Skycoaster hosts annual safety seminar

By | October 16, 2019

Sandusky, OhioRide Entertainment was thrilled at the fantastic turnout for its annual Skycoaster seminar where site controllers receive on-site training from industry experts. This year’s seminar was held at Cedar Point from September 26th-28th.

“The entire weekend went extremely well,” said Lance Beatty, Managing Director of Skycoaster. “The weather was beautiful, and we had participants from Europe, Mexico and Canada. The strong turnout demonstrates the continued demand for this event, which allows site controllers to receive hands-on training.”

The event launched on Thursday night with a special beachfront screening of Jaws. Friday was full of events throughout the day, including instruction by Skycoaster’s partners:

  • Mile High Rigging: Cable Inspection
  • KCL Engineering: Lighting Systems
  • Joytech: Specialized Videos Systems
  • High Energy Sports: Flight Suit Inspection

“The Skycoaster is a ride unlike any other and that is why we make our seminar unique,” said Mark Rosenzweig, Ride Entertainment’s Managing Director of Business Development. “We appreciate our partners taking time out to share in- depth information with site controllers.”

After classes ended on Friday, the park hosted a wonderful dinner, welcoming participants to tour Cedar Point. Seminar guests had the exciting opportunity to not only experience the thrills of their world-class ride collection but explore their awesome Halloween haunts. On Saturday, site controllers completed their traditional testing, and participants flew the new Sky Sled harness.

“We’ve seen interest continue as we moved the seminar out of classrooms and back to amusement parks so site controllers can learn in a hands-on environment. Throughout the past decade, Ride Entertainment has invested in Skycoaster,” said Adam Sandy, President of Business Development at Ride Entertainment. “The debut of the Sky Sled capped off several years of research

and with new products, like lighting and video systems, we work to ensure that Skycoaster increases the bottom line of each owner.

We appreciate the generosity of our hosts at Cedar Point. Karrah Folk, Debra Reinauer and Jason McClure all went out of their way in opening up the park to allow for the seminar. It was fantastic to have so many first-time visitors at Cedar Point amongst our presenters and attendees being able to take in the property’s world renowned collection of attractions. We look forward to seeing everyone at Six Flags over Texas next year.”

Illinois’ largest waterpark – Raging Waves – announces new attraction opening summer 2020

By | October 15, 2019

YORKVILLE, Ill. — With sights already set on summer family fun, Illinois’ largest waterpark dedicated to family fun for all ages, Raging Waves, 4000 N. Bridge St. in Yorkville, is excited to announce plans to unveil a new attraction in Summer 2020. With the new, six-lane mat racing waterslide, aptly named Aussie Mat DashRaging Waves continues to grow with an attraction that will allow six riders to race side-by-side in tunnels to the bottom. With only two other such slides installed in the world, the Aussie Mat Dashwill be installed at the south end of the park, near The BoomerangCyclone and other Raging Waves favorites.

Raging Waves’ Aussie Mat Dash is a Proslide RallyRACER attraction that is changing the racing game at waterparks across the world with RallyPOINTS technology. With engineered RallyPOINTS, each rider seamlessly speeds through a fast spiral beside their fellow racers and may now track their progress as they go in and out of open and closed-slide areas along the way. Appropriate for riders 42-inches tall or above, the Aussie Mat Dash will feature almost 2,500 feet of combined slides, with each slide being 400 feet in length.

“We are thrilled to add an exciting new waterslide to our waterpark,” said Randy Witt, Co-Owner of Raging Waves. “As a family-owned and run business, our entire Raging Wavesteam is proud to continually provide the opportunity for friends and families to make memories each summer. Bringing our total waterslide count to 32 the Aussie Mat Dash is the perfect ride for guests to embrace their competitive side and race together all summer long!”

