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IISF Gibtown Trade Show Wraps Up; Small Show Produces Positive Results

Gosetto debuts Atlantis Fun House at the IISF Trade Show
The two story attraction racks on one main load and a secondary cargo trailer and was delivered to Deggeller Attractions after the show.

Rides 4U - New & Used Rides RIDE HELP WANTED
The 2021 IISF Trade Show wrapped up Friday in Gibtown.  That the show even went off was a small miracle, every other trade show in the industry canceled in-person attendance this year, but the men and women of the IISA were proudly determined to set things back on a normal course.  

While there were less vendors, and attendance was not what it was in previous years, almost all those exhibiting said they were pleasantly surprised by the turnout and the optimism of the buyers.   Greeting and interaction throughout the show was somewhat awkward, as people determined whether they should wear a mask around another person, should they greet friends and associates with a wave, a fist bump or a handshake?  Most people developed a system where they were respectful to the needs and views of others, but the default for most was definitely to try to be as “normal” as possible.

Galaxy Amusement Sales

Todd and Scott Kunz of Galaxy Amusement Sales were typical of the perspective of vendors at the show.  “It was very, very good”, said Todd Kunz.  “To be honest, we were worried people would be sad and depressed, initially we had reservations about it, but we saw a lot of hope for getting open and we had the products they need to do so”, he added.

Galaxy had a lot of product left over from last year and they were especially encouraged by sales of their EPA/FDA approved sanitizer and cleaning solutions.  Galaxy's product is registered on the vendor list for school cleaning and has an “extremely long shelf life”.  One tablet can treat 3 gallons of liquid for use in sanitizing.

When asked about sales, the brothers replied that they were mostly selling items to help shows ready to open.  “When they get the equipment ready and pull it out, they find they need lights, hose, cable and other general supplies that have broken or were damaged while laying dead.

Last year, the company was able to sell some sanitizer to food fairs and some of the vendors ordered supplies but it was a very, very slow year for the company.  Looking ahead however, they believe shows are very optimistic about opening and they will be right along side them to assist in the opening process.

Bob's Space Racers

Tony Cassata of Bob's Space Racers echoed the sentiment on getting open.  “Everybody is looking to get open”, said Cassata.  “The NY announcement was a big boost”, he added.  

Citing shows already open, he said business at most carnival dates was reported to be good the biggest problem was the uncertainty faced by shows who are in states without certain opening guidelines.  

Another issue facing vendors and carnivals alike at the trade show was the lack of financing available.  For bigger ticket items like a BSR game, this can pose a problem if companies are not writing new loans.

Asked about the trade show and their presence there, Cassata said for the 50-year old company who got their start in the business, this was a show of support and solidarity.  “The show was ok!”, he said with a nod, “I was impressed”.

Dalton Kid Rides 

Dalton Kid Rides' Kevin Dalton said he sold a piece at the show to a carnival from the US Virgin Islands, a trailer mounted motorcycle jump.

Commenting on the buyers he said people were reluctant to buy at this time as they were still “licking their wounds from last year”.  “Its going to take a little while to trickle down to me”, he added.

Wisdom Rides of America

The ownes of iLand Rides meet with Jared Davis of Wisdom Rides of America to make a purchase

Wisdom Rides' Jared Davis was perhaps the most pleasantly surprised of all the exhibitors.  “The show was good, very good”, he said.  “I had a lot of positive conversations from people in different parts of the country who said when they opened, they did very well”, he added.

Echoing others, he said the biggest problem right now is uncertainty in states that haven't made opening announcements.  

Davis sold a Silver Streak, also to iLand Rides in the US Virgin Islands, and he sold two Axis rides (updated Sizzler) and the second Y-Factor ride to shows, pending their opening.

“Traffic was light but the quality was good”, said Davis of the Trade Show.

Davis was excited to announce the availability of a new kiddie ride in the coming months, a modern version of the kiddie whip.  He had a a customer who came to him about remaking one of the old rides and he set about updating the 70s-era ride with some modern flair.  The new piece will hold 16 people and be an affordable option for shows of all sizes.  

Amusement Devices & Manufacturing (ADM)

Chandler & Brian Woodke of Amusement Devices & Manufacturing (ADM)

ADM Manufacturing of Schaller, IA services the smaller carnival and rental industry.  They have been in the manufacturing business since 1985, where they started with a slide and have now progressed to making over 20 types of rides.  

They have exhibited at the IAAPA show for 25 years where they sell to rental companies, and even the Marine Corp. Services Division.  

“It was a good show”, said Brian Woodke.  “I have no complaints.  There were less people but those that came were buyers.”.  Woodke said he won't know for sure until about two weeks from now, but thinks he will be very close to last year in sales.  He was especially surprised by the number of foreign buyers present.

One program ADM offers that definitely helped with sales: in-house financing.

Rides 4-U

Mark Blumhagen & Len Soled of Rides 4-U reported a successful show

Rides 4 U's Len Soled, ever the optimist, said the show was good for his company.  “We saw 60 - 70 different groups between parks and carnivals.  Those that came were excited we showed up and they said it gave them encouragement”.  

With news of NY opening guidelines being released, the NJ-based company said the optimism was contagious.

Soled made a number of deals at the show including
  • A Fredericksen slide to a park in Buffalo, NY
  • Sold a used Zipper to Jolly Roger Park in MD
  • Sold a used Afterburner to a Middle Eastern carnival
  • Made a deal to purchase a big roller coaster for transport to the states for a park.
  • Sold Bates' Eli 16 wheel to a park in TX
  • Sold a Flying Dragon ride to a new park in MS.
In addition to the sales, there were discussions on several used carousels.  

“I feel like it is going to be a good year”, said Soled.  “The vaccines will help and give everyone a feeling of freedom.  States that are open are doing well”, he added.  

Soled said the shore and pier parks along the East Coast had a phenomenal year.  Casino Pier in NJ bought a Visa Big Air Coaster which is going to be displayed at the Rides 4 U booth at IAAPA in November

Another project the company is starting is FunPlex in Myrtle Beach where they will have 12 attractions opening for Memorial Day.

Never one to sit still, from Gibtown, Soled is heading to California where he has leads on pumpkin patches that are interested in adding rides to their events.  

“The show must go on”, said Soled.  “I loved being here to see everyone and show support for the industry”.

Rocken Graphics introduced new pricing on yard signs at the show

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