Day 2 of the IAFE Trade Show in Las Vegas also marks the final day of the SLA Trade Show at Ballly's Hotel and Casino. Decent-sized crowds once again made their way to the show. Some exhibitors could be found at both trade shows, making their way back and forth between the exhibit areas.
Chestnut Identity Apparel has continued to expand in the amusement industry, offering a wide range of products for the carnival owner. Starting with shirts, hats and apparel, they expanded into flags, windscreens and amenities before breaking into the LED light business. All the expansions have been successful and here at the show, Chestnut unveiled another area of new sales; bumper cars.
Chestnut is selling these Chinese-made units in conjunction with John Hall. A car was on display at the show in Vegas. Chestnut believes they can deliver a quality car at nearly half the price of other models. Cars at the show were retailing for $4,995 in the Chesnut booth.
The cars go on a show owner's existing bumper car building. Chestnut will also offer parts for the cars through their offices in the US.
Butler Amusements bought the first set of cars and used them all season. Chestnut reported several other deals were pending and interest levels in the cars was high.
Another company that expanded out of their core product line is CMD Enterprises, long known for representing Fajume rides such as the Wacky Worm. They also sell LED bulbs and automated lighting systems.
Chad Griffith was especially enthused this year about the new processor the company is using in its lights. They can now offer approximately 256 colors including fading from one color to another. "The possibilities are endless", said Griffith.
The new lights are low profile and can be programmed for premium effects. Time tested, they have been offered lights for about 5 years.
CMD's lights have several possible applications, steady on in a color, lights with movement and finally, color changing lights. CMD has custom made the lighting packages on new rides using all three of the options for different facets of the attraction. Trim lights can generally be steady on, the scenery movement lights and the ride itself or signs, color changing lights.
The three types of lights create excellent tools for the company to work with when custom designing a light package.
"The technology is improving all the time", said Griffith. The company recently launched a new website for lighting offerings and he said some "game-changing" things coming to the industry in the near future.
Battech Enterprises purchased the assets of Dartron, makers of slides, Cliff Hangers and other popular attractions. President Albert Frieden worked for Dartron under Bob Coil before purchasing the assets of the company under his new umbrella.
Last year, Kevin Tate of the California Carnival Company approached Frieden about making a giant six-lane slide like those that can be found at large state fairs. The twist was, Tate wanted the ride to be two complete three lane slides that could be joined together to make the new, larger slide when demand warranted.
Frieden set to work on the design and the result is the Mach II Mega Slide. The ride has stairs on the left and right of the joined slides. When separated, one slide loads on the left and the other on the right. The two smaller slides can be transported and operated as separate rides or joined at larger events.
The first version of the ride will be on display at the Battech booth at the IISA Trade Show in Gibsonton, FL.
Frieden believes the ride will catch on quickly, providing multi-unit carnivals with an affordable way to service events both big and small.
Jerry Pitts of the Coastal Carolina Fair in Ladson, SC was visiting the IAFE convention. The fair is run by the Exchange Club of Charleston with hundreds of volunteers. Proceeds from the event go to local charities and the fair has had an enormous impact on the local community over the years. Last year, they donated over $800,000 to 90 local charities.
Pitts said the fair had a near-record year in 2014, with about 230,000 people attending. Midway ride revenue through the carnival provided by Amusements of America reached record levels.
The highlight of the fair was a new advance sale arrangement with Walgreens stores. Admission and midway tickets were sold through Walgreens outlets in the Low Country and sales far outpaced any previous year. Pitts said he had to turn to a new ticket distributor when long time sales outlet Piggly Wiggly went out of business. Pressed for time, they were able to put together a last minute deal with Steve White to bring Walgreens on and sales took off.
Pitts also talked about younger Exchange Club members stepping into leading roles on the fair committee. 2015 will be Pitt's last as midway chairmen but he was confident his replacement would do an excellent job.
The fair runs from the last Thursday in October through the 1st Sunday in November each year.
The Coastal Carolina Fair is the last major event of the year for Amusements of America. Owners Dominic and Phil were present at the trade show along with Phil's sons Robbie and John Thomas and Dominic's son Marco. Dominic's eldest son, Dominic, Jr,. was in Peru where once again Amusements of America provided rides outside of the country. With a successful run in 2013/2014, the promoter invited them to return for a 2014/2015 run.
Please keep posted for final day coverage of the 2014 IAFE Convention and trade show.
2014 IAFE / SLA Convention Coverage