Sitting on 58 spacious acres just 45 minutes southwest of Chicago, Raging Waves is the perfect place for a day trip, weekend getaway, birthday parties, youth group outing, scout gatherings, family reunions, and more. Raging Waves features several family-friendly attractions, including 32 water slides, a huge wave pool, three kiddie pool areas, relaxing lazy river, 37 private cabanas and more.

General admission for Raging Waves is as follows: Adults and Children over 48 Inches, $34.99 and Children under 48 Inches, $19.99. Packages are available online for purchase including the Family Fun Ultimate Value Package, Standard Season Pass, VIP Season Pass and Resident Season Pass.

US Assets, Inc. announces purchase of TexPlex Park and Blaine Stone Lodge

By | October 15, 2019

DALLAS — US Assets, Inc. has announced its acquisition of TexPlex Park and Blaine Stone Lodge (“the company”) on Oct. 11, 2019. The agreement enables the company to accelerate its strategic growth plan to become the top name in powersports riding and retail, including an immediate expansion into the sale of powersports ATVs, UTVs, dirt bikes, parts, accessories, and service.

Founded in 2017, TexPlex Park and Blaine Stone Lodge host premier powersports events, help train power sports dealers, and execute manufacturer product launches, while also providing recreational riding areas to the general public. In the coming weeks, the company will expand to include powersports sales for vehicles, parts, accessories, and service, making their business model unparalleled in the world of powersports.

“TexPlex Park is uniquely positioned to create a premium experiential retail platform for the powersports and automotive industries,” said CEO of US Assets, Inc., Jeffrey Love. “By providing the opportunity to integrate the riding infrastructure with a retail presence, it gives our customers an experience that is unmatched within the world of powersports. There is no one in the industry today doing it this way. As we open new locations near metropolitan cities across the country, we are setting the bar so high, no competitor will be able to reach it.”

“Our team is excited to bring on an investor with the expertise to develop a world-class facility that enhances the way people shop, ride, and experience off-road products,” said Tommy Kehoe, President, TexPlex Park and Blaine Stone Lodge. “We’re thrilled for our customers, our sponsors, our clients, and the powersports industry as a whole to be a part of this monumental achievement.”

Kraftwerk Living Technologies presents its new servo electric SFX eMotion Seats

By | October 9, 2019

Kraftwerk Living Technologies’ SFX Motion Seats have been successfully implemented in the largest 4D theaters in the world, rounding off its expertise in creating immersive 4D Theater solutions. With clients also asking for a solution for smaller venues or even individual seat set-ups for VR applications, the audiovisual system integration experts have now introduced an electric drive version of their seats, in addition to the pneumatically driven version.

Both SFX Motion Seats offer similar features for exciting experiences, with a comfortable size and design, high-quality materials and construction, several integrated high-class special effects, smooth and accurate motion as well as flexible and easy control. They come as 3 or 4 seat modules and can be customized to meet the individual requirements of the clients – including a curved or elevated version. Whilst the pneumatic drive is the optimum solution for larger theaters, the electric drive is the ideal solution for smaller venues without limitations in movement or SFX. The new drive requires a smaller infrastructure, smaller air compressors just for effects and offers even more possibilities with regards to custom programming and use.

With the introduction of the electric drive, Kraftwerk Living Technologies is opening up new market segments – not just in theme parks but also in museums, science centers, FECs, brand centers and planetariums. 

Future records anticipated for Guinness World Record miniature steam train

By | October 8, 2019

The team that was awarded the Guinness World Record in 2017 for the longest distance covered by a miniature steam train is setting its sights on improving its record.

Keyser Locomotive Works, together with the Pietermaritzburg Model Engineering Society, in South Africa, was able to cover 330km in 24 hours in its record-breaking attempt, which outstripped the previous 1994 record of 269km covered in 24 hours.

It did so for a number of reasons, one of which was the self-lubricating Vesconite polymer bushings that were fitted to the connecting and coupling rods.

These internal, hard-to-reach turning components did not need to be oiled, and this helped reduce stopping times during the record attempt.

