Paul Noland Named CEO of accesso

By | February 16, 2018

ORLANDO, Fla. — accesso Technology Group plc (AIM: ACSO), the premier technology solutions provider to leisure, entertainment, hospitality, attractions and cultural markets, today announced that Paul Noland, current president and CEO of the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA), will succeed Steve Brown asaccesso chief executive officer, effective April 9, 2018. Brown will step down from the accesso board of directors at that time and will continue to serve as an advisor to both Noland and the accesso board throughout 2018 to ensure a seamless transition.

Noland has built an impressive resume as a leader in the international attractions and entertainment industries. He served for 16 years in senior executive roles with Walt Disney Parks and Resorts where he championed major growth initiatives across the company’s domestic theme parks and resorts and oversaw the financial planning, revenue management and pricing functions at Walt Disney World Resort. Prior to Disney, he spent more than a dozen years in leadership roles with Marriott International where he focused on optimizing revenue across the company’s then 900 hotels. Noland will step down from his existing role at IAAPA to focus on his new role at accesso.

Since 2013, Noland has served as IAAPA president, helping the organization continue its growth as the largest international trade association for amusement facilities and attractions worldwide. IAAPA represents more than 5,400 facility, supplier and individual members from more than 90 countries.

“We thank Steve for the outstanding contribution he has made to Accesso’s prosperity during his tenure,” said Tom Burnet, chairman of accesso. “His leadership, vision and drive have been fundamental to the creation of today’s global and integrated Accesso and I have enjoyed working with him enormously. His decision to stay on as an advisor to Paul and the Board will ensure a smooth transition and we wish him all the best in his next endeavors.

“We believe that Paul’s unmatched track record, industry knowledge, relationships and passion for excellence make him exactly the right person to lead the next phase of our growth,” Burnet added. “I look forward to working closely with him as we continue to execute on our ambitious plans.”

“I’m thrilled to be joining Accesso at such an exciting time in its development,” said Noland. “The Accesso team has built a fantastic business and I look forward to bringing my experience to bear in driving it forward. My background across the industry gives me a full sense of the opportunity Accesso has before it, and with the combination of outstanding technology and fantastic people already in place, I’m full of excitement about the future.”

“I am excited to see the company that I have helped to build continue forward under the leadership of a person I have known, trusted and worked with for more than 20 years,” said Brown. “I can think of no one better suited to lead Accesso to a position of international prominence than Paul Noland.”

Noland joins accesso on the heels of its acquisitions of Ingresso and The Experience EngineTM (TE2) in 2017, and will lead a global technology solutions company with more than 500 employees, supporting clients in more than 30 countries and more than 1,000 venues.

Noland earned a Master of Business Administration from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, and a Bachelor of Science in Journalism and Speech Communication from Radford University in Radford, Virginia. He will be based in accesso’s office in Lake Mary, Fla.

Paul Noland resigns from IAAPA

By | February 15, 2018

ORLANDO, Fla. — Paul Noland, IAAPA’s president and CEO, has resigned to accept an executive role elsewhere in the attractions industry.

Since joining the IAAPA staff in 2013, Paul has led the association through some of the most successful years in the organization’s 100-year history. He has managed an extensive expansion of IAAPA member services, the continued globalization of the association, and the complicated relocation of our headquarters from the Washington, D.C. area to Orlando. For this, IAAPA owes him a very warm thank you.

IAAPA will begin a global search for a new president and CEO immediately. The search will be led by the IAAPA Compensation Committee. Information regarding the position will be posted at and on the IAAPA Job Board, in the near future.

IAAPA is pleased to announce IAAPA Chief Financial Officer Hal McEvoy will serve as interim president and CEO. Hal’s experience in the industry is extensive and includes a 33-year career with Busch Entertainment Corporation/SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment. His background is in corporate finance, accounting, financial control, audit, and operations. IAAPA is confident he will do an outstanding job leading the association through this important executive transition.

Please join IAAPA in thanking Paul for his service to our industry, and in supporting Hal as IAAPA’s interim president and CEO.

First speakers announced for Virtual Reality Educational Summit at Amusement Expo International

By | February 15, 2018

LAS VEGAS, Nev. — Bob Cooney, one of the leading authorities on emerging technology and the amusement industry, is pleased to announce the first speakers confirmed for the inaugural Virtual Reality Educational Summit at the upcoming Amusement Expo International to be held on Tuesday, February 27, 2018 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Bob Cooney noted, “As the virtual reality community shifts its attention to location-based entertainment as the primary opportunity for both revenue generation and consumer engagement, Amusement Expo International is the perfect place to bring together these thought leaders to discuss how we can increase the exposure of this game-changing technology. I am honored to announce this initial lineup of VR luminaries.”

