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Browns Amusements: an Expanding Carnival Route
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Celebrating 22 years in business, Browns Amusements is a family-owned company that is steadily growing. Danny and Sherry Brown are in the second generation of industry people, and as Danny Brown notes “Sherry and I are proud of the show we have built and the personnel that has grown with us. Our turnover rate these past 10 years is under 5%. That’s a great savings to the company and our equipment is in better condition because of it.”

He notes that the company continues to use H2B Visa seasonal workers as well as American workers and management. “We are in our 14th year with the H2B Visa program. It has literally changed our operations,and we are always concerned about the status of the program, regarding the U.S. government’s position onthe program. We have been lucky to receive all the workers we request each year due to us starting so early in the year, and we hope the program continues for many years to come.”

Brown adds that the company’s route has evolved over the years. “As the economy had its highs and lows, so did our route. We worked hard to react to the economic challenges we faced over the years, and we continue to seek out the markets that are strong and flourishing. We have a good route with potential for growth into the future.” He adds that the company currently has strong contracts in Arizona, Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Idaho, and Nevada. The company has two units, and refurbishes rides continuously. The company uses its winter quarters near Phoenix to upgrade and refurbish its inventory, and never slacks off on upkeep and fresh looks from paint to lighting.

As to his ticket operations, Brown says the company is continuing to strengthen their ticketing by using a token-ticket program as well as a Fast Pass wristband program. “Our midway is cashless for the rides and games. We accept credit cards at all points of sale. All of this, along with our aggressive POP wristband pre-sale program, and ‘Buddy Day’ promotion, has helped to increase our sales in all markets.”

Browns Amusements

Increased social media marketing has also boosted sales. “We have started to use social media with Facebook at our locations, and we have encouraged all our fair contracts to add our web-site link onto their sites as well,” he asserts.

As to equipment, there is always something new, he attests. “Every year we look to new equipment to enhance our midway with new and exciting rides. This year we have added a Jumping Jumbos Elephant ride, as well as 3 new food wagons. Next year, we are looking to replace and/or purchase a few more rides to upgrade from kiddie-only rides to family rides.”

When it comes to concessions, Browns Amusements owns several games and several new food trailers purchased from Hitch-Hiker Manufacturing.  Other games and concessions are booked in.

Browns Amusements

Technology is also at the forefront of running a successful carnival these days. According to Brown, “In 2017 we started to install ELD’s - electronic logging devices - in all our commercial trucks. It was a large expenditure for the show, and required a great deal of training for management and drivers alike.” But it was worth the effort for the Browns. “Today, we are enjoying the simplicity of using the devices and using the vast amount of information it supplies us. It keeps our drivers in-check with completing logs, moving trucks and vehicle speeds.” A new tech addition is ahead. “We are now looking to add Dash Cams with dual vision in all trucks as well.” He calls it “Just our continued efforts and commitments to maintain a safe midway and trucks on the highway.”

It’s also a part of Brown’s commitment to his employees, whom he views as an essential asset to the company, and he works hard to train them, running twice-daily staff meetings, and monitoring the training process, along with cross-training on as many rides as possible to create the most flexible scheduling and breaks. The company also runs an Employee of the Week program, which gives the chosen employee a prize. And, the Browns believe in and support positive, motivational reinforcement among their staff whenever possible.

The company has come a long way in a short time. In 1979 as independent concession owners, the Browns added more attractions to their route, and by 1996 they had grown to 12 rides, 10 games and 1 food concession.

Today, with over 40 rides, plus food offerings and games, the company focuses on establishing every working relationship as a partnership, and they encourage event sponsors to work closely with them in terms of marketing and promotion – and customer satisfaction. Brown says they truly consider both their employees and their customers as a part of their partnership team, and also looks at customers as their employers, as their participation in the carnival is what makes the company successful.

Brown is looking forward to a prosperous 2019, citing an improving economy drawing more attendees to the carnivals.

Browns Amusements

Browns Amusements
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