Invitation to the 2021 AIMS International Virtual Safety Seminar

By | October 13, 2020

You are invited to register for the 2021 AIMS International Virtual Safety Seminar which starts on January 11, 2021.   

During this fully virtual event, you will have the opportunity to choose from over 100 safety education courses specifically designed for attraction industry professionals needing to earn CEUs to maintain their industry certifications and for those preparing to sit for a certification exam.    

For the first time ever, AIMS International will be offering Spanish-language courses in the areas of Maintenance and Inspection.  AIMS has also partnered with Ellis and Associates, the leading experts in aquatic risk management and safety, to provide content for the AIMS aquatics track.

For a limited time, AIMS is offering an early bird registration fee of $495 – a 25% discount!

Betson completes new Monster Mini Golf game room install in Yonkers, N.Y.

By | October 13, 2020

The Betson Installation Team recently finished a 26 game arcade room in a new Yonkers, NY location of Monster Mini Golf. The arcade features games like Halo: Fireteam Raven and Mario Kart DX with NERF Arcade, Taj Mahal Mini Rings that will keep kids busy and loading up on prize tickets. For the young at heart, they will offer classics such as Skee-Ball Glow, Air Hockey and NBA Gametime as well as prize cranes Fun Zone and Candy House.

“The Betson team, particularly Britannie Betti are exceptional to work with. My last project went through many changes and took almost two years. They worked with me through the numerous changes and when it came time to finalize everything, the finance department made working with Betson stress-free,” said Nick Mastrandrea – Owner of Monster Mini Golf Yonkers.

Monster Mini Golf delivers the most unique and quirky brand of Family Entertainment to guests of all ages including a miniature golf course, video game arcade and Monstrous prize center, Mini Bowling, Laser Tag, Laser Maze and more. 

Intercard sponsors AMOA webinar on technology best practices for route operators and FECs

By | October 13, 2020

ST. LOUIS — Amusement technology changes fast and arcade operators need to keep up with the latest and how best to use it to improve operations and the bottom line. On Wednesday, October 21, at 10 a.m. CT, the AMOA’s “Game Master Education Hour” will present a virtual roundtable entitled “Best Practices for Using Technology for Route Operators and FECs.” Cashless technology pioneer Intercard is the sponsor of this free webinar.

Arcade expert George McAuliffe will moderate an all-star panel including Howard McAuliffe of Pinnacle Entertainment Group, Steve Veach of Bowlero Corporation and arcade owner Todd DeMott. These arcade industry veterans will share how they unlock the power of cashless systems to create higher perceived value for players, drive sales and control costs in FECs and route operations.

“Cashless systems are, hands down, the greatest tool for arcade operators in my 41 years in the business,” says George McAuliffe. “With recent innovations it can have the same impact on route operators.”

George McAuliffe’s experience includes being CEO of one of the largest FEC chains and the owner of his own route that spanned two states and Puerto Rico. As the founding partner at Pinnacle Entertainment Group, he assists all types of operators in adding to and improving their businesses.
Howard McAuliffe grew up in the arcade industry and has worked as a route driver, collector, and merchandise manager. He installed his first cashless system in 2000 which then required hard-wiring each game. Now a principal of Pinnacle Entertainment Group, Howard is passionate about using technology to help amusement operators prosper.

Steve Veach has been in the bowling center business since he was 16 years old. His experience with games, technology and all things bowling makes him a leading professional in the industry. Steve is currently the Senior Director of Games Operations for Bowlero Corporation, which runs over 140 locations.  

Independent arcade owner Todd DeMott of New Jersey “grew up beating all the arcade games on the Shore,” He has turned his love of games into a career as a route operator, Intercard sales rep and owner of his own arcades. Todd has extensive expertise in merchandising, equipment service, arcade design, guest service and management.

To register, visit https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_fVqPqfhPQ-GH1CAo70pRkg.

2020 IAFE Trade Show cancellation

By | October 9, 2020

Unfortunately, COVID-19 is taking its toll on the IAFE Convention & Trade Show.  The economic devastation to our industry is just too much – people cannot travel to the live event – whether for lack of funds or travel restrictions in their state or country.  Earlier today, the IAFE Board of Directors authorized cancellation of the live event in San Antonio.

The GOOD news, though, is that you’ll still have the opportunity to participate virtually in our Virtual Vision “Marketplace,” participate in educational sessions, network with fair members, and also network with your peers, albeit in a virtual manner.  

Here you will find information on how to participate in our Virtual Vision Marketplace, as well as, take advantage of other marketing opportunities available with the IAFE.  IAFE will be personally calling all exhibitors in the coming days to see how you wish to proceed.

It won’t be the same as getting together, but we do guarantee that exhibitors will receive extraordinary value for their investment in the Virtual Vision Marketplace and virtual education/networking opportunities that IAFE will offer! 

Proposed standard will establish maintenance practice for amusement railway steam locomotives

By | October 9, 2020

W. CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa. — ASTM International’s amusement rides and devices committee (F24) is developing a standard to establish new inspection and maintenance requirements for steam propelled locomotives found at amusement parks.