We are pleased to welcome the following interactive entertainment industry experts:

  • • Trevor Botkin, Head of Business, Luckyhammers
  • • Clifton Dawson, CEO, Greenlight Insights
  • • Michael C. Getlan, Director of Enthusiasm and Opportunity, Amusement Consultants Ltd.
  • • Jan Goetgeluk, CEO, Virtuix
  • • Shauna Heller, President, North America, AiSolve
  • • Gregg Katano, Senior Facilities Advisor; Upload, Inc.; Partner, VR Arcade
  • • Joanna Popper, Global Head of Virtual Reality, Location Based Entertainment, HP
  • • Paul Rock, Co-founder of Another Reality; President, Toronto chapter, The VRARA
  • • Baba Uppal, Vice President, Strategy & Business Development, Secret Location
  • • Kevin Williams, Founder & Director, KWP Limited
  • • Tarrnie Williams, CEO, Blueprint Reality
  • • Michael Zaidan, Head of IP and Deployment, Minority Media

Additional speakers are expected to join this group and speak on the following topics:

  • Virtual Reality – History, Trends and Forecasts of Consumer and LBE VR
  • Strategic Vision for Location-based VR
  • • Marketing and Positioning your VR Attraction for Maximum Reach and ROI
  • • Why and How VR Attractions Require a Different Operations Mindset
  • • How to Select the Right Content and Equipment for your Audience
  • Thinking Outside the Box: Non-gaming VR for VR Arcades
  • To register to attend visit:

Tampa’s premier Spring Festival returns with food & wine and music for every taste

By | February 8, 2018

TAMPA, Fla. — Busch Gardens Tampa Bay‘s most delicious event returns this March with tastes for every palate at the fourth annual Food & Wine Festival. Guests can sample delectable cuisines paired with a selection of 65+ wines, 50+ craft brews and specialty cocktails, while enjoying some of the biggest names in entertainment. The Food & Wine Festival runs Saturdays and Sundays, March 3 through April 29 and is included with any Annual Pass, Fun Card or daily admission to the park.

The Festival features all-new twists on cuisine at 13 culinary cabins, along with favorites like mango shrimp ceviche and beef brisket on a spiced corn waffle. Experience bold new eats at the Savory Tavern with fried frog legs with bacon corn fritters, or indulge in flavorful treats at Artisan Eats with beloved dish duck fat truffle fries and then spice it up with tostones rellenos de pollo at Comfort Kitchen. Opt for lobster tart with leeks and Swiss cheese or mushroom vol-au-vent at the Light Fare Canteen, or relish in the robust flavors at Chef’s Plantation with salmon cake with lemon aioli, Korean-style ribs and all-new short rib and brie grilled cheese. Guests can elevate the Food and Wine Festival experience even more by sipping a carefully curated selection of fine bourbons and new tequila tastings.

Concert headliners include:

Saturday, March 3: Edwin McCain & Sister Hazel
Sunday, March 4: Grupo Niche
Saturday, March 10: The Fray Sunday, March 11:
Southern Uprising Tour: A Southern Rock Revival with Travis Tritt, The Charlie Daniels Band, The Marshall Tucker Band, The Outlaws
Saturday, March 17: Olga Tañón
Sunday, March 18: Goo Goo Dolls
Saturday, March 24: Better Than Ezra & Tonic
Sunday, March 25: Michael Bolton
Saturday, March 31: Boyz II Men
Sunday, April 1: Natalie Grant
Saturday, April 7: Hank Williams, Jr.
Sunday, April 8: TLC
Saturday, April 14: Bret Michaels
Sunday, April 15: Coming Soon!
Saturday, April 21: The All-American Rejects
Sunday, April 22: Cole Swindell
Saturday, April 28: Flo Rida
Sunday, April 29: Kaleo & Bleachers

Guests can choose from two exclusive VIP concert upgrades at the Festival which include priority seating and a 5-item sampler lanyard for even more access to great times and great tastes. Additionally, guests can purchase of 5, 10 and 12-item sampler lanyards to tailor the experience to any taste bud. Food and beverage is not included with park admission and is available for an additional fee. Guests must be 21 years of age or older to consumer alcoholic beverages.

