Christopher Roger Carwardine (October 2, 1937 - April 16, 2020) was an American entrepreneur and the founder and long-time CEO of Carwardine Parks, and also was chief experience officer (CXO) of Brazilian conglomerate Grupo Wágner from 2009-2015, as well as the founder & CEO of two separate companies, eMagic LLC and American Telephone Entertainment Services Inc.
He graduated from Virginia Tech in 1964 at age 26, he met his wife, Hiroko Carwardine (Formerly Hiroko Hashimoto) in technology class. They married shortly after their graduations and moved to Philadelphia in 1965, before moving to Richmond, Virginia in 1971 to establish a central office for his real-estate business.
Christopher was a major real-estate agent in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Virginia, best known with his advertising slogan "Chris Carwardine will sell it!", and also known for entertaining visitors to open houses with his comedic stylings.
In 1978, he bought a disused landfill in Newport News, Virginia and cleared the site to begin the construction of Carwardine Colony, which took 2 years to build on that very site. It opened in 1980, and was described by Coasters as "America's Best New Theme Park of 1980".
In 1992, he founded Dept. 2 productions.
In 2009, he became the CXO of Grupo Wagner.
Christopher died peacefully on April 16, 2020 at his home in Franklin, Virginia. He was given a state funeral in Richmond at the Virginia State Capitol, which was held behind closed doors due to the then-ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. He is buried at Greenlawn Memorial Park in Newport News.
- In 1986, He lost his glasses at Carwardine Colony, they were found in 2011.
- The glasses were sold on eBay for $37,000 by one of the employees of Carwaridne Colony that was a part of Carwardine Capsule excavation.
- A memorial plaque is planned to erected at Carawardine Colony on the site of the Carwardine Capsule.
- Christopher is regarded as a great benefactor in the state of Virginia, including paving over notoriously pothole-ridden roads, building schools & hospitals in rural areas, and making donations to hundreds of charities and Virginia PBS member stations. He also made charitable donations in Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
- He was often called "Mr. Carwardine" or "Lord Carwardine" by his employees.
- He was an owner of a few Chuck E. Cheese's animatronics that he had in a private collection. The animatronics were relocated to be retrofitted for Jeepers stores.
- He was a Chuck E. Cheese's franchiser, currently, his franchises are owned by Alex Carwardine.
- The Crazy Chris' Wild Ride roller coaster at Carwardine Corners was named after him.
- He was a lifelong Lutheran Christian and was part of the Virginia Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). He organized community events at Virginia Synod congregations throughout the Richmond, Virginia area and the Hampton Roads region for much of his life.