January 2020



  • Justin Nye, Dutch Wonderland


  • John Reilly, Newport Beach


  • Jose Mendoza, RWSJ


  • Niki Walker RWSJ Visits RW Sydney
  • Sea Life Park Cuts Its Plastic Use by 7000lbs
  • Sea Life Park & Waimanalo Limu Hui Cultivate Partnership
  • 9th Annual Lights at Kennywood
Safety First
Don’t just say it, live it!

Safety is our top priority, and is everyone’s responsibility. Immediately report safety hazards or concerns to your supervisor. If an imminent hazard is present, immediately shut down the attraction or close off the area.
Safety Officer Spotlight

Justin Nye, Director of Public Safety - Dutch Wonderland

‘Tis the season for hazard communications. OSHA handed out 4,552 violations in 2018, placing hazard communications in the number two slot of OSHA’s top ten violations.

We are seeing more and more news-grabbing events such as the Buffalo Wild Wings incident in Burlington, Massachusetts. Employees unknowingly mixed two common cleaning chemicals (Super 8, sodium hypochlorite and Scale Kleen, phosphoric and nitric acid) creating chlorine gas that killed one employee and sent 13 others to the hospital. These chemicals, when used appropriately and to the manufacturer’s specifications, are inherently safe and stable.

So what can we as employers and employees do to ensure this situation never happens at our park?

The obvious answer would be to remove all chemicals from the workplace, but unfortunately, I am always shot down when I come up with this idea. Here are some ideas that we can do:

  • Ensure all Safety Data Sheets are readily accessible to employees for all chemicals used or stored within their workplace, ideally as hard copies in the work area and also as digital copies accessible via any computer.
  • Designate a person that is responsible for obtaining and maintaining the Safety Data Sheets. At Dutch Wonderland, that falls on the Safety and Security department to complete.
  • Ensure workers who have the potential to be exposed to hazardous substances are properly trained by having well developed and implemented hazardous substance handling procedures and the necessary PPE where applicable.
  • Advise employees that they are not allowed to bring outside chemicals on property. You will fail 100% of your SDS inspections if you have products that were brought onto property without following the proper procedures.
  • Conduct weekly back-of-house audits to look for safety hazards including improper storage and use of chemicals. Perform monthly department self-audits. 

One incident that really brought this to light for us occurred in 2013. We had an outside contractor in our park working a JLG man lift that wouldn’t start. The contractor took a park spray bottle that originally contained Ecolab Heavy Duty Alkaline Bathroom Cleaner, poured out the cleaner, and replaced it with diesel fuel. Sometime later, an eagle-eyed employee luckily noticed something didn’t look right with the bottle before they used it.

This incident made us take a step back and think; what if this employee did not notice the difference, or what if another employee used the bottle to clean a restroom or food surface? We know our employees were aware of our procedures but what about the contractors we use on property? These procedures should be used for anyone working on your property.

One of my favorite safety quotes which I find quite fitting for this topic is; “It’s better to be safety conscious than unsafe and unconscious.”

About Justin Nye

Justin Nye, Director of Operations at Dutch Wonderland started at Dutch Wonderland in 2006, two days after graduating high school as an entry level security guard. After college, Justin was hired as the Manager of Safety and Security, moved into the Director of Safety and Security role in 2013 and became Director of Operations in 2018.

I love the culture at Dutch Wonderland and I believe it is a one of a kind place to work. It is truly amazing to see how the park and team have grown over the past 13 years. We get to meet guests and employees from all over and each day brings new surprises.

In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with my wife and 2 kids, and watching Penn State Football.



John Reilly, Chief Operating Office, USA

Join us in welcoming John Reilly, Chief Operating Officer, USA to our Newport Beach, California office.

John is a graduate of the College of William and has over 30 years of experience in the entertainment business, F&B, merchandising and operations. He began his career at Busch Gardens, Virginia and most recently held the position of Chief Operating Officer at SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment.

