Day 2 of the IISA 2014 Trade Show saw a steady increase in traffic as showmen from around the country were able to make it to Tampa despite the inclement weather in much of the rest of the country. Though clouds threatened most of the day, the weather held and there was even a slight breeze that contrasted the extreme heat of Tuesday.
CNE dubbed the "Greenest Fair in North America"
One visitor happy to be in the warmth of Florida was the CNE's Mike Knott. Knott directs the concessions at Canada's National Exhibition. He is proud of the environmental record of the CNE which he calls the "Greenest Fair in North America".
Knott says about 83% of waste from the fair is diverted to recycling and compost areas. In addition, the food building on the ground is 100% compostable. From silverware to plates and napkins, all parts of the operation break down within 60 days and do not have to be sent to landfills. Trash is separated and hauled away for recycling whenever possible. The fair takes an enormous amount of price in their environmental efforts.
Knott said one of the most popular food vendors this year was "Bacon Nation". This bacon-centered stand featured a burger made of ground bacon, topped with bacon strips and Canadian bacon. The stand also had bacon milkshakes and BLTs and other bacon centered items.
On the midway, NAME had their skyride at the event for the second year and Knott said it was "very popular, at capacity everyday". NAME also had their Mach 3 at the event for the first time.
An independent ride, the tallest and longest zipline on the circuit, came to the CNE from Washington and stood 126 feet high and stretched 1,100 feet long. The riders zipped down the midway on this new popular attraction.
A few days a bad weather days kept the CNE from setting new records but all in all, it was a solid year for the event.
Amusements of America plays Peru
If you thought Canada was a long way to come for the trade show, some of the Vivona family came all the way from Peru, where they are operating a carnival in Lima. Dominic, Phil and Phil's sons Robbie and John Thomas were all present on day 2 in Gibsonton.
The Vivonas said they were contacted by a large South American concert promoter who made them a deal to bring over the rides and attractions for the event in Peru. After doing some research and making sure payments were guaranteed, they inked the deal and sent the show on the two-week journey to Peru. They will close in March and return to the states for the regular season. They are hoping to make Lima an annual stop for the company.
Great American Auctions visits Gibtown
Michael Angelo of Great American Auctions came to the show seeking items for one of his amusement ride auctions. His Cincinnati-based company has conducted auctions over the past 18 years and after getting into the amusement collectible side of the business, he now has about 6 auctions a year dedicated to entertainment items.
Angelo appeared on an episode of Shipping Wars and that experience led to a contact by a production companies in Texas for a show of his own. Angelo reported that he will be shooting several episodes of a reality show involving auctions next year and a few of the auctions will include amusement business items.
The series of shooting will be a kind of tour with stops in Hollywood, CA and Tampa, FL. Angelo was at the show "looking for guys with stuff in barns". He said people move out of the industry and they or their family are left with collectibles they don't know what to do with. He is hoping to find some treasures he can present at the auctions.
With the television program, he will give national exposure to these items which he says will bring the highest dollars. "We want it all to be real", said Angelo. He is hoping for authentic sideshow banners, real swords used in sideshows and other real items used in performances or on carnival midways.
"We do 2-1/2 weeks of promotion before each event", he said. With the promotion and television exposure he says the items will sell in the most competitive market.
As Angelo was discussing his auctions with MCW, Ward Hall happened upon the booth and the two struck up a conversation. After a visit to Hall's house, you may be seeing some interesting sideshow items at the next Great American Auction on a television show near you. Stay Tuned.
Amusement Insurance Resources Now Offering Amusement Ride Insurance Plans
Amusement Insurance Resources is a new entrant into the amusement ride insurance business with some experienced hands on board. The company has been in the business for eight years, insuring mostly FECs, concessionaires, pyrotechnics shows and rental companies.
About four years ago, Drew Tewksbury of the company began to set things in place to insure larger carnivals and events. He was so committed to the project that he took classes on ride safety and received his NAARSO Level I certification. He also became certified to inspect rides in several states and teaches safety classes throughout the country.
The company hired Randy Ebens, formerly of Tropic Leasing, as a sales executive and partnered with Specialty Insurance Group of Indianapolis. The company found a top-notch underwriter in Everest Re Group, an A+ (XV) company and they are now writing major carnivals and events.
The Traveling Amusement Insurance Program from AIR will offer "broad and creative coverage options with responsibly competitive premiums", according to the company.
Amusement clients will have access to traditional lines of coverage including general liability, property, inland marine, workers' compensation and commercial auto.
In addition, some unique lines of coverage will be offered, protecting against losses from event cancellations caused by weather, terrorism or calamity. The program is available in both the United States and Canada.
There are several new promising rides and services at the show this year and more news to come including senior management changes in one of the industry's leading insurance carriers.
CarnivalWarehouse.com's Coverage on the 2014 IISF Trade Show:
Show Preview | Tuesday Highlights | Thursday Highlights | Saturday / Show Conclusion News | Trade Show Photo Gallery