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people go to the same amusement parks each year with the same rides they had the last year. maybe the parks will add or change out a piece every 3-4 years but nobody complains much so why do traveling carnivals have to change up so much? with the way the economy is right now I do not know how carnivals can keep investing in new pieces. sure one or two pieces can change the total appearance of the midway or even moving pieces around can give new look. as far as independents, they are going to be at the largest and best where the largest possible earnings are.
Originally Posted by: done with it 

[agree]

It has been the same rides for 7 to 8 years now,I worked
For mid america in 08 and 09, and played the ISF,and on several
Occasions quote]



Now I understand your posts, I have never met an ex-employee who couldn't run the show better than the owners.


I think some are over thinking this. I mean, I go to the LA County Fair, and Orange County fair every year and their midway's are the same every year. Rides like Tango and Evolution have been going to both spots for almost ten years. The only difference from what I saw is a different coaster. The one RCS bought from Santas Village which was a new piece in 2011. All it did was replace a coaster not add to count. I don't see or hear complaints, and if they are, they're still coming back.

I get what some of you are saying, but which Indy's would you book in? Indiana and Wisconsin overlapped this year right? So those guys weren't available.
[agree]

It has been the same rides for 7 to 8 years now,I worked
For mid america in 08 and 09, and played the ISF,and on several
Occasions I heard parents saying its a nice fair,but they all also
Said its the same rides from the year before,im sorry but the
Carnival is a brand,that u try to sell,just like a car dealer,except
When buying a new or used car,the dealer doesnt try to sell
The same car u just owned, I beleive in the carnival biz,your
Goal should be to get most ove the same people to return,because
They know it will be a new experince,and not the same, just saying!!!
I just returned from my third visit to this year's Indiana State Fair. I always go three or four times each year, and as hard as it may be for you to believe, sometimes I never even set foot on the midway. However, I did tonight.

You are not going to find me putting down Mid America Shows, I mean N.A.M.E.. They obviously have great looking rides and professional looking staff. And yet, I get what some of you are saying. This midway, as good as it is, does kind of give me the sensation of been-there-done-that. Why won't N.A.M.E. allow some Indepenents on the midway that might give it a fresher look?

Year after year, the ISF midway only has one big coaster, and it always is the crazy mouse coaster. I'm sure that maybe someone would like the opportunity with a Zyklon/Galaxy type of coaster get back in there. Also, for many years now, the only Himalaya-type ride at the ISF is a one-trailer watered-down Wisdom version. Again, I'm pretty sure an independent operator would maybe bring a "real" Himalaya in there given the chance. And yes, people know the difference, not just us fans.

But again, I'm not slamming N.A.M.E., just looking for some noticeable variety.
I've never been "with it", just been an interested observer of carnivals for more than 50 years.
Johnny's United Shows..."A Family Tradition" and "All for Fun, Fun for All".
The carnival of my youth, which had roots that originated in my hometown.
Originally Posted by: thunderbolt85 

And one other thing while I am on it, Fairs can not survive without carnivals (not on a large scale). Fairs need to understand when they demand these high %s that is really hurting the customer because a show can't bring in more equipment, liked booked. A carnival has to make a profit, and they can't buy those big rides and fill up those midways when they have to pay so much to the fair. Or you get midways with only one music ride that is a one trailer unit. And high gate's are hurting as well, one fair in this area charges about $8 a person, while the state fair (with a midway triple in size) only charges $10? If people are going to spend that much money a lot of times they will just go to an amusement park. I understand fairs have expenses, but think of the expenses a carnival has (high rides, fuel, labor, CDL junk, inspections, insurance, taxes, etc). A lot of shows do still put on a great midway, but if we want to return to the "glory" days, there has to be a balance. I miss those big rides as much as any one, but a man can't go broke trying to move them.




I see your point, but when you are the carnival owner, don't you expect the Fair to pull their weight and produce events that will draw crowds too? Truck Pull Promoters/Producers, Demo Derby Producers and other motorsports producers are chargin anywhere from $3000 to $10,000. Heck a simple rodeo can cost $15,000 to put on. So from the Fair side, how do you make that money if you don't get it at the gate?

I don't really know what the answer is. The stronger county fairs are the ones who have good solid community support from businesses and can sell sponsorships. But small county fairs have a really hard time with that in some areas.

I do think that the most potential issue you bring up is a fair charging a high % on the contract AND having a high gate too.
It all boils down to opinions that's all. I personally will spend my $$ to go to an old traditional amusement park like Kennywood or Knoebels before laying down my cash to go to a mega-super sanitized-six flags type theme park where I have to wait four hours in line to get on a ride. I feel the same way towards carnivals, I'll travel a distance to see e.g. an old Eyerly ride still operating before going to some local show that has everything another show has the next town over. We like what we like, that's all.
Originally Posted by: tiltcharles 

Guys the fact is that this conversation is a result of not so exciting midways that we all wish would be like the good old days. Truth is there are some shows that will furnish a jam up midway still. examples - wade, rcs, funtastic. so always remember the stuff is still out there some where.



I don't see your point of what was so great about the old days. The midways of today are far better looking and more exciting. Matching canvas, employees in uniforms, plants and landscaping around the entrances and exits of all attractions, game and food booths, office complex, and the midway entrance. Today's shows are moving forward, but with a different mind set. Enhancements. Making the best of what you already own, but making it better with new paint jobs, different lighting, etc. Which costs a lot less the running over to Holland to buy a Space Roller. That's moving forward. Sure we're seeing big pieces slowly make their way over here, but look who's buying them. Independent operators not the shows.

If we're still discussing the photo in the post, I really don't see what some are seeing. I mean the equipment looks clean, bright, and safe. That's the main priorites. If the fair is hitting or exceeding their projected numbers with what's there, than I don't see why you have to reinvent the wheel. There's nothing wrong with adding new stuff but you don't always need a Tango, or a Flipper to do it.
I completely agree with the Showmanship aspect of the business. For example, has anyone ever seen Majestic Midways fleet of Tractors? All of them are painted with a beautiful blue and white color scheme. It almost reminds you of blue tiger stripes going across the hood and the scoop of the tractor that is all painted on a white basecoat. And then each blue stripe is pinstriped with dark blue pinstripe tape. I was the painter for the show for about 3 winters and yes it is a little more work and money to accomplish such a thing but it reaks "Showmanship" when all 9 or 10 of the tractors are lined up at a 45 degree angle on a high foot traffic area of the lot for the public to purposely see. Some customers would even line up their families to take photos in front of the trucks it was so impressive. Some might say who cares but most customers know who Majestic Midways is and don't mind spending the extra money for a quality show. People take notice of way more than a lot of us give them credit for. They may not say anything but they are thinking it. Even the uniforms used to be a Blue shirt and white shorts with white sneakers and the male operators were required to wear a Majestic Midways hat. If they weren't in proper uniform they could not work. They have since changed to Maroon colored shirt and khaki colored shorts but to me that speaks volume to the customers. It could also be why Majestic Midways is doing so well compared to a lot of other shows. I believe it's a snowball effect. Nice show, more customers, better contracts, etc... Majestic has a proven track record of that. Just my two cents which I think makes sense.
Guys the fact is that this conversation is a result of not so exciting midways that we all wish would be like the good old days. Truth is there are some shows that will furnish a jam up midway still. examples - wade, rcs, funtastic. so always remember the stuff is still out there some where.