Evolv Technology announced that Hersheypark® is using Evolv’s artificial intelligence (AI)-based, touchless security screening system as part of the much-loved theme park’s robust COVID-19 safety measures.

Hersheypark was originally created by businessman and philanthropist Milton S. Hershey more than 110 years ago as leisure grounds for employees of Hershey's Chocolate Factory.

Embodying the passion of its namesake, the park is dedicated to its global reputation as a safe, fun family destination offering something entertaining for everyone, regardless of age. Hersheypark welcomes millions of guests annually and was recently honoured by the 2020 USA TODAY 10Best Readers’ Choice awards.

Evolv Express™

Using AI software and powerful sensors, Evolv Express™ can screen up to 3,600 people per hour

Evolv is involved in the digital transformation of physical security, one that is touchless and addresses the ‘new normal’ threat of pandemic viruses as well as concealed weapons. Using AI software and powerful sensors, Evolv Express™ can screen up to 3,600 people per hour - 10 times faster than legacy approaches such as metal detectors, hand wands and manual inspections.

The system enables Hersheypark to facilitate social distancing at its security checkpoints while minimising person-to-person interaction-requiring no stopping, no emptying of pockets or removing bags.

Park guests simply walk through naturally, alleviating potential long lines at their entrances while greatly reducing contact between guests, employees and security staff. By using Evolv Express, organisations have been able to optimise the performance of their security teams while reducing screening expenses by as much as 70%.

Renovated main entrance

Following state mandates related to the pandemic and an abundance of caution, Hersheypark’s opening was delayed until July 3, which marked the debut of the park’s completely renovated main entrance designed to provide a stress-free, welcoming experience for guests.

A component of a 23-acre “Hershey’s Chocolatetown” development and park expansion, the Evolv Express systems are located at Hersheypark’s new main entrance.

Health and safety

The health and safety of our guests, team members and our community are core to our brand"

Hersheypark prides itself on providing family fun in a clean, green and safe environment where our guests can relax and enjoy the day together,” said Garrett Gallia, vice president of communications and corporate relations at Hershey Entertainment and Resorts. “The health and safety of our guests, team members and our community are core to our brand and our most important commitment to all those who choose to honour us with a visit or work as a member of our team. Using Evolv’s touchless security screening platform is a perfect example of Hersheypark’s forward-thinking application of digital technology. Evolv Express is designed to grow with us to meet the current and future safety needs of our guests and employees, which we view as a significant benefit over traditional solutions.”

Response to Evolv Express at Hersheypark has been uniformly positive. Guests welcome how rapid and unobtrusive the process is while making them feel even safer.

Optimising staff resources

The park’s security professionals emphasise how easy it is to learn and use the system The park’s security professionals emphasise how easy it is to learn and use the system while optimising their staff resources. With metal detectors, it typically takes the park four to five seconds per person for the screening, regularly followed by hand searching of bags or other personal items.

With Evolv Express, most guests now stroll through at their normal pace not even realising the screening process is occurring and then begin their day of fun and relaxation.

The park’s security team estimates a four-to-five times improvement in the number of guests screened per hour using the system when compared to metal detectors or other dated approaches. The frictionless experience that precludes unnecessary physical contact registers high on the list for everyone.

Security screening process

Our guests and security staff have been pleasantly surprised at the speed of the touchless screening experience"

We knew our former security screening process would provide challenges in the pandemic environment,” said Jason White, managing director of corporate safety and security at Hershey Entertainment and Resorts. “We’d already been evaluating how we could improve on our guest screening process and had piloted Evolv Express last fall because the system could accommodate thousands of people an hour in a frictionless, no-stop flow. As we began formulating the security screening aspect of our pandemic reopening strategy, it was clear that Evolv Express was the best solution that could meet our requirements. Our guests and security staff have been pleasantly surprised at the speed of the touchless screening experience that largely eliminates manual bag checks. The responsive customer support and working relationship we have with the Evolv team is just as phenomenal as their product.”

Touchless security screening

Deployed worldwide, Evolv’s touchless security screening systems have been used to screen more than 50 million individuals in an expedient, respectful manner.

In addition to Hersheypark, customers include Six Flags Entertainment Corporation, L.L. Bean, Wynn Las Vegas, Georgia Aquarium, Set Jet, Oakland International Airport, two South Carolina school districts, the Biltmore Estate and hundreds of others.

Navigating the path to reopening requires an employee-and-customer-first commitment to safety, combined with the vision to embrace new policies, procedures and technologies,” said Evolv Technology Chief Executive Officer Peter George. “Hersheypark embodies that approach and it has been wonderful to see their security leaders like Jason White helping peers at other venues understand what’s required in this new normal. We’re thrilled to be working with such a visionary team.”

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