S&S to Provide First 4D Free Spin Coaster in Asia at Nagashima Spa Land

By | February 8, 2017

LOGAN, Utah – S&S-Sansei Technologies is pleased to announce that it has signed contracts to build and install the first 4D Free Spin Coaster in Asia at Nagashima Spa Land in Mie Prefecture, Japan.

Nagashima Spa Land is a major amusement park in Mie Prefecture featuring a water park and amusement rides. Nagashima Spa Land, reputed to be the best amusement park for roller coasters in Japan, is the main attraction of the resort. The park is filled with over fifty rides, ranging from gentle and suitable for children to outrageous rides for those looking for exhilarating moments.

S&S – Sansei Technologies, Inc., the largest U.S. manufacturer of major amusement rides and roller coasters, has been manufacturing rides since 1994 and the company has installed over 450 rides and roller coasters in 30 countries. “We have had such an amazing response from our 4D Free Spin coasters currently operating,” Gerald Ryan, Executive Director of Sales and Marketing for S&S-Sansei, commented, “and S&S is confident that riders in Japan will be satisfied with the high thrill this coaster offers. We have enjoyed working with Nagashima Spa Land to offer the first ever coaster of its kind in Asia and know that this project will be a great addition to their park.”

The new 4D Free Spin coaster at Nagashima Spa Land, to be named Arashi, which means “Storm” in Japanese, is projected to open in March 2017.

Mystic Timbers taking shape at Kings Island

By | February 5, 2017

MASON, Ohio – Construction on Kings Island’s new Mystic Timbers roller coaster continues to take shape. Work has begun on building the mid-course tunnel section of the ride, station and shed. Mystic Timbers is a custom-designed ride built for Kings Island by Great Coasters International, which recently designed the Gold Striker roller coaster at California’s Great America in Santa, Clara, CA.

Themed to an abandoned lumber company, the 109-foot-tall wooden coaster will feature 16 airtime moments through wooded terrain along 3,265 feet of track at speeds up to 53 mph with an intriguing mystery: What’s in the shed? By the time workmen complete construction on the ride, they will have used approximately 330,000 board feet of southern yellow pine lumber; 30,000 pounds of nails; 88,000 bolts and washers and 5,500 cubic yards of concrete for the foundation. Mystic Timbers makes its highly anticipated debut in the spring.

Nick Thompson becomes the first ever third generation chairman of BALPPA

By | February 2, 2017

SUNBORN, London – Nick Thompson, Deputy Managing Director of Blackpool Pleasure Beach, has become the first ever third generation Chairman of the British Association of Leisure Parks, Piers and Attractions (BALPPA). Nick follows in the footsteps of his father and grandfather who both previously held this prestigious post.

Nick was announced as Chairman of BALPPA, which is a 2-year post, at the association’s annual AGM and dinner, which took place aboard the Sunborn in London, last month.

Nick’s grandfather, Leonard Thompson, was one of the founding members of association, and the original chairman, in 1936. He then held the position again almost 25 years later in 1963. Nick’s father, Geoffrey Thompson carried on the family tradition, holding the post of chairman in 1981 and again in 1992.

Founded in 1936, BALPPA is the non profit-making Trade Association representing the interests of owners, managers, suppliers and developers in the UK’s commercial leisure parks, piers, zoos, family entertainment centres (indoor play and soft play centres) and static visitor attractions sector.

On becoming Chairman of BALPPA, Nick Thompson comments, “I’m extremely proud and honoured to be able to represent the leisure industry on behalf of the UK. As the third generation of my family to hold this position I feel very humbled, especially as my grandfather was one of the founding members of the association.

“Over the next two years our members face a number of challenges, such as Brexit, and in my role I intend to make sure that as an association we continue our lobbying to get the best for our industry.”

In his time as Deputy Managing Director, Nick has spearheaded a number of the parks most high profile projects. The latest, which he has been heavily involved with, is overseeing the development of Construction 2018. Construction 2018 will be the UK’s first ever double launch coaster and representing an investment of £16.25, is one of Blackpool Pleasure Beach’s most ambitious projects to date. The ride, which is being manafactured by German company Mack Rides, will open in Spring 2018.

Katharine Morgan Becomes President of ASTM International

By | February 2, 2017

NORFOLK, Va. — Today, Katharine “Kathie” Morgan began serving as president of ASTM International, one of the world’s largest standards development organizations. Morgan will lead a team that supports thousands of members, customers, partners, and other stakeholders worldwide. She succeeds James A. Thomas, who served in the role for 25 years.

