The third day of the IAAPA trade show opened with an informational meeting conducted by the Coney Island Development Corporation about the Request for proposal to design a new amusement park for Coney Island. The meeting began at 9 am and was very well attended.
Three separate parcels of land are involved in the project, totaling approximately 7 acres. The three parcels are separated by the currently operating Deno,s Wonder Wheel Park, owned by the Vourderis family.
The city will be undertaking 6.6 million dollars in cleanup of the site before operation begins with a projected finish date of April 15th. The CIDC is hoping for a new, urban beach amusement park, an updating of the cutting edge model of amusement park for which Coney Island was originally known.
Proposals for the park, which will open in May of 2010 and run for a ten-year contract, are due by Dec. 18th, 2009. A winner will be selected in the first quarter of 2010.
Although the time frame will be tight for opening in 2010, the CIDC has pledged the support and cooperation of the City of New York in seeing the project to opening. The CIDC is hoping for continued improvement of the each year of the lease by the operator.
T-SHIRTS and…. LIGHTS?
Chestnut Identity Apparel is well known in the amusement industry as a supplier of t-shirts, hats, flags and apparel. In fact, they have several new additions to their line this year of those very products. Most surprising however is the newest product addition to their line, LED lights.
Jon Chestnut said customers should not be surprised by the move, the company has been using LEDs for a number of years. "We have been using LED lighting on our hats for years, we are just bringing them now to the rides", said Chestnut.
Chestnut,s LED lights are replacement bulbs for existing turbo sockets and they come in white or any other custom color. Chestnut is hoping to have a very competitive price point and between the low cost of the bulb and the tremendous energy savings, he believes changing to the new lights will be an easy decision for show owners.
Chestnut is working with Jim Hall of Butler Amusements who provides consultation and advice about ride lighting and safety. He has helped the company with design and efficiency with the new project.
Chestnut has also been busy rolling out additions to its traditional line of products as well. First among these is their new line of mini soccer and basketballs. With the World Cup fast approaching, the balls with logos from different countries are projected to be a big hit. The company also makes custom and generic orders for the balls including skull prints and custom logos.
Another new design this past fall was the company,s "ghoul flag" for use at Halloween activities. The flags are the swaying type and move with the wind. Chestnut continues to do a brisk business in custom digital flags as well providing products to North American Midway Entertainment and Ray Cammack Shows, among many others.
On the uniform front, the new wicking shirts are becoming very popular. Designed to draw sweat away from the body, the shirts are popular with carnival and park employees on long, hot days. Amusements Of America, Crabtree Amusements and Butler Amusements are just some of the carnivals that have turned to the new type of shirt. Chestnut said the shirts wear longer and don,t wrinkle, providing additional benefits for their use.
Chestnut said business the first two days had been "very strong" and was looking forward to the rest of the show and follow-up with leads after the event.
PUTTING A NEW SPIN ON THE APPLE
Tovah Sellner reports that her company has now designed a 12th new type of tub for the popular Spin the Apple ride. The as-yet-unnamed pirate tub will be making its debut in 2010, joining the pumpkin, bears, dragons and other popular characters.
Traditionally, Sellner holds a contest within her company to name the new ride. The winner receives a day off of work with pay. Sellner has built a dedicated and loyal work force with the average employee having spent 16 years at the company.
The 84-year old Tilt-A-Whirl continues to be in demand, selling several new models each year. Almost all of the last 7 to 8 rides sold have been made with the new G-5 tubs. Surprisingly, the "new" tub with the lower back is actually closer in design to the tub used on the original Tilt-A-Whirl. Everything old is new again.
Sellner said she will be bringing a Tilt-A-Whirl to the Gibsonton Trade Show for the first time in many years. Terry Swyear,s new ride with the G-5 cars will be on display.
Some other rides delivered in 2009 include a Funnel Force for R.C. Cole,s Cole Shows Amusement Company and a car ride for Jason Wagner.
Commenting on the success of the IAAPA show Sellner said "if I have another day like I did yesterday (Wednesday) I could go home early!".
One name not heard from much in the carnival industry recently is Chance-Morgan. The company has repositioned itself and concentrates almost exclusively on amusement park rides including roller coasters and carousels for all types of applications.
President Mike Chance said the company did two Zipper refurbishments last year and takes on the occasional project but there are no plans to reenter the portable amusement business in the near future.
The newest ride in the Chance line is the Unicoaster a "cross between a Flying Bobs and Rock N,Roll" according to Chance. The rider controls the cars, which can rotate a full 360 degrees as they go around the track. The ride holds 16 passengers and is undergoing final testing now.
Chance believed he has sold the first Unicoaster during the show, though the deal has not been completely finalized. While there are no immediate plans to make a trailer-mounted model, Chance said the ride could be manufactured or modified for transportation.
The carousel business continues to be very good for Chance. In addition to the typical installations at zoos, city parks and malls, they are building a custom carousel for Universal Studios based upon the Madagascar characters.
Chance said the first two days of the show were very good and the booth had great traffic and interest from potential buyers.
SAFETY, SAFETY, SAFETY
Next to the Fabbri booth on the show floor a group of industry experts were promoting their message of ride safety and training. Lenny Cavalier, Executive Director for the North American Association of Ride Safety Officials (NAARSO) was fielding questions about organization membership and training programs.
NAARSO,s 23rd Annual Ride Safety Forum will be held in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina at Family kingdom Amusement Park. The cost is $375 for NAARSO members and $425 for non-members.
For the third year, they will be offering a limited specialty training and certification class for smaller operators. Rental owners, small parks and operators of rock walls, bungee jumps and trampolines can attend a 2-day track that will deal with safety for these types of amusements.
The program is not just for safety officials, in fact, most are employees of amusement parks and traveling carnivals.
Congratulations to Robert Salerno of All Around Amusements on renewing his wedding vows after being proposed to by his wife this week.
Bob's Space Racers
Lance and Jill Moyer - Butler Amusements with Joe Burum (SLA)
Tommy Coffing, Jim Frederikson and crew
Joe Burum and Jim Conklin
Barry Jameson - Worlds Finest Shows
Sam and Gail Johnston - Midway of Fun
Peek A Boo Toys
Joe Burum (SLA) and Bob Johnson (OABA)
The Hausers - West Coast Amusements
Bob Johnson with Stinson Band Organs
Patty Sullivan - Eli Bridge Co.