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Browns Amusements Prepares for 2024 with New Rides & Refurbishments
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Danny Brown of Brown's Amusements can't help but feel thankful when he reflects on his 2023 season and prepares for 2024. Surrounded by loving family, loyal employees, and friends in the industry, Brown is grateful for his life in the carnival industry. While he's happy with the progress his show has made over the years, he claims there is always more work to be done. Brown spent lots of time in his shop in the off-season, preparing for another great year on the road in 2024. 

Brown purchased a used Zierer Wave Swinger that he is currently refurbishing in his winter quarters.  He found a guy in Missouri that will be taking care of the paint and cleaning the art work on this beautiful attraction.  The ride is currently “in a million pieces” at his shop but Brown is hoping that with new air ride axles, fifth wheel and paint, the ride will be a centerpiece for the show.  He is hoping to do some rentals with the ride, possibly even get some movie gigs for it.

In addition to the big Wave Swinger project, the Brown's Amusements team is redoing a Gravitron ride. “I thought about buying a new one,” says Brown. “But with prices what they are and delivery times what they are, I decided to redo one instead.” In the shop, Brown is putting a new front on the ride and adding some great graphics.

Kiddie ride-wise, Brown is adding new graphics and painting vehicles on a Construction Zone ride. “We're also wrapping our ticket boxes and re-doing a trailer to create a center Magic Money trailer for the midway,” says Brown. As if those projects are not enough, Brown is also working on a new airsoft rifle game to add to the midway. “We did one of those last year and it turned out great,” he says. “We are going to do a western theme and going to use old style western rifles from a company in Salt Lake City.” 

Brown has added some new purchases to his show this year, including new bunkhouses from Gary Otterbacher's Lifetime Products, a new Puppy Roll ride from Mike Featherstone and a swing ride from Tommy Coffing.  He is waiting on a dragon coaster from Kolmax Plus which he hopes to take delivery on this year.

Brown's season opens May 1 and he says the show has plenty of work. The show finishes up about mid-October but Brown says they do some corporate event rentals through Halloween. 

He spends about 2 1/2 months a year in Salt Lake with his carnival company, from the 1st week of June through August. He plays many county fairs and city events on both sides of I -15.  He sometimes splits the show into 2 and even 3 units to service the number of clients.  “Its good territory,” said Brown adding, “the unemployment is low here.  If you want a job, you can work.”

 During the Salt Lake City stretch of his route, Brown says he tears down on Saturday nights and gets to move the show on Sunday when things are quiet. “I think my longest jump during that time is 60 miles,” says Brown. 

Brown's Amusements charges $40 for a wristband and has a Fast Pass option at many venues for a $20 add on. Brown also often offers advance sales for his events, featuring a $30 wristband for customers who buy early. The show uses Magic Money for tickets and they were one of the first to test the system.  Brett Enright, owner of Magic Money, lives near Brown and he helped worked out the system as it was being developed. “Along with the Star Link internet system, digital ticketing has been a game changer for the show,” says Brown. 

The 2024 season will mark Brown's 20th year using foreign labor and he's certainly excited to celebrate that. “We started with twelve employees and now have about 100 of them,” says Brown. “We still have three of our original employees coming to work for us each year.” Brown's Amusements hires employees from Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, and South Africa; they also have four people on visas from Canada. “We are very proud of our guys and they make us look really good,” says Brown. “We are grateful to have them.” Brown also shared he has an employee who has worked for him on the show for 37 years. “The best assets I have are the people around me. I can't do what I do without my guys,” says Brown. 

Brown and his wife, Sherri, have been married for 44 years. They both grew up in the carnival industry before creating their own show. “When I was a kid I used to want to run away from the carnival and join a home,” laughs Brown. “I wanted to be home so I could play sports or go to camp but my life turned out pretty great.” 

As his business grew, Brown turned to friends and colleagues in the industry. “I like to learn things from others in the business,” says Brown. “This business has been great to me and I'm thankful to the people I've met over the years.” Brown mentioned his friend Reid Williams who was always a great teacher but is now retired. “We started from zero with this show and Reid would always help us out when I was down in the dumps,” says Brown. He also mentioned Butch Butler, Dave and Debbie Helm, and Ray Cammack as people who helped a lot along the way. 

Looking ahead to 2024, Brown doesn't plan to change up much. “We always want to do a better job at what we do best,” says Brown. “It's a lot of work in this industry. You have to spend every day working hard but if you're willing to get up and put in the time then there's a pretty good success rate.”
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