Holiday World focused on fun, not family feud

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Visitors to a southern Indiana amusement park will find new rides, a redesigned entrance and even a new name for one attraction. But operators say they won't see any signs of the feud that has divided the park's founding family.

Holiday World and Splashin' Safari opens in May with new water slides, a new pool for a diving show and other changes that CEO Matt Eckert says will continue the park's reputation as a "cut above."

The park has been the focus of a court battle over an effort by founder Louis Koch's grandson, Dan, to buy shares in the park from his brother's widow. Will Koch, who led Holiday World through a large expansion, died at the age of 48 in 2010. His widow, Lori, has refused to sell the shares.

Also, Philip Koch, a member of the family, died Tuesday, eight days after a heart attack. He was 47. Koch was the owner of Lake Rudolph Campground & RV Resort and was the president, chief executive officer and treasurer of HO HO Holdings. It's also the parent company of Santa Claus Christmas Store, Kringle Place Shopping Center and Santa's Land, LLC.

Philip Koch is survived by his wife and two children.

The park was founded as Santa Claus Land in 1946.

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