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Reithoffer lands Belmont Stakes and Collier County Fairs


By MCW Staff

Photo courtesy of Matt Cook

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Belmont, NY - Reithoffer Shows announced today that they had signed a contract to produce a fair at Belmont Racetrack in Elmont, NY, April 6 - 29. The event, produced for 8 years by NY-based Fair Productions and for one year by Lawrence Carr Amusements has been on hiatus for a year. Earlier in the year, the New York Racing Association awarded the right to negotiate a contract to Fair Productions. When negotiations between the parties broke down last week, NYRA turned to the second highest bidder, Reithoffer Shows. Reithoffer representatives traveled to New York where they finalized the deal on Tuesday, March 6th.

"Belmont will be a pleasant addition to our route. We are sorry things didn't work out with the last organization, we were the next highest bidder and were awarded the contract.", said Reithoffer Show's Bobby Pugh. Photo By Matt Cook Pugh reported they had signed the contract for multiple years although the contract is contingent on NYRA renewing their franchise which is set to expire December 31st 2007.

Reithoffer will be putting the best rides from the Orange and Blue units in Belmont and they will begin transporting the rides to New York beginning next week. Beau Pugh will be managing the fair and independent midway. The fair will feature Bunky Boger's large petting zoo, racing pigs, a wild animal show and Grandpa Cratchet for entertainment.

Given only 30 days to produce the event, Reithoffer was confident the fair could be put together in time. Pugh said show personnel would be working round the clock from now until the fair begins to get everything in order.

The Belmont news comes on the heels of another major fair signing for Reithoffer, the Collier County Fair in Naples, FL played for many years by Jim Murphy's Bluegrass Shows, who did not bid on the new contract. Several carnivals sent proposals to the fair with Reithoffer chosen as the eventual winner. The fair will be played by Rick Reithoffer's blue unit and will feature 2 coasters, the spinning Crazy Maus and the Racing, the Giant Wheel, and many other spectaculars from the Reithoffer arsenal. "Collier County is one of the fastest growing counties in Florida and the second biggest county east of the Mississippi. It will be an up and coming fair", said Bobby Pugh.

Pugh said the show had just finished a record run at the Alta Mosley managed Southwest Florida Fair in Ft. Myers. Calling it a "tremendous fair", Pugh said incoming Florida Federation of Fairs President Mosley and her board are in the process of taking the fair from level 1 to level 10.

The off-season has been a busy one for the "Big R", resigning the Delaware County Fair in Walton, NY to a new 3 year deal, the Bloomsburg Fair in PA to another 3 year contract and adding the Hebron Harvest Fair in Hebron, CT to their route for the first time.

On the ride front, Mike Lauther said the show added an ARM Full Tilt and Wisdom Himalaya at the trade show last month. This came on the heels of the Wisdom Storm delivered last October and the Zamperla Wild Maus last September.

Amenities were also on the shopping list this year said Lauther. 10 new "Funbrella" rest areas were purchased from Waterloo, 40 new aluminum benches were added as well as a brand new front gate for kiddieland. Improvements were also made to the show's infrastructure with 2 new generators added and new trucks purchased.

In addition to the new rides, the show was busy refurbishing several pieces of equipment for the 2007 season. They added a new set of Scooter cars, refurbished the Raupen Bahn Himalaya, the Giant Wheel, the Orbiter and added an E-Works LED light package to their Pharaoh's Fury.

The entire show was saddened by the recent loss of the show's patriarch, P.E. Reithoffer, Jr. The industry payed their respects in various ways to this legendary showmen last week. Mr. Reithoffer, took the show from a small unit operation to become a top player in the industry. He was the first to bring many exciting European rides to the United States and signed some of the largest fairs in the country. With the way things are going in 2007, it seems the show will proudly carry on that tradition.

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