“I am thrilled and humbled to serve as president of an organization that has played such a foundational role in meeting societal needs for over a century,” Morgan said today at the organization’s first major meeting of 2017 in Norfolk, Va.  “We will build on the legacy of Jim Thomas, attracting even more of the world’s top technical experts to our committees while also serving people and organizations that rely on our standards and services.”

A brief new video featuring Morgan and her first presidential message were released today.

Morgan was joined at the event today by Thomas Marsh, CEO of Centrotrade and ASTM International’s 2017 chairman of the board. “Kathie brings proven leadership skills, a deep understanding of the global standards community, a passion for ASTM International’s mission, and much more,” Marsh said. “ASTM International will continue to grow and thrive under her leadership.”

Also today, Morgan visited the Virginia Beach Fire Department Training Facility to see demonstrations of emergency response robots and drones.  Manufacturers, first responders, and others tested robot capabilities and operator proficiency using 50 test methods, many of which have been developed through ASTM International’s Committee on Homeland Security Applications (E54).

Morgan is a 33-year veteran of ASTM International. She served as executive vice president for the past two years. Prior to that, she was vice president of Technical Committee Operations, leading a 50-member team that supports the volunteer work of ASTM International’s 30,000 members worldwide.

Morgan is one of the world’s most prominent voices on standardization-related issues. She is a board member of the American National Standards Institute’s Board of Directors, the Council of Engineering and Scientific Executives, the International Consumer Product Health and Safety Organization, the Society for Standards Professionals (SES), the American Society of Association Executives, and a former member of the Standards Council of Canada’s Standards Development Organization Advisory Committee.

Morgan holds a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Lafayette College in Easton, Pa., and a master’s degree in business administration from Widener University in Chester, Pa. Follow her on Twitter at @ASTMpres.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway to Host a Major Americana Auction

By | February 2, 2017

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind – A unique auction will be held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on March 11, 2017, involving a host of items not seen by the public in more than 40 years.

The auction includes a rare Herschell-Spillman 30-horse, all-wood carousel, and a second Allen Herschell 30-horse, ½ & ½ carousel.

Two vintage National Amusement trains are featured items that will be auctioned off, along with 12 brass and cast iron bells, an original Horse Drawn Hansom Cab, and a classic Albert Decap dance organ built in Belgium in the 1930s.

Three Zinc Cigar Store Indians, American Star High Wheel Bicycle, several vintage steam pumpers used for fire-fighting early in the 20th century and an actual 1826 prairie schooner wagon are also in the auction catalog.

These items are being sold as non-collection assets unrelated to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Foundation’s mission because they do not relate to racing or automobiles in any way, and were never intended to be displayed in the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum.

“The spectacular items in this one-of-a-kind auction tell important stories about life in America in the days of our grandparents and great grandparents, and deserve to be displayed and used in an appropriate setting. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum was never intended to be that setting and it is time they find a home where they can be enjoyed as treasured examples of American life of 75 to 100 years ago, or more” said Betsy Smith, executive director of the non-profit Indianapolis Motor Speedway Foundation that operates the museum.

Proceeds from the auction will be invested in the future of the museum, to celebrate more than a century of the innovation, thrill, and adventure of motor racing at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The sale will be held in the Pavilion at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Call to Action from JKJ Workforce

By | February 1, 2017

This is a call to action. I am asking all of you to really take the time to read this email and truly take action as detailed in this email, and continue to take action on a regular basis, if the survival of the H-2B program is important to you and your business.

This is a period of confusion and chaos in Washington, DC in regards to all aspects of immigration. I do not want to be hysterical or rabble rousing, but I do want to sound an alarm that at the very least, many H-2B employers will be capped out of the program this year if the Returning Worker Exemption (or similar relief) is not enacted, and at the very worst, the program could be even cut back, suspended or subject to delays that make it useless.