“You can’t oil these bushings on the run,” says the locomotive owner Andries Keyser.

This was not the case with many of the original bronze bushings that had to be oiled every hour when the locomotives stopped and the drivers were changed.

Six of the main crank bushings are currently made from Vesconite polymer bushings on the record-breaking locomotive named Doreen, but the intention is to replace all the bushings with Vesconite eventually so as to reduce oiling requirements in future record-breaking bids.

“The Vesconite has no heat expansion and, using a sloppy fit, didn’t heat up at all,” Keyser notes.

“The engine output was not compromised in any way and still runs today on the same bushes, two years and many kilometers later,” he says.

Another innovation that will assist Keyser to further improve the record is the fact that he is building the longest straightest track that he can in the Stellenbosch Winelands, in South Africa. This will enable the locomotive to run at higher speeds on a track gauge of only 184mm.

Known as the Winelands Light Railway, Keyser is establishing a theme park with 1/3-scale trains, matching buildings, bridges and tunnels, and a hobbies expo for locomotive enthusiasts once a year. Presently there are four steam and one electric locomotive in the engine shed, with 13 wagons able to haul up to 50 people per train. Everything is hand made and based on narrow-gauge prototypes from all over the world.

Starting on the 14th of December 2019, the park will be open on weekends, public and school holidays if the weather allows. This unique attraction aims to become the biggest family-friendly destination in the Western Cape within the next 10 years. 

Keyser will make another world-record attempt sometime in the near future, and expects that between 30 and 60km will be added to the current distance record.

Europa-Park founder Roland Mack turns 70

By | October 8, 2019

The founder and owner of Europa-Park in Rust, Roland Mack, celebrates his 70th birthday on 12th October 2019. Roland Mack is considered one of the most exceptional and successful family entrepreneurs in Germany, who has made millions of children and families happy with ‘his’ Europa-Park. More than 120 million people have visited Germany´s largest theme park since its opening in July 1975, with the Mack family having invested more than 900 million Euros without a penny of public subsidy. Roland Mack is the brainchild, engine and maker of Europa-Park. Those who ask about his personal qualities hear: curious, warm, open, direct, disciplined, social, dutiful, always present, quality-oriented, and those are by no means all the qualities that make up Roland Mack’s success.

Bundestag President Dr. Wolfgang Schäuble about Roland Mack on the occasion of his 70th birthday: “Roland Mack is much more than the master of the rollercoasters. ‘Some talk about metal, we bend it‘, that´s a common self-description of entrepreneurs from Baden-Württemberg. It wouldn´t be a big surprise if this slogan was created by Roland Mack. What he tackles takes shape and often serves as a ‘casting mould’ for imitators. Mack has long become a brand name in the international theme park business and is now honoured with an honorary doctorate from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. Unfortunately, the actual Europe is often more complicated than the playful version at Europa-Park, and Roland Mack knows that too. The Upper Rhine was simultaneously a combat area, stage and home front. Far away from Berlin and Paris − but always right in the thick of things. Today the borders are connecting lifelines. The Upper Rhine shows that the convergence of border regions works. That is not a matter of course. Achieving the vision of a united Europe required the boldness and courage of a Roland Mack.”

Roland Mack studied mechanical engineering at the University of Karlsruhe and, at a very young age, founded Europa-Park with his father Franz at the age of 24. Today, the theme park in the border triangle between Switzerland and France, with over 5.6 million visitors every year, stands at the top among the seasonal amusement parks in the world. Europa-Park has been awarded several times with the title of ‘World´s Best Theme Park’ by a renowned expert jury. The Mack family is unique in the world in its combination as a manufacturer of rides and operator of a theme park. Mack attractions are in use on all continents and in all major amusement parks.