Polin USA Welcomes Director of Sales and Marketing

By | February 8, 2018

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — Polin USA is proud to announce and welcome Amy Altman as the company’s Director of Sales and Marketing. In her new role, Amy will oversee strategic marketing initiatives, sales team development and design coordination.

“We are very pleased to have Amy on board at Polin USA,” said Vern Garrett, Managing Director of Polin USA. “Her experience in the water play industry is invaluable and will further enable us to provide the highest-level service to waterparks, resorts, and municipalities.”

Amy joins the Polin USA team from Aquatix by Landscape Structures, Inc (formerly Aquatic Recreation Company (ARC)) located in Eden Prairie, MN. Aquatix specializes in the design, fabrication, and installation of public use splash pads and spray parks. It was there that Amy served as National Sales Manager over the sales and marketing team. During her tenure at Aquatix (ARC) she served as national sales manager, where among other responsibilities, she directed marketing campaigns and sales channel development. An important management team member, she fostered a communicative company culture that promoted growth and process improvement.

Amy was a key member of the transition team during the sale of ARC to Landscape Structures, Inc. and under her leadership, Aquatix preserved its pre-acquisition revenue volumes and projected a 20% growth-rate in 2017. After the transition, Amy deployed a new, more technical product line to more than 25 organizations, providing them with tools and education to ensure a successful conversion at all levels of the company.

“Amy has been a long time aquatic professional and a true reliable partner for us. We look forward to continuing to work with Amy and the Polin product line.”-Zach Brazier Vice President Global Specialty Contractors Inc.. Minnesota, USA.

“I’d like to congratulate Amy on her new role with Polin USA. Having worked with both Amy and Polin Waterparks in the past I think this is a great pairing. With her previous aquatic experience I’m sure she will do well in her new role.” – David Bennison Managing Director at Leading Edge Leisure. New Zealand.

Dr. Baris Pakis, president of Polin Group, says the company’s Polin USA office will allow the company to better serve its customers and partners in USA.

Gibtown underway in Gibsonton, Fla.

By | February 7, 2018

GIBSONTON, Fla. — The 50th Anniversary Gibtown Showmensclub (IISA) Trade Show is underway in Gibsonton, FL, through Feb. 9. The annual event presents the largest array of amusement industry products and services from around the world.

This year, there are over 300 different exhibits, including 27 new exhibitors and 20 major rides (check out the new Y Factor from Wisdom).

See you ’round the grounds!


PTC launches new website

By | February 5, 2018

Hatfield, Pa. — In late January, Philadelphia Toboggan Coasters Inc. launched a new website that has been in the planning process the past half year. Tom Rebbie, President of PTC described the background leading up to the launch, “Jeanine [Rebbie-Matcherz] was diligently doing a lot of work for the kick off.” As with any new website launch, “There will be glitches here and there. They will get that straightened out.”

There is a lot more information at visitors’ fingertips with the new website including products, services and a current list of projects in the works. The site allows for greater flexibility with up-to-date content, “It’s something we can change on a daily basis through the office, instead of going to a Site Manager,” said Rebbie. The site was designed by Duckpin Design, Towson, Maryland.

Five people can lay claim to being in charge of the operation starting with founder and first president, Henry Auchy in 1904. Auchy was succeeded by Herb Schmeck in 1922, followed by John Allen in 1954, Sam High III in 1971 to Tom Rebbie who took the helm in 1991. More in-depth information about each president along with a company history section can be found in the “About Us” section.

To visit the site:

– B. Derek Shaw     

A new experience for Wallace & Gromit as land’s end opens for half-term

By | February 5, 2018

Cornwall, U.K. — A new interactive family attraction is being unveiled in Cornwall this half-term, starring much-loved characters from Oscar-winning animation studio Aardman.

The ‘Aardman Presents: A Grand Experience’, attraction is based at Land’s End and replaces the landmark destination’s successful Shaun the Sheep Experience.

Iconic Aardman characters Wallace & Gromit and Morph join Shaun’s farmyard friends within the attraction, which offers an entertaining experience for all ages, themed around some of the studio’s biggest TV and film successes.

Improving and expanding upon the Shaun the Sheep Experience, the new site gives visitors the chance to step into Wallace & Gromit’s living room, explore Wallace’s workshop and help build one of his Cracking Contraptions, before climbing on board a rocket to the moon.

Aardman Presents: A Grand Experience is part of a £200,000 investment in Land’s End this winter which will also see a new 4D film arrive at the venue’s 100-seat cinema, titled ‘Return To The Lost World’.