There are many troubling signs that impending actions may negatively affect the H-2B program:

·Jeff Sessions, future Attorney General, at the hearing I attended in Washington, DC stated “H-2B employers are comparable to modern day slave owners” and has been a key opponent to the fight for the Returning Worker Exemption.
·Memos have been circulating in the White House about “reforming” and “investigating” various visa programs, “investigating the damage to US workers of foreign visa employment”.
·Breitbart and other far left and far right “news” outlets have been pounding the drumbeat that all foreign workers (legal and illegal) “flood into America, taking jobs from American Workers, depress wages and lower working conditions.”
·The Department of Labor processing of H-2B applications has slowed to a crawl, with Notices of Acceptance (that are supposed to be issued within 7 days of application) not being issued even after 30 days of processing.
There are good signs, with business oriented individuals nominated to Key Cabinet Positions, but they have not been confirmed yet and those who are fundamentally against foreign worker positions seem to have the President’s ear.

The chaos and confusion, executive orders and media attention may force Congress to take action sooner, rather than later.

What action Congress takes depends on you. I have been preaching the same sermon for years. You must form a personal relationship with your member of Congress. This does not mean making a phone call, sending a fax or email, and checking off a box that you have done your job.

This means first finding out who your Member of Congress is. Do you know, if so that is a great first step. If not, then you need to go to this website, use your home address (where you live and vote) and find out who your member of Congress is.


Key in your information and find out who your Member of Congress is. There is typically a link to their website and you can find out where the District Offices are.

You should go in person to the local district office, and ask to speak directly with the Member of Congress. If they ask what the issue is, you can briefly tell them that the issue is your ability to keep your business open and to protect American Jobs.

If they say the Member of Congress is not in, ask to speak to the District Director so that you can schedule an appointment to meet directly with your Member of Congress. Be persistent. The Member of Congress typically will come home Fridayafternoon, be in the district Saturday and Sunday, then fly back to Washington on Monday. Leave your business cards. Pick up as many business cards that you can to collect as many direct email addresses and phone numbers that you can for the staffer in the office.

Your message and talking points are very simple.

If you are a couple or have children who are teenagers or adults, bring them to the meeting to reinforce that you are a family business.

You tell them your name and where you live to establish you are a voter in the Representatives’ District.

You tell them that your family owns and operates a business, that has been in operation for (fill in the blank) number of years, you provide (carnival, rides, games, fill in the blank) to various local fairs, festivals, civic groups, churches that hold recurrent, annual, seasonal fundraising events in their communities. These special community events are the major fundraiser for these organizations each year, and without these fundraisers the organizations would not be able to (provide scholarships, fund the Church School, fill in the blank) and the local community would suffer. If you know if any events in the Representative’s District, make sure you mention them. If you have a fair or a powerful sponsor in the district, take them along to the meeting with the Representative.

You would state that you only work 9 months (fill in the blank) each year, you travel from location to location, your work schedule is typically when others are off work and can attend the festival, evenings, weekends and holidays. State that it is logical and reasonable that US Workers prefer year-round employment, fixed hours, not traveling from event to event. Your labor pool is very limited as to who is available to travel, you hire each and every US Worker that you can, would love to hire ALL US Workers and not spend the time, money and effort on hiring foreign workers, but you CANNOT. And if you try to operate without the foreign workers to augment your US Workers, you cannot operate safely and efficiently, you cannot provide the services you are contracted for, and if you are not able to obtain temporary, seasonal, foreign workers you may have to close your family business.

Whatever your personal beliefs are you do NOT say that US Workers are lazy or would prefer to sit at home watching TV collecting benefits, are on drugs, etc. Do not harp on drugs, background checks, long hours, bunkhouses.

You listen carefully to the Member of Congress and/or staff member(s) you speak with. You let them know that you are only there to ask them to support a working H-2B program moving forward. Do not specifically mention the Returning Worker Exemption, right now you are forming a bond, a relationship with your member of congress. This relationship is what we need when there is a critical issue to be addressed, but must be formed NOW and maintained over a sustained period of time.

Financial Support for your Representative.

While meeting with your member of congress in their official office DO NOT MENTION FUND RAISING OR CONTRIBUTIONS TO THEIR POLITICAL CAMPAIGN.

However, in addition to going through the front door to meet your Congressman, you should also google your member of congress’s name and see if you can find the separate and distinct campaign committee set up to raise funds for the political campaign. The key is that it will not be an official government website, will not end in “.gov”. Carefully review the website, see if there are any upcoming town hall meetings or fundraising events. Contact the campaign committee, tell them you are a constituent of the member of Congress, would like to contribute $500 (fill in the blank, but that amount should get their attention and still allow for future contributions) to the campaign and ask if there is an event that you can attend.