Significantly, Roland Mack, as shareholder and former managing director, pushed ahead with the development of the Mack Rides production facility in Waldkirch and managed a turnaround in a difficult phase of the company. The company has developed from a pure craft business into a high-tech company ‘Engineering 4.0’ with state-of-the-art robot production. Mack Rides is now one of the world´s leading manufacturers of rollercoasters, water coasters and other rail-operated attractions. More than 95 percent of the rides from Waldkirch go abroad. It was the other way around 30 years ago, with more than 90 percent being delivered in Germany. In the meantime, Mack Rides ceased to produce mobile rides for fairs and focuses only on permanently installed systems.

Roland Mack has been awarded with many prizes. Some examples include the German Federal Cross of Merit 1st Class, inclusion in the ‘Hall of Fame’ of the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) together with Walt Disney and Franz Mack, honorary citizens of Rust and Sélestat, restaurateur of the year, hotelier of the year, bearer of the Brillat Savarin plaque (highest award in the German hospitality industry), ‘Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur’ (Knight of the Legion of Honour); this award is considered one of the highest honours the French state has to award. Roland Mack was honoured with the German Founders´ Award and appointed officer with the ‘Ordre des Palmes Académiques’. Roland Mack became the first German to be appointed President of the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions IAAPA. He is also honorary senator of the Freiburg Albert-Ludwigs-Universität, special ambassador for families by the Council of Europe and is titled Chevalier of the National Order of Merit.

With 4,150 employees, including 150 apprentices, and over 10,000 indirectly employed people, Europa-Park is one of the leading job drivers in Baden-Württemberg. How can such a large-scale enterprise still be steered with the structures of a family?

Roland Mack says “By organising a clear structure, also independent of family members. We have managers who report to the family. Otherwise, this is no longer possible given the size. The financial responsibility has to stay with the family. We are not listed on the stock exchange, but a family business run as a family foundation. We founded this foundation in May 2019. The goal of the Mack entrepreneurial family is to secure the almost 240-year-old traditional company in the long term and to lead it into the next generations. The eighth generation has taken over management. The ninth generation has already been born. The family foundation is based on the core values of the family charter, which has been developed in a long-term process with all family members. There are no changes for Europa-Park, its employees and visitors. The most important concern is to secure and develop our family business Mack in the long term for the next generations.”

Roland Mack has been married to Marianne Mack for more than 45 years. From the very first day she has supported the development of Europa-Park with full force. Roland Mack: “It would not have worked without my wife. That is absolutely certain.” Roland and Marianne Mack have three children: The sons Michael (40, certified in business administration) and Thomas (38, certified hotelier) are now responsible, together with Roland´s brother Jürgen Mack (61), for the business operations. Roland Mack´s daughter Ann-Kathrin (29) is an architect and has made her first significant contribution to the new hotel ‘Krønasår’ and the new water world Rulantica, which opens on 28th November. Roland Mack, speaking on his children: “I am incredibly proud of what has become of our children Michael, Thomas and Ann-Kathrin. They are independent, great personalities, have very good roles and are full of emotion and warmth. These are the best qualities to successfully continue our company. I am very happy about that, even if I do not say it that often.” On his brother, Roland Mack says: “My brother Jürgen and I form a very successful team. He lives the philosophy of our family business with body and soul and we complement each other perfectly. He is more the Minister of the Interior and I go more outward. This duo is an important building block in the success story Europa-Park.”

On the occasion of his 70th birthday, Roland Mack comments on the succession plan: “The success of a company is also determined by how the transition to the next generation works, as good numbers are simply not enough. I was fortunate enough to experience these nearly 50 years of work in good health. That is not a matter of course. I have decided almost everything in my life and I also want to decide for myself how the handover to the next generation goes.”

Scruffy Dog designs its first FEC in Saudi Arabia

By | October 7, 2019

LONDON — Scruffy Dog Group Global Creative Services have been appointed by High Point Hospitality to design their latest Family Entertainment Center, located in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Colormotion is a 2,500 sqm facility, which will host a variety of activities for children to play in, each of them being represented by a pastel icon.