According to Ron Lwin, a committee task group chair, the original manufacturers of historic steam locomotives are often no longer in existence and unable to give recommendations for maintenance, offering little guidance to steam operators. The proposed standard will provide minimum maintenance requirements based on widely accepted historical practices and currently used railroad industry benchmarks. 

“The steam locomotives typically found in amusement parks, museums, and at tourist railroads may not currently have an appropriate maintenance standard to reference,” says Lwin, senior quality engineer for Walt Disney World. “This standard will serve as the primary reference for maintenance requirements of steam locomotives.”

The new proposed standard (WK67138) will provide minimum requirements for suitable locomotive operation that fall outside the U.S. Federal Railroad Administration jurisdiction or other local authority having jurisdiction with existing steam train rules, while the expanded appendix will include more specific best practices. ASTM welcomes participation in the development of its standards.

Laurie Bujalka, wife show owner of Glory Amusements show owner, passes

By | October 8, 2020

Laurie Bujalka, age 75; Beloved wife of the late George Bujalka; Loving mother of Debby Bujalka, Deanna (Peter) Blazenko, Michael (Kim) Bujalka; Dearest grandmother of Nathan Blazenko, Will Blazenko, Michael Bujalka, Ryan Bujalka, Kylie Bujalka, and , Isaiah Pietrowski,; Dear sister of Janice (the late Ervin) Christensen and the late Joan (George, Sr.) Niespodzianski; Loving aunt of Karen (David) Gronowski, Kathy (Rob) Taylor, Sue (Paul) Adam, Jennifer (Tom) Mullen, Michelle (David) Campbell, George (Regina) Niespodzianski, Jr., Joseph (Sabrina) Niespodzianski, Dan (Andrea) Niespodzianski and Jake Niespodzianski; Dearest daughter of the late Elsie Whittle and the late Joseph Whittle; Dear daughter-in-law of the late Florence Bujalka and the late Sylvester Bujalka. 

Laurie grew up on the north side of Chicago with her parents and two sisters.  The family had been involved with the carnival business since her father started working with it at 15 years of age.  As a result, Laurie grew up working in the business.  She met the love of her life, George, at the Axel Roller Rink in Norridge.  They married 3/18/1967. In order for George to spend time with Laurie he started working for her father and ended up starting his own business primarily with carnival games booking into to other shows but also for a some time owning a whole show.  Laurie continued to work for the carnival into her 70’s only breaking when their three children were young; so much friendship and love was formed over the years.  Though she always told her kids that the job she always wanted was to be a mom.  

She and George loving raised three children and she was indeed the best mother possible.  Along life’s journey the family settled in Norridge, Illinois creating a community of love and friendship with members of Acacia Park Lutheran Church.  Later, she and George purchased a home in Falling Waters, Naples, Florida where a new community of friends developed.  Laurie was kind to all who she encountered and was the type of person others including strangers gravitate too.  All of her favorite memories included the friends and family she celebrated life with.  She enjoyed going to movies and socializing at restaurants.  Laurie loved playing volleyball and walking. She looked forward to any family gathering and cherished the annual Whittle “Christmas Eve” party.  She is known for her wonderful cooking and getting into the good kind of trouble with friends.  She will be forever missed but her love will continue to live through the family and friends she created beautiful memories with. 

Eicher Leisure Consultants announces partnerships

By | October 8, 2020

LONDON — London based Eicher Leisure Consultants Ltd (ELC) has been connecting leisure companies with theme parks and attractions around the globe creating world class guest experiences. ELC was founded by Deborah Eicher who has over twenty years’ experience working with clients and projects in the USA, Europe, Middle East & Asia.

Eicher is excited to launch the ELC brand and to announce partnerships with Ride Engineers of Switzerland and Extreme Engineering. ELC also consults with clients on the project developments including feasibility, design and concepts, space utilisation, operations, and guest experience.

‘I have a balance of partners that allows me to recommend the right experiences for the right project whether you are building a water park, theme park, attraction or FEC,’ says Eicher.

Ride Engineers of Switzerland (RES) recently launched their new water ride ‘Mystic River Falls’ a canyon rapid ride at Silver Dollar City, a Herschend Entertainment theme park based in Branson, Missouri in the USA.

Extreme Engineering is the USA-based engineering design and fabrication firm and inventor of the Cloud Coaster that was awarded the ‘Best Major Attraction’ and back-to-back IAAPA Brass Rings Awards. The Cloud coaster is a suspended coaster that gives you the sensation of flying and rocketing down a roller coaster with smooth turns, uphill racing and launching.

Cedar Fair completes issuance of $300 million senior unsecured notes

By | October 8, 2020

SANDUSKY, Ohio — Cedar Fair, L.P. (NYSE: FUN) (the “Company” or “Cedar Fair”) today announced that it, together with its wholly owned subsidiaries Magnum Management Corporation (“Magnum”), Canada’s Wonderland Company (“Cedar Canada”) and Millennium Operations LLC (“Millennium”), has completed the issuance of its previously announced private offering of $300 million aggregate principal amount of 6.500% Senior Notes due 2028 (the “Notes”). Obligations under the Notes are guaranteed by the Company’s wholly owned subsidiaries that guarantee its senior secured credit facilities (other than Magnum, Cedar Canada and Millennium). The Company intends to use the net proceeds of the offering for general corporate and working capital purposes, including fees and expenses related to the transaction.