John brings to Palace Entertainment proven results-oriented leadership and a sharp focus on the customer experience. We wish John much success in his new career here at Palace Entertainment and look forward to working together in supporting his efforts!



Jose Mendoza, Maintenance Manager, RWSJ

Raging Waters San Jose is proud to welcome our new maintenance manager Mr. Jose Mendoza. Jose Mendoza joins the team at Raging Waters San Jose most recently from the Avatar Hotel in San Jose where he was the Chief Engineer. Jose has an extensive background in hotels and over 20 year experience. He began his hotel career with the Dolce Hayes Mansion in San Jose and has worked for some of the industry’s leading hotel companies including Hyatt and Two Roads. Jose is the proud father of three children and enjoys spending time with his family. He has two sons, Jacob and Johnathan, and one daughter April. Jose enjoys playing and coaching his children’s soccer teams. Jose is also a musician, he plays drums and guitar. Jose is a native of San Jose and is delighted to help elevate the Raging Water San Jose experience for our local community.


Raging Waters San Jose assists Raging Waters Sydney

Niki Walker, Aquatics Manager from Raging Waters San Jose, visited Raging Waters Sydney from September to December 2019 to assist in training the Operations and Aquatics Department. Niki was a great asset to the team and her efforts were appreciated by all!


Sea Life Park Cuts Its Plastic Use by 7000lbs

Part of a multi-phased project, Sea Life Park has eliminated the use of almost 7000 lbs of plastic in the Food and Beverage Department. For over 16 years, the park has not carried or provided plastic lids or straws as single-use plastics are the ocean environment’s largest and most hazardous types of debris in our waters and in more recent years, looking at ways to phase out single-use plastics from the park completely. The Food and Beverage department has switched to 100% compostable and renewable cups, bowls, and cutlery made from products like sugarcane and corn as part of an initiative to be “plastic-free in F&B”. The park continues to work towards becoming a more green business in all areas as sustainability is a key pillar of the park’s foundation.



Sea Life Park Hawaii and the community based organization, Waimanalo Limu Hui, are joining forces to help restore beneficial limu (or algae) to local reef environments and spread awareness for the important role that certain species play in local culture. Species endemic to Hawaii (found nowhere else in the world) are now being grown at the Park through the partnership, with plans in the works for a public exhibit as well as school group interactions set for the spring of 2020.

In addition to staff support, Sea Life Park is providing some of the necessary materials and optimal water conditions (a delicate balanced of salt and fresh water) for vibrant limu harvests that will help the Waimanalo Limu Hui with their important work restoring balance to local marine environments. Among their ongoing efforts, the Hui hosts monthly limu restoration days in the Pahonu Fishpond, where hundreds of volunteers clean and plant limu back onto the reefs.

Following the Ka Piko event earlier this year—where the Park had the honor of providing a venue for local vendors and groups for a celebration of Waimanalo—the Park had the opportunity to talk with the Hui about how to come together, and the result is a fitting extension of that same community spirit.


Holiday Lights Shine At Kennywood

Kennywood Park shined bright this December with the ninth annual Holiday Lights! Thousands of visitors braved the cold to enjoy close to two million twinkling lights, including the best Christmas guest of all – Santa Claus! Family rides and holiday treats abounded throughout the park. Local celebrities were on hand for a nightly reading of ’Twas the Night Before Christmas, including Pittsburgh Penguins legend Bryan Trottier, Pittsburgh Steeler alum Chris Hoke, and Miss Pennsylvania USA 2020!


If you have any exciting news, announcements or events to share, a new employee to introduce, or recognition of an employee who has gone above and beyond, please email me a brief paragraph and photo if available, and we will share your news in next month’s newsletter.  

Send your email today to:  cheryl.silverstein@PalaceEntertainment.com

Our Palace Mission

“To provide wholesome family entertainment that is safe, a great value, and exceeds guest expectations at every opportunity.”

Our Mission talks to the very essence of what Palace Entertainment is all about. Please keep this Mission in mind as you approach your work and make decisions that impact our guests.