The Wave Maker is the story of a man who believed in himself, who never thought of giving up. He had in his arsenal a tremendous sense of creativity, a strong work ethic, and an unshakable belief that his ambitious projects would indeed reach their successful completion.
George Millay is a visionary – an innovative, restive and determined risk-taker who created two major genres of theme parks. In 1964, coming off an already successful career as a restauranteur, Millay founded SeaWorld San Diego. In 1977, he crafted Wet’n Wild Orlando, the world’s first waterpark.
In 1971, he was the creative force behind the development of Magic Mountain theme park, in Valencia, California. By the time he left SeaWorld in 1974, Millay had opened subsequent SeaWorld parks near Cleveland, Ohio and in Orlando, Florida.
When Millay sold his waterparks in 1998, there were seven Wet’n Wild parks in operation – in Brazil, Mexico, and the United States.
Known today as “The Father of the Waterpark Industry,” Millay bares it all in this 352-page, hardcover biography. He speaks openly of the people, the deals, and the events that shaped him as an individual and that made his parks innovative masterpieces. For the first time, he tells the complete story – from the conception to the completion of these attraction giants. The Wave Maker is a historical biography of a true pioneer, as well as an in-depth look at the business side of creating these parks.
“Yes, I do see myself as a pioneer, but the feeling is mixed. I see a lot of pioneers as losers. Poor creative wretches who had great ideas but fate and good common sense weren’t with them. I have been lucky,” George Millay claims within the pages of The Wave Maker.
Page after page, he speaks candidly of his incredible business successes, about his wife and children, of his home, his parents, his emotions, his fears, and of his feelings. He talks openly of his life-long prejudices and of his actions that led to his fall from grace at SeaWorld.
From a historical and business perspective, most of what George Millay reveals in The Wave Maker has never been in print before. He speaks openly of revenue and attendance figures; he recalls bringing home his first million-dollar check; and he talks of the capital-raising challenges he faced for every project in which he has been associated, topics he has rarely discussed with anyone but his closest confidants.
The book reveals a great deal about George Millay, something that has surprised many who have known him for years. “I worked for George Millay longer than anyone. During those 25-plus years, I got to know him very well. When I read The Wave Maker, I was amazed how much I really didn’t know about George. This is a superb, revealing and fun book,” says John Seeker, now an advertising agency executive.