Gibsonton - We know them for their wildly popular Wacky Worm family coaster but Fajume is adding a second ride to its United States inventory this year, the Galleon, a spectacular boat ride, and it will be making its debut appearance here in Gibtown.
Founded in 1990 in San Salvador, El Salvador by Mike Safie, Fajume initially sold Wacky Worm roller coasters worldwide. Today over 170 models have been sold including 25 in the United States, according to David Griffith, Director of Sales and Marketing for the company.
"Many people don't realize this, but Mr. Safie is one of the largest carnival operators in the world with 7 complete carnivals and over 300 rides playing throughout Central and South America", said Mr. Griffith. Mr. Safie was friendly with Jack Eyerly who sent 12 rides to South America. Palestinian by birth,
Mr. Safie was in textiles but saw an opportunity in the amusement ride business. He acquired rides and equipment over the years and now travels throughout Latin America. Their big unit plays from El Salvador to Panama and the other units play in several other countries including Ecuador and Peru. "We have large rides including a double looping coaster, Spin Out, Flume and many other spectaculars", added Mr. Griffith.
The company built a large maintenance facility in San Salvador to refurbish and repair their large inventory of equipment. Soon, they began taking on manufacturing contracts for ride companies and eventually branched out with their own rides. "We have an advantage over other manufacturers because our plant is never idle. We work on new rides and when new orders are slow, our workers are kept busy with refurbishment projects on the show's equipment", said Mr. Griffith.
The Galleon, the newest offering from Fajume, has actually been manufactured for several years for other countries. 2007 will mark its introduction into the North American market. "The time was right for us now. The ship is affordably priced and there are not any companies selling a product like this at our price point", Griffith pointed out. The ride travels on one trailer, has a large capacity of 40, features over 4,000 lights and sets up in about 4 hours with 4 men. Griffith said he had received "lots of interest" in the ride to be shown at the Trade Show although no deals had yet been finalized. "I wanted everyone to see it firsthand before taking a deposit", he said.
The Galleon, manufactured by Fajume of San Salvador, retails for approximately $335,000. Fajume's booth will be located outside on the main trade show grounds.