Arts/Entertainment/Sports: BRIDGETTE C. BYWATER
VICE PRESIDENT AND GENERAL MANAGER, KINGS DOMINION/ CEDAR FAIR ENTERTAINMENT CO., DOSWELL
Bywater became the eighth vice president and general manager of Kings Dominion in January 2021 after nearly 30 years in the theme park industry, including about 24 years working at Cedar Fair Entertainment Co.
The Hanover County amusement park is a significant tourism draw and seasonal employer for Central Virginia. It was shut down during the pandemic and opened in a limited way in winter 2020. Bywater oversaw its full reopening in May 2021, with Soak City Water Park opening a month later. This year marks Bywater’s second season with the park, which raised its minimum hourly wage from $9.25 to $15 and moved to cashless payments at the park this year.
In February, Cedar Fair rejected a $3.4 billion acquisition offer from SeaWorld Entertainment Inc., owner of the rival Busch Gardens Williamsburg theme park.
A graduate of Truman State University in Missouri, Bywater started as a seasonal associate in 1992 at Worlds of Fun in Kansas City, Missouri, where her parents met as employees in 1973. She also serves on the boards of ChamberRVA and Richmond Region Tourism.