According to co-owner Mary Talley, Talley Amusements has recently added new rides to her growing company, and continued the company's legacy of innovation and safe, immaculately clean attractions in 2018 and in planning for the year ahead.
“We are taking delivery on a 2019 100ft tall ARM Vertigo and a Downdraft from Battech in May,” she says. “And our Oribitor is being completely rebuilt by the factory.”
The company is focused on offering the latest in high tech thrill rides such as The Beast and the Iron Dragon Roller Coaster. Their recently added 108-foot tall Giant Ferris Wheel, built by Lamberink of the Netherlands, features gondolas large enough to seat 4 to 6 adults, and dazzling LED lights.
In all, Talley's midway includes more than 50 rides and attractions, as well as food and game concessions, and top-notch midway amenities such as a welcoming, lighted midway entrance gates, covered comfort stations, benches and rest areas, misting tents, and drinking fountains. The Lil' Tate Talley midway mascot is a vibrant visual graphic designed for maximum recognition, and appears on ride- height signs, their bright and colorful ticket booths, and trash containers with decorative covers. Talley's works hard to make its midway attractive, and create park-like settings, encouraging longer and more comfortable stays for guests. Lil' Tate is also a live mascot figure, an attraction in his own right, posing for carnival guests on the midway and teaching ride safety in schools.
The ride-height signs allow guests to find the rides that fit their family's needs, and the company even provides a list online of appropriate rides, based on height. In addition to minimum height requirements, also noted for some attractions is a specific maximum height, keeping older kids, teens, and adults away from kiddie rides such as the tea cups. It's safety first at the company, Talley attests.
When it comes to midway food, Talley offers quality renditions of carnival standards like corn dogs, funnel cakes, sausage on a stick, nachos, roasted corn, fried candy bars, curly fries, red velvet funnel cakes jumbo turkey leg and many other one-of-a-kind treats.
The games that Talley offers are centered on a family-friendly soft sell approach with most being prize ever time games. All joints feature color coodinated canvas.
And the games that Talley offers are centered on the family-friendly, such as duck pond, and other winner-every-time games.
Talley operates 50+ rides and attractions such the KMG Beast, Fast Trax Super Slide, Mega Drop, Century Wheel, and the new Lambrink Dutch Wheel. The show books several pieces including the Fast Trax slide at the San Diego County Fair in Del Mar, CA each year. Along with the carnival's traveling midway rides, Tom and Mary own the iconic 212-foot Texas Star Ferris Wheel, permanently located on the fair grounds of the State Fair of Texas, which is billed as the largest traditional ferris wheel in North America. With some 16,000 LED lights, the ride, which was built by SDC was originally imported by her father Buster Brown.
Offering precise maintenance and superior technology is not just for rides alone, says Talley. Debuting last season was Talley's RFID-based cashless midway system, Magic Money. This state of the art radio frequency identification based digital ticketing system works in a full-service cloud technology. It allows the company to do everything from streamlining management tasks to improving the guest experience, and providing insights into carnival events that help to build Talley's business growth and successful branding. The system's capabilities helps to eliminate long lines and captures real-time activity by guests. And it logs sales and vendor performance rates. The bottom-line result is an increase in revenue, efficiency, and accountability.
Talley notes “We are the first carnival to have RFID based digital ticketing. All the other shows who used electronic ticketing used a barcode based system, but we use RFID. This is the future,” she stresses.
According to Talley, the carnival's ticket pricing is a standard $1 per ticket, with ride ticket amounts varying by attraction.
The company primarily relies on social media marketing to promote both their carnival midway and the events where they set up, from big fairs to small carnivals. “We use Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram,” she stresses. “Talley also has its own personal app for both Android and iOS.” Through these marketing resources, Talley's offers promotional opportunities for the fairs they operate with as well as for the carnival itself.
Their 2019 season started in January at the Ft. Worth Stock Show and closes at the State Fair of Texas. Added to their route in 2019 is The Ohio State Fair and the Delta Fair in Memphis, TN and many other county fairs and festivals in Texas.
Talley describes her company as having “the cleanest operations. Our rides are all in perfect condition,” she notes, stressing “all.”
Tom and Mary Talley are in the fourth generation of their family's amusement ride providers, starting back in the early 1900s. The family carnival industry tradition is extending into the fifth generation with their three daughters, Meagan, Cortney, and Taylor, who are all involved in the company.
Talley's great-grandfather was the amusement industry pioneer Bill Hames, who began in 1910 with just a single ride. Before he entered the amusement business, he owned a stirrup factory, and he took on his first ride after allowing that ride, a horse-drawn merry-go-round, to be stored on his property. The owner never came back for it, and a carnival was born, with Hames initially charging a nickel a ride, and moving the contraption by train. Mary's great-grandfather was the first carnival operator at the Houston Fat Stock Show in 1938 and also the first carnival vendor at the Fort Worth Stock Show.
From that small beginning to today's cutting edge ticketing technology and bevy of rides, games, and food, Talley is part of a Texas tradition that just keep growing.