So, in addition to meeting the Member of Congress in the office, you will follow up within a short period of time with a second face to face meeting, where you can again discuss the H-2B program, how much the program means to your business.

You only one U.S. House Representative. Your adult children, show manager, family members, suppliers, key sponsors or fair committees may have the same member of congress or different members of Congress, and they may be able to set up appointments as well and open the door for you if you have the time to pursue. But the key will be your own Representative.


You also have two U. S. Senators. To find out who your Senators are you can go to this website http://www.senate.gov/senators/contact/ find out who they are and where their district offices are located. As each senator covers the entire state, there is not much of a chance you will meet the Senator, but you do need to meet with his/her staff. Repeat the process detailed above for your Representatives, for each of your senators.

Call to action.

What you need to do is put a face, a heart and a soul into the H-2B program for your Representative and Senators. I cannot do this for you. A paid lobbyist or trade organization cannot do it for you. You and your family are the only ones who can do this, can form this relationship. I will do everything I can to assist you, prepare you, and if it is at all possible, accompany you to the meetings. The OABA and Gregg Hartley will also be there for you.

I cannot stress how important this is. You need to be able to call your member of Congress or his or her Chief of Staff). To be able to do that is going to take hard work on your part.

We must be proactive or we will get steamrolled by the far right and the far left and that would be a disaster for all of us. Your action (or inaction) will make a difference.

Skip Fletcher, ‘king’ of Fletcher’s Corny Dogs, has died

By | February 1, 2017

DALLAS, Texas – Fletcher’s Corny Dogs has lost its king: Neil “Skip” Fletcher, 82, has died.

State Fair of Texas spokeswoman Karissa Condoianis told The Dallas Morning News Fletcher had been battling pneumonia and died 8 a.m. Tuesday.

On its Facebook page Tuesday, Fletcher’s, a State Fair of Texas icon, asked that people keep the “family in your thoughts and prayers.”

“We are extremely saddened to tell our fans that our Corny Dog King, Skip Fletcher has passed on. As we are preparing for our 75th year at the State Fair of Texas we’ve unexpectedly lost our patriarch,” it continues. “…Skip leaves behind a legacy of love, devotion and adoration for you, his fans, that we will humbly continue.”

According to the Star-Telegram archives, the Fletcher family sold the first corny dog at the 1942 State Fair of Texas and it cost 15 cents. The Fletcher brothers who created them, Neil and Carl, died in the 1980s, but Neil’s sons, Skip and Bill, continued the legacy.

Condoianis told the Morning News funeral plans have not been finalized.

The State Fair of Texas also wrote on Facebook, “We are saddened to hear of the loss of Skip Fletcher, a friend and State Fair icon. His legacy will live on.”

(original story published in the Star-Telegram)

Frontier City announces new thrill slide complex for Wild West Water Works

By | January 26, 2017

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. — Frontier City’s Wild West Water Works is growing by 1,249 feet of high-speed thrill slides in the summer of 2017.

On the all-new Gully Washer, riders will plunge off of a 66-foot-tall tower down three enclosed body slides, blasting through narrow loops and twisting tunnels on one of the most exhilarating water rides around. This brand new triple slide complex features back-to-back turns, thrilling dips, and tight 360° curves that will have riders screaming until the very end.

Gully Washer is the fourth new attraction to come to Frontier City in four years and the first major addition to Wild West Water Works since its opening in 2012. It will join the area’s interactive water structure — the largest of its kind in Oklahoma with 198 play elements, 8 slides, and a 1,000-gallon tipping bucket. Wild West Water Works also features a spacious lounge deck, ample shade structures, changing/shower facilities, lockers, and concessions and is included with Frontier City admission or a Double Park Season Pass.

“We are extremely excited to add this super-soaking thrill ride to our skyline,” says Stephen Ball, Frontier City’s General Manager. “Wild West Water Works is one of the park’s most popular attractions, and we are eager to add more fun and thrilling ways for our guests to keep cool during Oklahoma’s hot summer months.”

Guests can get unlimited thrills on Gully Washer and all of the other great rides and attractions at Frontier City and White Water Bay with a Double Park Season Pass. Double Park Season Passes are on sale at FrontierCity.com for $69.99 thru Memorial Day.

Frontier City will open for the season on April 8th. Wild West Water Works will open on May 13th.

