Stone Mountain Memorial Association hires new company to oversee park

Eventually, the Stone Mountain Action Coalition wants at least the consideration of modifying or removing the giant Confederate carving that looms over the park. (Emil Moffatt/WABE)

Stone Mountain, GA — The Stone Mountain Memorial Association on May 23 approved an agreement with Thrive Attractions Management to oversee park operations.

The company will be responsible for managing the park’s various attractions. It will be replacing the park’s current management company, Silver Dollar City – Stone Mountain Park, which is owned by Herschend Family Entertainment.

The agreement with Herschend Family Entertainment ends July 31, 2022.

It’s the latest change for the park, as the park’s leaders grapple with the park’s prominent Confederate symbols that are driving away community partners.

Marriott, the park’s primary hotel and conference center, plans to pull out of the park next year, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported. The AJC notes that Coca-Cola’s sponsorship was removed from the park’s website.

The COVID-19 pandemic also hurt the park’s revenues.

To deal with the Confederacy controversy, park officials have proposed numerous changes but haven’t considered the possibility of removing the carving of Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson on the side of the mountain.

Following the May 23 vote, Thrive Attractions published the following announcement:

STONE MOUNTAIN, GA. — Thrive Attractions Management, LLC, is proud to announce that it has successfully entered into a long term agreement to be the private manager of Stone Mountain Park for the Stone Mountain Memorial Association, the state authority that oversees the state’s most visited attraction.

Thrive is a newly created entity owned by Michael Dombrowski, who has served as vice president and general manager of the park since 2014. Thrive brings stability, a smooth transition and years of experience successfully operating Stone Mountain Park.

“I am thrilled to be able to continue the great work of managing Stone Mountain Park, and to keep in place an experienced group of senior managers and engaged employees,” said Dombrowski. “We’ll build on our success by caring for and loving our employees and guests, and ensuring Stone Mountain Park is a welcoming and inclusive environment for all visitors from Atlanta, the nation and the world.”

Thrive Attractions is looking forward to bringing new and innovative events, expanding current events and enhancing guest experiences for years to come.

“This is an important milestone for the Stone Mountain Memorial Association as Thrive will continue to bring stability and unmatched depth of knowledge. I’m confident that we will build on the success of the current relationship for the better good of the park and the community,” said the Rev. Abraham Mosley, chairman of the Stone Mountain Memorial Association.

To see a copy of the agreement approved by SMMA, click here.

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