The Notes were offered only to persons reasonably believed to be qualified institutional buyers under Rule 144A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”), and to certain non-U.S. persons in transactions outside the United States under Regulation S of the Securities Act. The issuance and sale of the Notes have not been registered under the Securities Act, and, the Notes may not be offered or sold in the United States absent registration or an applicable exemption from the registration requirements of the Securities Act and other applicable securities laws.

This news release shall not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy, nor shall there be any sale of the Notes, in any jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such jurisdiction.

Premier Rides’ Rapid Response Service Team provides reopening support to The Park at OWA following Hurricane Sally

By | October 7, 2020

Foley, Al. — Premier Rides, best known for the design and supply of cutting-edge attractions, dispatched their Rapid Response Service Team to provide reopening support to the Park at OWA located in Foley, Alabama following Hurricane Sally. 

The area between Mobile, Alabama, and Pensacola, Florida, took the brunt of the category 2 storm with widespread wind damage, storm surge flooding, and over 20 inches (510 mm) of rainfall. Several tornadoes also occurred as well.  The Park at OWA contacted Premier Rides after Sally, the first hurricane to make landfall in the U.S. state of Alabama since Ivan in 2004, and a storm with maximum sustained winds of 105 mph (165 km/h), had finally traveled beyond  the park.  

Steve Honeycutt, General Manager of the Park at OWA commented. “I appreciate Premier Rides jumping in to help us out during a very difficult situation, and the promptness in which they responded is nothing short of impressive.”  

The Premier Service Rapid Response team traveled to the park to perform inspections of all 22 rides and attractions at the park to identity damage sustained from the hurricane, to work with the maintenance team to perform simple repairs and to determine any other necessary repairs to be completed prior to the park’s reopening. 

Jim Seay, president of Premier Rides, commented, “Steve Honeycutt is one of the most passionate leaders in the industry so when he calls you jump.  Premier has supported Steve with other technical challenges in the past and we appreciate he turned to us again.  It is impressive how quickly the team at the Park at OWA reacted following Hurricane Sally.  They worked very hard and not only had their hands full taking care of their own facilities, but the park’s parking lot became ground zero for the regional recovery effort with over 1,400 linesmen from all over the Southwest setting up fully operational living quarters.  I am honored that Steve called on us again.  We are humbled that our reputation for quality and service prompted the call to action.” 

The Park at OWA reopened to the public just sixteen days after Hurricane Sally passed.  Locals were welcomed to the park for free to in recognition of the difficult recovery and as a way of providing a welcome break from the countless hours everyone had been spending on cleanup efforts. 

Seay added, “In these challenging times, Premier Rides recognizes that the ability to pivot and to support our valued clients in different ways is an important facet of our business.   We are pleased to be able to support clients like the Park at OWA.”

Premier Service, a division of Premier Rides, offers the largest after-market service division in the attractions industry, providing spare parts and service to all manufacturers’ rides, not just those supplied by Premier.

AEI announces change in ’21 show dates

By | October 7, 2020

MOKENA, Il. — As uncertainty about the marketplace and the status of COVID-19 lingers, the sponsoring organizations of Amusement Expo International have opted to move the startup of the spring event to May 5-7, 2021-still at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, NV.

Originally, the industry’s premier spring gathering for the out-of-home entertainment industry was set for March 16-18, 2021, but concerns about business conditions and the facilities in Las Vegas prompted the decision to delay it briefly.

“We’ve been closely monitoring the situation and our thinking, at this point, is the prudent thing to do is to push back next year’s AEI and grab open dates a bit later, but not out of the traditional spring cycle the show has been on since its inception in 2010,” said Joe Camarota, president of the American Amusement Machine Association (AAMA), one of AEI’s two co-sponsoring organizations.

Under the revised AEI ’21 schedule, the event will shift by one day to a Wednesday through Friday pattern, with the comprehensive educational program to be conducted on Wednesday, May 5 and the exhibition to take place on Thursday, May 6 and Friday, May 7.

“It’s important for our industry to meet face-to-face in 2021 not only to reflect on where we’ve been, but more importantly, to share how this experience will change the manner in which we conduct business moving forward,” stated AMOA president Greg Trent.  “Moving AEI to May provides additional time for exhibitors and attendees to get back on their feet so they can be in Vegas and engage in the conversation.”

AEI continues to evolve as an increasingly important gathering on the industry’s annual calendar, with its reach extending beyond traditional coin-op and amusements to include segments such as family entertainment centers, bulk vending, laser tag and virtual reality.     

“The NBVA looks forward to its continued collocation with Amusement Expo International in 2021,” said NBVA President, Scott Ausmus.  “By moving the NBVA Conference and Trade Show to May, both bulk vending suppliers, and operators, will be in a better position to attend our annual event when we come together and strategize how to move towards profitability again.  We will not allow COVID to stop us.”