This two-story complex has been designed with a bright and open space. Each activity has its own colour, allowing guests to recognise the coloured path along the floors and walls, that lead to the respective activity rooms, which include dance, gymnastics, music, boxing/karate. Furthermore, the centre will feature a number of attractions such as a bespoken multi-activity structure with slides, an aerial obstacle tower, a climbing area, trampolines, and a toddler play area.

“Our client wanted the brand to reflect Family Entertainment as a balance of playing and learning,” said Scruffy Dog Creative Director Diego Cid. “We have worked closely with our client to achieve an inviting environment, where the rooms were versatile and dynamic, while each activity has a functional yet engaging set.”

Scruffy Dog have already completed the concept and technical design, as well as the original brand development of the FEC. Cid said, “Colormotion has been conceived with many factors in mind, giving individual importance to each activity, but considering the interaction of the centre as a whole, dividing the spaces without sacrificing the views, the light or the height, but most importantly, aiming to create a family destination were kids find energy, motivation, curiosity, inspiration and fun, a place that becomes part of their life experience and aspirations for years to come.”

Rueters Exclusive: Cedar Fair rebuffs $4 billion offer from Six Flags – sources

By | October 4, 2019

(Reuters) – U.S. amusement park operator Cedar Fair LP (FUN.N) has rejected a $4 billion cash-and-stock offer from larger peer Six Flags Entertainment Corp (SIX.N) as inadequate, people familiar with the matter said on Friday.

Cedar Fair’s decision is a blow to Six Flags, which is already the world’s largest regional theme park operator and has been looking to expand its footprint so it can increase its ticketing pricing power.

Six Flags had offered to acquire Cedar Fair for around $70 per share, to be paid for the most part by using Six Flags shares as currency, but also funded with a small cash component, the sources said. Cedar Fair shares were trading at around $58 right before Reuters broke news of Six Flags’ bid on Wednesday.

Cedar Fair responded that Six Flags’ bid was too low, not least because it did not compensate Cedar Fair shareholders for giving up on the company’s tax-advantageous publicly traded partnership. This allows the company to pay out the majority of its earnings to shareholders without first paying U.S. federal or state income taxes.

Six Flags Chief Executive James Reid-Anderson is preparing to retire by the end of February, and the company had offered Cedar Fair executives roles in the management of the combined company, though this was not enough to persuade them, the sources added.

Reactions from stock market investors, as well as amusement park fans concerned about the impact of the potential deal on how Cedar Fair parks will be run, have been negative, and there is no indication that Six Flags will counter with a new offer, the sources said.

The sources asked not to be identified because the matter is confidential. Cedar Fair and Six Flags did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Based in Grand Prairie, Texas, Six Flags has 26 parks across the United States, Mexico and Canada. Headquartered in Sandusky, Ohio, Cedar Fair owns and operates 11 amusement parks, four outdoor water parks and an indoor water park in several U.S. states and in Toronto, Ontario.

Dealmaking in the leisure and entertainment sector has been heating up. Earlier this week, private equity firm Blackstone Group Inc (BX.N) said it had agreed to acquire a 65% stake in U.S. resort operator Great Wolf Resorts Inc in a $2.9 billion deal. Great Wolf’s owner, Centerbridge Partners LP, will remain an investor in the company.

Sesame Street: Street Mission wins big

By | October 3, 2019

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Sally Dark Rides has been celebrating since the IAAPA European Expo after receiving two major industry awards for its successful interactive dark ride, Sesame Street: Street Mission. 

The interactive dark ride opened at PortAventura World earlier this year and was the first dark ride at the park, and the first Sesame Street-themed ride in Europe.  Street Mission was nominated in a variety of categories, and for a variety of industry and fan-based awards.  At the end of the week, it received the prestigious Park World Excellence Award for “Family Ride of the Year” and placed first in the Kirmes European Star Awards in “Europe’s Best New Ride” category.

