CHARLOTTE, N.C. --- Amusements of America has upgraded its first unit with a shiny new office trailer. It's actually a retrofit of an old mobile medical unit that administered magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) exams over the road.
The conversion and delivery comes three years after the Vivona family purchased the trailer. John Vivona did most of the work on the retrofit. He's the brother of Robbie Vivona, co-manager of the first unit with his cousin, Marco Vivona.
A local carpenter in Florence, S.C., home of the carnival's winter quarters, built the office trailer's new cabinets. Show vinyl artist Chuck Wheeler, owner of Amusement Wraps, completed the red, white and blue graphics package on the trailer's exterior.
The conversion includes the installation of a bathroom, new fl
ooring and structural adjustments to strengthen the trailer's pullout portion. New lighting, an outdoor porch, fencing and a customer service window are other improvements.
The overall investment was about $150,000, Robbie Vivona said. The new office trailer will travel the fair route with the first unit. The old trailer, which has been part of the carnival's business operations for 30 years, will be used mostly in Florida at church festivals and smaller events, he said.
Separately, the carnival expected delivery this month of a new Uni-Glide pizza concession as part of upgrading its food operation along with Larry Hampton's new smoothie trailer (See related story
The first unit just finished playing a new date, the Perry County Fair in Hazard, Ky., situated about 150 miles southeast of Lexington. It's a small fair compared with most of its bookings, but officials committed to upgrading the event.
In the offseason, the fair contacted Dominic Vivona Jr. in search of a a carnival. Last year, the fair had only seven rides set up but grossed $15,000 on a Thursday, according to Mel Melton, a food vendor for Amusements of America who initially scouted the location. It rained the rest of the week, Melton said.