The IISA Trade Show and Extravaganza wrapped up on Saturday, February 8th with another rainy and surprisingly cold day. Crowds on Saturday were sparse as exhibitors began the process of tearing down equipment and packing up for the year.
Despite several consecutive days of rain at the end of the show, many exhibitors expressed optimism about the show and the business they had conducted there. Some even commented that the rain had chased away the not-so-serious, leaving more time with those that were truly interested in making a purchase.
Len Soled of Rides 4 U, one of the show's biggest proponents said the show "is a must". "You can complain there weren't a lot of people but the people here buy and it is a great social event", he added.
Soled, who represents the SBF/Visa Group, among several other manufacturers, had the company's new compact spinning coaster on display. The model sold relatively early in the show to Gene Dean of Fiesta Shows.
The compact coaster is 72' x 35' at the base and "very portable". Mark Blumhagen of Rides 4 U traveled to Italy to work with the company to make the ride adaptable for a US market. "There were lots of parts to the ride", said Blumhagen. "It was heavy and the truck was large". Blumhagen cut back the size of the load and came up with a design so the station could pivot to load compactly without any need to handle the cars.
"There was lots of interest", said Soled of the new family attraction. "This is the most excitement we have had for any product in a long time. I think it is going to be a runaway hit", he added.
Also on display in the Rides 4 U booth was an SBF Groovy Bus, sold to Arnold Amusements and a second model sold to Tommy Murray just as the show was closing Saturday.
The Frog Hopper was sold to Fantasy Amusements, with a second to Bates Brothers and a third to Stewart's Amusements of Connecticut.
Soled also represents KMG where a Freak Out was on display. The model on the ground is going to Robert Salerno of All Around Amusements and a late season production spot was sold to Powers' Great American Midways for an Inversion. At press time, Soled was hoping to close a deal with Dreamland Amusements for a new Speed. Windy City Amusements of Chicago is also due to take delivery of a new Freak Out in the coming months.
Zamperla had the largest display in several years in 2014 and according to Zamperla's Michael Coleman, "people were buying".
Classic Amusements of California, Amusements Spectacular and D+K Amusements were just some of the purchasers of Happy Swings, Jump A Rounds and the new Sky Race.
Ramon Rosario of Zamperla said the company had 3 or 4 additional serious prospects and has sold out production for the Sky Race for the year,
Rosario attributed the success of the show to the company's move to more affordable kiddie rides in the $100,000 range. He said the lower pricing and design of the rides without too many extra bells and whistles, enables the company to sell the models to both carnivals and rental companies.
Owen Trailer's Ross Owen said buyers at the show were looking at what's new and also what is available on the used market. This contrasted with the shows in Orlando and Las Vegas where buyers purchased on the spot in hopes of having rides delivered during the 2014 season. Owen reported 4 or 5 good discussions with potential buyers and was hoping to follow up after his return to the West Coast.
Swyear Amusements had the Wacky Shack on display at the show and Becky Guthrie's Jee Biz purchased a Surf Shack, due to be delivered in March.
Owen also said he moved a couple of used pieces.
Dalton Kid Rides
"Tell them Kevin Dalton had a very good trade show", said Mr. Dalton when asked by a MCW reporter about the week.
Blue Sky Amusements purchased the cycles and the Farm Tractor was claimed by Kevin and Jane Tate of California Carival Company. As reported earlier, Robert Briggs is also taking delivery on a new Cycles.
A.R.M had an interesting display with an updated Quasar. "We eliminated all the problems", said Eric Bates and the company received a good response from the updated ride that was popular but lacked reliability in the past.
Also generating a lot of interest was A.R.M.'s new offering, the Frenzy.
Bates, who also runs a carnival company that carries his name, puts new rides on his show for the bulk of a season, making sure the equipment runs without problems before offering it for sale to others. After testing on the show, he is confident A.R.M sells rides that have withstood his own rigorous assessment.
Wadkins Expo Wheels
Wadkins' booth at the back of the show featured their popular gondola wheel. Sales of the ride have been brisk with models going to Billy Tucker's Dixieland Carnival, Stewart's Amusements, Blue Sky Amusements and one more order at the end of the season.
Wisdom's Stampede will be going to Ed Burlingame with lots of talk and a few more deals in the works on the Stampede, according to Victor Wisdom.
Also reported earlier, the new Spin Zone ride from Amusement Products will be taken on the road by Powers' Great American Midways.
Bob's Space Racers
Finally, Bob's Space Racers was making deals on their new 3 in 1 trailer. Joel and Evan Cadwell of Virginia Beach, VA purchased a unit for their park and small carnival as did Power Party Events.
Bob's Fishing Hole was also doing very well with the company reporting seven units sold at the show. The company described it as a "major hit". Steve Ianni and Russ Kissel were among the buyers.
Tony Cassata of BSR pointed out that the market was changing. "5, 10 years ago, people purchased without thinking too much about it, now, people are more cautious".
The economic downturn and credit crunch has affected both buyers and suppliers. Times have changed as well. Rides that used to be brought to the show on "spec" are largely a thing of the past. Part of that is due to supplies and production schedules in order to manufacture efficiently but much of it is also due to the incredible amount of customization available.
Not too long ago, many rides and concessions came in just one color or only a few variations. The lighting packages, signs etc were largely the same. In the modern market, with all the choices available to the buyer, they want a ride or concession that is built especially for them.
CarnivalWarehouse.com's Coverage on the 2014 IISF Trade Show:
Show Preview | Tuesday Highlights | Wednesday Highlights | Thursday Highlights | Friday Highlights | Trade Show Photo Gallery