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West Coast Amusements: Innovating & Expanding Canadian Midways
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With two units and 50 rides, West Coast Amusements offers a wide variety of carnival options in Western Canada. According to Tarah Hauser, who operates the company along with husband Rob, and family members Darcy and Jaclyn (Hauser) Benson. WCA serves Western Canada, running approximately 40 shows between both units.

“We start our season locally in Vancouver, head to Vancouver Island and then into the interior. By the end of May, both units are into the rodeo circuit, finishing up late September back in the lower mainland,” explains Hauser.

Rob and Tarah, Darcy and Jaclyn comprise the 3rd generation of the company. Their children, now involved in the maintenance and operations sides of the business, are leading the way into the 4th generation for the company. “I married into carnival life,” Tarah says. “It just seemed like so much fun. Every day there's some kind of fire to put out, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't love our industry. We have been blessed with the opportunity to carry on our family's legacy. Everything else is just a bonus. We run the winter quarters, we refurbish the rides, run the games and food concessions, serve as ticket ambassadors. It's a lot. But we love it.”

The company will be sporting a brand-new concession trailer for corn dogs and lemonade, manufactured by Schantz. “The trailer will use new LED screens for its menu boards, which is a very fresh idea,” Hauser says.

Games are also a big part of West Coast's offerings, with the Hausers owning games and independent operators providing others. “In all, we have about 25 games, including all the classics.

As for food concessions, those are handled by the Hauser family themselves. Rob and Jaclyn's sister Stephanie and husband Rino own/operate the food operation on one of the units. Mini-donuts, candy floss, slushies, and snow cones are all strong sellers, Hauser reports. If those top sellers sound a little different than those at carnivals in the U.S., there's a reason. “The mini donuts have the same appeal as funnel cakes in the U.S. They're super popular,” she says. “And of course, candy floss is the same thing as cotton candy. We have all the fair food that everyone craves. We host 20 trailers for food between both units.”

One new offering on the WCA midway this year comes from Sip Soda Co. “We're very excited to welcome Sip Soda, a unique twist to your favourite refreshments. As pioneers to the Canadian Market in the art of ‘dirty soda', they specialize in blending sodas with the creamiest of creams and exotic flavorings to create a truly bespoke beverage experience. Each drink a masterpiece crafted with endless creative flavour combinations”, explains Hauser.

West Coast has made one big change that Hauser terms ‘integral'. “We've implemented Magic Money, a digital ticketing platform. Having a cashless midway makes everything so much more efficient on our end. Each transaction is quick. There was a bit of a learning curve not only internally, but for our guests, but the switch has been well received. We're loving the live time data each transaction gives us. Knowing exactly what's happening out on the midway at all times has helped us to maintain a high standard of guest experience,” says Hauser.

WCA is also working with Magic Money to create an online ride inspection portal. “This will be another big step in the direction of simplifying our filing and ride documentation. We are still in development stages,” she reports. “It will be ready in time for the start of our season this year, which is very exciting.”

“Its all about finding ways to pivot into efficient and fresh methods to improve our operations. Our industry is ever evolving which keeps us on our feet. At the end of the day, we are here to create a safe fun space for all our staff and guests. Looking ahead to bring the latest and greatest midway attractions while doing what we love.”
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