David Bryans, general manager at Land’s End, said:

“After a winter of redevelopment at Land’s End, I’m thrilled to be able to announce the opening of a new and expanded Aardman attraction in time for the half-term holidays.

“It’s great to be able to bring world-famous characters like Wallace & Gromit to Land’s End, along with old-favourites like Morph who will be as familiar to mums and dads as he is to younger children.

“Visitors will be able to enjoy a series of interactive games and experiences while exploring the venue, including drawing boards where guests can design their own inventions and video walls where they can take a selfie and then watch as their faces are ‘Morphed’.

“We’re also bringing a new movie to our 4D cinema for 2018 with ‘Return To The Lost World’, a sequel to our popular feature ‘The Lost World’ promising bigger and more exciting adventures on an island filled with dinosaurs.”

Aardman Presents: A Grand Experience opens at Land’s End Landmark Attraction on Saturday, February 10 and will remain open throughout half-term week until Sunday, February 18.

CAVU Designwerks to Provide a “Turn Key” Flying Theatre Attraction to a New Resort in China

By | February 2, 2018

VICTORIA, B.C. — CAVU Designwerks Inc. (CAVU), an attractions provider that specializes in delivering media-based attractions to the theme park industry, is currently working with the Macrolink Group to provide a “turn key” Flying Theatre attraction, “Beautiful Hunan”, in their historical destination resort, The Tongguan Kiln International Cultural and Tourism Center, located in Changsha, China scheduled to open in June 2018.

In recent years, global travel to China has skyrocketed. There has been a significant push amongst Chinese officials to draw more attention to China’s centuries-old historical sites and unique culture. To accomplish this, many Chinese companies are engaging western attraction providers to develop cultural experiences to transform Chinese tradition into exciting themed experiences.

By marrying tradition with technology, Macrolink gives wings to a unique and exhilarating flying experience exploring the natural beauty and historically important cultural locations of Hunan province. From the ancient famous kilns of Tongguan, guests will explore breathtaking views of Hunan in a thrilling adventure soaring over the world famous Wulingyuan (Avatar) mountains, Mt Heng, historic Yueyang Tower, Mao Zedong’s house, modern Changsha City, and the exciting new development at Macrolink’s Modern Tongguan Center.

CAVU, operating as an Integrator, positioned itself as an extension of the client’s team, and shared Macrolink’s efforts to explore the best solutions that balance costs and quality. As a global Integrator, CAVU chose the best experts for every facet, including media, AV equipment, programming and attraction design. The role of an integrator is crucial to the success of a Flying Theatre attraction because the attraction consist of many elements that must work in harmony to create a great guest experience. Poor programming, just like bad media or clunky equipment can ruin the experience.

CAVU has the distinction of being one of very few Integrators in the themed entertainment industry. This unique positioning relies heavily on strong, longstanding relationships and a solid track record of delivering exceptional guests experiences on time and on budget.

IAAPA Opens Regional Office in Shanghai, China

By | January 29, 2018

ORLANDO, Fla. — The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) today announced the opening of a new regional office in Shanghai, China, expanding and enhancing the association’s programs and services in the Asia-Pacific region. The opening of the new Shanghai office is IAAPA’s first Mainland China Representative Office, and its second office in the Asia-Pacific region.

“China has been experiencing tremendous growth in the attractions industry and we are excited to open a regional office in Shanghai. This will allow us to further support our local participants and connect them with our global participants,” said Paul Noland, IAAPA president and CEO. “Our goal is to continue to provide exceptional levels of service in China, while remaining committed to the success of the region’s thriving attractions industry. We would like to extend our thanks and gratitude to the Shanghai Municipal People’s Government, Shanghai Municipal Tourism Administration, Shanghai Public Security Bureau, and Shanghai Shendi (Group) Co. Ltd. for their support in helping us successfully establish this office.”

Located in the Puxi, the historic center of Shanghai, the office will support the attractions industry in the Asia-Pacific region through education and professional development, information dissemination, research, education, advocacy, and networking events.

The Shanghai office becomes IAAPA’s fifth regional office to service the attractions industry around the world, joining the existing operations for Asia-Pacific (in Hong Kong, China), for Europe (in Brussels, Belgium), Latin America (in Mexico City, Mexico), and North America (in Orlando, Florida, US).

Annually, IAAPA hosts Asian Attractions Expo — the premier event in the Asia-Pacific region where industry professionals gather to exchange ideas and experience innovation. Asian Attractions Expo 2018 will be held in Hong Kong, China at the Hong Kong Exhibition and Convention Centre, 5-8 June.