The IAFE and SLA Trade Shows continued Tuesday, December 1st at the Paris and Bally's hotel in Las Vegas. The SLA show, which is carnival and concession centered, is located in the Bally's hotel. The two hotels are connected by a passageway with shops and restaurants and the IAFE trade show lies between the two hotels in the convention center.
A trip to Bally's and then a ride up in the elevator brings you to the SLA show, perhaps the most unique show in the business. Unlike so many other gatherings, the SLA show does not have elaborate displays and large booths. Instead, the show has a couple of dozen tables set up with each exhibitor sitting and talking with interested clients or friends.
The low-key show has really taken off. Exhibitors say the show is not high volume but the time spent with each prospective client is high quality. Carnival owners and concessionaires, largely all buyers of some sort, come and go throughout the day and each vendor has an opportunity to spend a few minutes or even much longer, with prospective clients. Many vendors report that the show has become an important part of their trade show schedule and many deals begun at IAAPA are finalized here or alternatively, deals started here are concluded in Gibtown.
Rides 4-U and KMG had a joint booth at the show and as usual, the companies were busy at work trying to close deals. Len Soled of Rides 4-U and Peter Theunisz announced a couple of deals they had closed here at the show. KMG/Rides 4-U sold a new Speed ride to Powers' Great American Midways for a June 2017 delivery. In addition, they inked a deal with Kissel Entertainment for another Speed with 2018 delivery. Kissel recently purchased the first US KMG Inversion, the Nemesis 360 from PBJ Shows. Based upon the success of that ride, the Kissel decided to purchase another KMG piece. Theunisz said a couple of other deals were in the works for KMG and he was hoping to be able to release information in the near future.
Theunisz also represents Lambernick, a European manufacturer of Giant Wheels. He announced earlier in the year that the company would be manufacturing a similar version of the Dutch Wheel still moved by Strates Shows and Reithoffer Shows. This morning, Theunisz announced that he has sold his second unit in the USA, a 33 meter (108 ft.) wheel, again to Powers' Great American for delivery in April 2016. That is the second major purchase for Powers during this show. The first US show to purchase a Lambernick Wheel was Ray Cammack Shows.
In addition to representing KMG, Soled also sells rides from SBF/Visa. Soled was excited to announce SBF/Visa has come up with a new concept called the Moonraker. Soled and his team described the ride as a cross between an Enterprise, a Round Up and a Trabant. While he has not sold any units yet, he is hoping to close some deals by the Gibsonton trade show.
In addition to the new rides, Soled said he had closed a couple of deals on used pieces.
A new ride distributor, Super Playpark, was also exhibiting at the show. The company sells amusement rides from Italian Manufacturers, LED lights and Nicole Welsey, a Los Angeles-based immigration attorney, has started a division of the business that works with companies to secure foreign workers using the H2B visa process.
Asked what differentiates the company's LED lights from others, Wesley said there were three main selling points: 1) the light have a high brightness (MCD) level, 2) the electronic chip in the lights is of very high quality and 3) the plastic casing fits the wires neatly and efficiently, reducing incidence of wire wear and breakage. The casing is also very durable and there is almost no need to replace the casings because of accidental breakage.
The company represents two Italian ride manufacturers, Ital-Resina, selling trains and kiddie rides, and Park Rides, which sells carousels and Ferris Wheels. Ital-Resina moved into the Brazilian market and is now trying to make a beachhead in the U.S. through Super Playpark. Park Rides make two types of wheels. One is approximately 50 ft. tall and travels on one trailer and the second is approximately 75 ft. tall and travels on 2 trailers.
Wesley's immigration practice works with Brazilian and Mexican nationals to come work in the US under the H2B Visa program. She has worked in other industries, bringing in truck drivers and other workers and is now looking to expand into the amusement industry.
In insurance news, there is a new broker entering the industry. Actually, the new one is similar to an old one. Drew Tewksbury has landed a new home at McGowan Insurance.
McGowan is one of the oldest and largest firms of its type in the United States and specializes in administering programs of insurance for niche insurance markets, including programs for the Amusement Space.
Tewksbury and McGowan are committed to providing great coverage and competitive pricing to carnivals, fairs, amusement parks, FECs, bowling alleys, water parks, and other insureds in the Amusement Space.
Stay tuned for more information on day three of the show.
2015 IAFE / SLA Convention Coverage