs one relates to the theme park industry. It will benefit the citizens of Winter Haven and Central Florida to have this variety of positions available. It’s just another sign that Merlin is committed to and confident in the growth and direction of our community.
The announcement comes as Merlin continues to expand its Global attractions. “We are thrilled to bring even more Merlin support jobs to Central Florida. We chose sites within close proximity to LEGOLAND Florida Resort because of the excellent community support we have received since opening.” said LEGOLAND Florida Resort General Manager Adrian Jones.
Initially, each office will bring a total of more than 50 full time jobs to the area with plenty of additional office space to allow for growth. The roles will vary, but will focus on fulfilling the needs of guests visiting Merlin Entertainments attractions.
Enterprise Florida and the Winter Haven Economic Development Council worked closely with Merlin Entertainments to make this expansion possible. “We look forward to welcoming Merlin Entertainments to Downtown Winter Haven. The presence of such a strong global brand in downtown Winter Haven confirms that the IT infrastructure, high-quality office space, restaurants, abundant parking and welcoming nature of the community make Winter Haven an extremely competitive value proposition for growing companies,” said Bruce Lyon, President of the Winter Haven Economic Development Council.
A customer care center, situated in the ‘heart’ of Downtown Winter Haven, is managed by Six/Ten, LLC. It was selected because of its IT infrastructure, support, and accessibility. “Partnering with LEGOLAND Florida Resort is a great fit. Our companies share in the vision for Downtown Winter Haven as a place to work, live, and play,” said Bud Strang, President of Six/Ten LLC.
A property in Lake Wales will become the creative ‘hub’ for Merlin Magic Making. It will also be home to the company’s 6th team of Model Builders and Designers to support the ever-expanding LEGOLAND Resorts and LEGOLAND Discovery Centers around the globe.
“I have been thoroughly impressed with the professionalism and cooperation of all of the parties involved in bringing such an impactful project to Polk County and Central Florida. We welcome Merlin Entertainments with open arms and enthusiasm and are thrilled the company has chosen our area to expand,” said Kevin Kieft, President/CEO of Lake Wales Area Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Council.
Both locations are expected to be fully operational by Fall 2015.
From an economic development perspective, this is a win for Winter Haven, a win for Lake Wales, but also a win for the strategic direction of cooperation and support in the arena of economic development. It was top priority to find a place in our community that met the needs of Merlin. Through the leadership of the Winter Haven Economic Development Council (WHEDC) and partner organizations Enterprise Florida (state-level), Lake Wales Economic Development Council and the Central Florida Development Council (county-level) Merlin selected multiple sites that met their unique needs.
If you are interested in learning more about the careers available at LEGOLAND Florida Resort or Merlin Entertainments, please visit http://jobs.legoland.com/.