The near 6 minute ride experience (10 minute preshow and 5:50 minute ride) includes realistic Sesame Street sets and scenery and numerous animatronics from the iconic television show.  Detective Grover is your guide through this interactive adventure, urging guests to collect clues that will help solve a mystery happening on Sesame Street.  With lovable characters, immersive scenery, interactive gameplay, and even changing scents throughout, this mixed media attraction appeals to guests of all ages.

“Theme parks are one of the most powerful ways for children and families to engage and connect with their favorite characters.  Our partner PortAventura World, one of the top regional theme park resorts in Europe, has done an amazing job along with Sally Dark Rides, in capturing the true essence of the Sesame Street brand and creating an immersive experience that brings our characters to life for park guests.” – Ed Wells, Senior Vice President and Head of International Media and Education, Sesame Workshop.

“Street Mission Dark ride  has been a huge success for our family destination resort. We are on track for another record year!!”  —  PortAventura World.

“We couldn’t be more thrilled to take home not one, but two awards for our latest dark ride installation – Sesame Street: Street Mission, which opened this year at PortAventura World.  This ride was so special to us.  Sally is rooted in storytelling and bringing characters to life, and everyone has always had the utmost respect and admiration for the Jim Henson and Sesame folks.  They have been reaching and teaching children since 1969 in the most entertaining way and have been one of the most popular, and longest running family shows in the world.  To win “Family Ride of The Year” could not be more rewarding, and to top if off placing first in Europe’s “Best New Rides” category means we have done our job well.”  — Lauren Wood Weaver, Sally Dark Rides

Carmen M. Cesari passes

By | September 30, 2019

Carmen M. Cesari, 80, of Elysburg PA passed away Wednesday, September 25, 2019 at Geisinger Medical Center, Danville PA.

Born March 1, 1939, in Ashland PA, the son of Russell and Josephine ( Feudale ) Cesari. Carmen ( more commonly known as Chuck ) graduated from Kulpmont High School in 1957. The next four years he served in the US Coast Guard, spending most of his time in New York City.

At a young age he worked with his father on the Coal Truck and also with his brother on a Garbage Route. In the early 60s his love of music led him to many years of playing in popular bands. The Imperials was his first band. D.Kool and the Kasuals, the next band, had Releases on Cameo Parkway Records. Many other popular bands came about such as Sound Commission, Kicks, and LCD.

He was also a booking agent for many of the popular bands in the area and booked the Monday night dances at Knoebels. He was a branch manager of Central Pennsylvania Savings Association for 20 years. Chuck’s previous time at Knoebels lead into operating Cesari’s Pizza and also managing the Alamo restaurant and surrounding stands until 2015. The last four years he was ordering the food for the Caterings at Knoebels.

Chuck’s passion was collecting classic and muscle cars, vintage motorcycles, and guitars. He also enjoyed having friends join him to watch movies, play music, and cruise in his cars.

He is survived by wife Donna( Lombard ) Cesari, daughter Angela Martini and son-in-law James Martini of Elysburg. Brothers Joseph Cesari and wife Sandy of Kulpmont, Russell Cesari and wife Joann of Annapolis Maryland, and sister Donna Rompallo and husband Larry of Kulpmont. He is also survived by many nieces and nephews and cousins.

He was preceded in death by his son Brian, father Russell Sam Cesari, and mother Josephine Cesari.

Funeral Services will be held 11:00 AM Monday, September 30, 2019 at Rothermel-Heizenroth Funeral & Cremation Services, Elysburg with Pastor Josh Notestine officiating. Interment in All Saints Cemetery, Elysburg. Viewing 5:00-8:00 PM Sunday, September 29 and 10:00-11:00 AM Monday, September 30 at Rothermel-Heizenroth Funeral & Cremation Services.
Rothermel-Heizenroth Funeral & Cremation Services, Elysburg is in charge of the arrangements.