The IAAPA expo opened Wednesday to moderate crowds; But, by the middle of the afternoon, the trade show floor was packed with attendees from a multitude of industries including: amusement parks, entertainment centers, arcades, haunts, and carnivals from across the globe. The exhibit floor was open from 10am to 6pm with the Carnival Industry Reception following from 6-7:30pm. The annual Rides 4-U Company Party at Fun Spot in Kissimmee was also held tonight.
During the morning hours, we caught up with Victor Wisdom, whom along with his wife, Mai, owns Wisdom Rides of Merino, Colorado. Victor was happy with the number of customers that he met with at the trade show so far. He was fairly busy throughout Tuesday and hopes to finalize some deals later in the week. He was happy to report that their company is in production of a new attraction that has been talked about for the past year called the Y-Factor. The Y-Factor is a spinning attraction with two giant "Y Shaped" arms with spinning gondolas attached to each end. "We're very excited about the new ride and plan to have it on display in Gibtown," Wisdom said. The first piece has been sold to James Gang Amusements and there has been solid interest in the new attraction from several other carnival companies.
Wisdom also announced that the company will be taking over production of the popular children's attraction, the Frog Hopper. S&S, who primarily builds larger pieces for amusement parks, will be putting a more concentrated effort into selling its larger amusement park attractions and has passed on the Frog Hopper to Wisdom. "S&S has been wonderful to work with", Wisdom said of the transition. Wisdom purchased all the blueprints, molds, and legal rights to the ride. The Frog Hopper will be represented by Rides 4-U as well as Wisdom Rides and replacement parts will be sold through Wisdom's parts division, RideParts.com. The ride will be available in both permanent park and trailer mounted versions.
Another new piece Wisdom is selling is the Festival Wheel, a smaller ferris wheel that is perfect for small carnivals and rental companies. The wheel, which can be pulled by a pickup truck, has a direct drive which makes set-up and teardown a breeze. As with all new Wisdom rides, it comes with a RGB LED lighting package for $199,999.
Wisdom feels very fortunate that they have stayed busy this year building new rides and re-building previously manufactured Wisdom rides. Aside from building the new Y-Factor, Wisdom is currently in production of a one trailer Himalaya for a carnival on the east coast. Recently, they delivered a Tornado to Fun Plex in New Jersey, a family entertainment center; "It's their first Wisdom ride and they have been a pleasure to do business with," Wisdom said of their newest customer.
Carlo Guglielmi, owner of Ital International, is a US representative of Technical Park, Bertazzon, and a broker of used rides. In the outdoor exhibit space, Ital displayed a new one trailer giant wheel from Technical Park. This wheel is the third of its kind in the USA, and has yet to be sold. "We have had a lot of interest in the wheel, but no confirmed buyers as of today" said Guglielmi. The first 22m Technical Park Giant Wheel was sold to Dreamland Amusements and a second to Strates Shows, both were delivered earlier this year. The wheel on display at IAAPA is like the first two models, but has several improvements including the addition of a knuckle boom crane to make racking and setup of the tubs easier. All of the injection molded tubs feature sliding doors that lock from the outside, making it impossible for riders to open during operation. At night, the ride is illuminated with a brilliant LED light show including lights molded into each of the tubs, making for an eye-catching attraction on the midway. The wheel takes 6-8 hours for setup and 5-6 hours for teardown.
During the show, a Bertazzon one trailer swing ride was sold to Kevin Tate's California Carnival Company. The piece, which can best be compared to a Zierer Wave Swinger, has a capacity of 48 riders and racks on one road-legal semi-trailer.
Earlier this year, Guglielmi sold a factory refurbished Street Fighter Revolution to Wade Shows. The piece was delivered in August and has been performing well on the midway. In 2017, Ital will be delivering a new Street Fighter Revolution to New Hampshire based Mark Fanelli's Traveling Amusement Park.
For the first time, Gibtown based showmen's association, The International Independent Showmen's Association, had a booth at IAAPA. The booth served as a place for existing members to pay membership dues, new members to join, and for attendees and prospective exhibitors to learn more about the upcoming Gibtown Extravaganza and Trade Show, February 7-11. Trade Show Secretary, Teresa Rimes, husband, Albert Rimes, and 2016 President Jo-Ann Arnold manned the booth and all reported good traffic flow so far. "There has been a lot of interest in our trade show and we hope to attract new attendees as well as exhibitors;" Rimes recommends that visitors check the club's website for trade show and registration information.
2016 IAAPA Trade Show Coverage