Artist rendering courtesy of Frontier City

Roller Skating Hall of Famer Kurt Anthony Anselmi has died

By | January 25, 2017

LAKE ANGELUS, Mich. — Kurt Anthony Anselmi passed away at his home surrounded by his family on January 19th, after a lengthy battle against brain cancer.

Kurt’s youth was spent devoted to the sport of roller skating where he was a perfectionist in style, grace and athleticism. Kurt won many national championships in both singles and pairs, and was a U.S. World Team member multiples times. Roller skating at the Rolladium, his family’s business in Waterford, is where he met and fell in love with his wife Terry. They continued their passion for the sport through coaching and eventually taking over the business. Kurt was inducted into the Roller Skating Association Hall of Fame in 2016.

Kurt was a 1972 graduate of Waterford Township High School. He received his bachelor’s degree from University of Michigan (1976) and Juris Doctor degree with Honors from Detroit College of Law (1981). Kurt was licensed to practice law in the States of Michigan, Colorado and Ohio.

Kurt co-founded Anselmi and Mierzejewski P.C. in 1988. With his guidance as Managing Partner, the firm grew over the last twenty-nine years to more than twenty lawyers and is now one of the fifty largest law firms in Michigan. Kurt was one of the most prominent, accomplished and respected attorneys in the amusement industry. In 1991, Kurt was one of six charter members of the International Amusement and Leisure Defense Association (IALDA) and served the Association as President and member of the Board of Directors. He was the author of the Michigan Roller Skating Safety Act of 1988, the first of its kind in the Country. Ten other states followed Kurt’s lead. Kurt was the co-author of the Roller Skating Risk Management Guidelines which were endorsed by the RSA. He was the co-author of dozens of articles on Risk Management and served on the RSA Risk Management Committee. Kurt presented Risk Management and Litigation seminars at the RSA convention, the World Water Park show and the IAAPA Attractions Expo. Few people knew as much about the subject of Risk Management as Kurt.

Kurt lived life to the fullest and was admired by many for his adventurous spirit. He was a true and passionate outdoorsman. His favorite place was the mountains of the West where he enjoyed hunting, skiing and riding his motorcycle.

Kurt is survived by his loving wife Terry Lee (Campbell), children Terese and Tony Anselmi, and his beloved Mother Marilyn Anselmi, Sisters Kim (Mark) Majoros, Holly Anselmi, Brother Tobin (Kim) Anselmi, father-in-law John Campbell and Sister-in-law Kim (Matt) Decovich. He was a loving Uncle to Stephanie (Dan) Levine, Zachary Anselmi, Daniel Anselmi and Ashely (Brent) Meschke. Kurt was proceeded in death by his Father Albert H. Anselmi.

KCL Engineering chooses Ride Entertainment as sales partner in the attractions industry

By | January 19, 2017

STEVENSVILLE, Md. – KCL Engineering, a leader in custom lighting solutions, has chosen Ride Entertainment as their sales partner in the attractions industry.

KCL burst onto the scene this year with three notable projects at Adventureland Park, the most innovative being a first of its kind LED lighting system on the park’s new Gerstlauer roller coaster, The Monster. The coaster, which stands 131 feet tall, can be seen throughout the park by day, and at night the ground and track-mounted lights make the attraction a focal point. Beyond an illumination solution, on a coaster designed to confuse riders, the lighting systems adds another layer of intrigue and unpredictability.

“When Adventureland shared the concept for The Monster, we had a vision to bring the entire structure to life through dynamic track lighting. Perhaps the fact that this was our first large-scale ride lighting project worked in our favor as we truly felt no limitations. We simply came up with an idea and engineered our way to it,” said Kris Kunze, PE, The Monster’s lead lighting designer.

“As soon as I saw what KCL could do I knew we needed to work with them,” laughed Adam Sandy, Chief Business Development Officer at Ride Entertainment. “We are always on the lookout for innovation in the attractions industry and what they created for Adventureland was unlike anything I have seen. We are thrilled to see where they take their unique illumination concepts next,” he noted.

The Iowa-based engineering company is no stranger to working on high-profile projects worldwide. KCL Engineering has implemented LED solutions for Yankee Stadium, Safeco Field, and numerous skyscrapers around the globe.

“Working with Ride Entertainment is an absolute honor,” declared Kunze. “Their partnership provides immediate immersion into the attractions industry. We look forward to providing a wide variety of custom lighting solutions; from basic LED installations that give an existing attraction new life to park-wide solutions seen nowhere else in the world.”