Midway Talk

President of A.R.M. Rides, Mike Gill, reports that the company has purchased a High Definition CNC Plasma/Oxy cutting system that allows the ride manufacturer to cut profiled steel components for fabrication and incorporate new uses of their 3D CADD design software in the form of custom artistic scenery panels.  “In 2012 we have made deliveries of our newly themed Rock Star and Flying Dutchman to Ray Cammack Shows, Rockwell Amusements, Ottaway Amusements, Murray Brothers Inc., Dixieland Carnival Co., and Powers Great American Midways,” states Mike.  “We have also had continued success with our Super Shot drop tower and Vertigo Swing Tower with customers such as Beech Bend Amusement Park, Dreamland Amusements, Mike Safie-Eminsa, and N.A.M.E.”  The ride manufacturer has also been busy with refurbishment and re-theming projects: “In all of our rides we have made a commitment to using digitally printed vinyl wraps on most of our scenery panels and bally clothes…We have worked closely with Chuck Wheeler and his team from Amusement Wraps to develop the very popular Rock Star and Flying Dutchman Themed Ali Baba and Full Tilt.  Not only has this lead to a revived interest in a past favorite of many carnival owners, it has also allowed us to offer a great refurbishment option to our present Ali Baba ride owners.  In addition to theme refurbishments A.R.M. can also replace existing DC drive systems with a newly designed A/C frequency drive and motor.  “The new A/C drive system offers greater reliability, higher efficiency, and less costly motor repairs,” states Mike.

A new attraction is set for construction in New York City.  Plans are in place to build a 625-foot, $230 million amusement wheel on Staten Island.  The wheel will be the tallest of its kind and offer views of the Statue of Liberty and downtown Manhattan.

Gold Star Amusements provided the midway at the Steele County Free Fair in Owatonna, MN.  The event ran from August 14 – 19 and welcomed a 5 percent increase in attendance this year with 321,926 patrons visiting the event.  Midway revenue was also up this year with a 20 percent increase compared to 2011.  Gold Star provided 40 rides.  The top rides included a Freak Out, Century Wheel, Alpine Bobs, Muzik Express, Remix II, Carousel, and Monkey Maze.

Sadly, Elmer Reseland who retired as fair manager of the Steele County Fair passed away on August 17.  Elmer managed the fair for 18 years, retiring in 2011.  The fair board, concessionaires, midway staff, and fair patrons participated in a moment of silence on Saturday, August 18 in tribute to Elmer.

Gold Star Amusements also provided the midway at the 2012 South Dakota State Fair in Huron, SD.  The event ran from August 30 – September 3.  Total attendance reached 192,790, an increase of 1 percent from 2011.  Fair revenue increased 10 percent.

Top five rides at the 2012 Wisconsin State Fair were led by S.J. Entertainment’s Windstorm Rollercoaster followed by the Alpine Bobs (Blake’s Concessions), Freak Out (Poor Jack Amusements), Starship 3000 (Lazer Fair, Inc.), and Cliffhanger (Playworld Amusements).  Sky Attractions’ two new KMG attractions, the Fun Factory and the Stratosphere, came in at six and seven.  As reported in last month’s magazine, attendance at the WI State Fair hit 920,962—a two percent increase over 2011.

Battech Enterprises of Salem, Oregon delivered a Cliff Hanger to Archway Amusements during the 2012 season.  Also during the season, City of Fun Carnival took delivery of a new Zero Gravity from Battech Enterprises.  See this month’s article on the IAAPA Attractions Expo for more information on Battech’s upcoming ride, Hog Rally.

West Coast Amusements took delivery of a Majestic Charlie Hopper during the 2012 season.  The new ride traveled with WCA to the State Fair of Texas in Dallas along with the show’s Ring of Fire and Zero Gravity.

The Puyallup Fair in Puyallup, Washington drew 1,117,323 people in 2012—58,141 more than last year.  The event ran from September 7 – 23.  Funtastic Shows provided the fair’s midway.  The fair will operate under the new name of Washington State Fair beginning in 2013.  Dates for the 2013 Washington State Fair are September 6 – 22.

The Great Lakes State Fair, which ran from August 31 – September 3, recorded its first edition with an attendance of over 50,000 fairgoers.  The Detroit-area event was produced to fill the void left by the Michigan State Fair, which has not operated since 2009.  Arnold Amusements provided the midway with nearly 30 rides.  Organizers have already begun planning next year’s edition of the event.

Butler Amusements reports that attendance was up at the Eastern Idaho State Fair in Blackfoot.  The event ran from September 1 – 8 and welcomed 224,000 fairgoers compared to 219,000 in 2011.

The 2012 Indiana State Fair concluded its 17-day run with a total attendance of about 800,000 people.  North American Midway Entertainment provided 47 rides on the State Fair’s midway including their Crazy Mouse Coaster, Drop Tower, White Water Flume Ride, and an A.R.M. Vertigo that made its debut at the event.  N.A.M.E. reports an increase of 4 percent in revenue at this year’s event.

The annual IAFE Convention and Trade Show will be held November 25 – 29 at the Paris Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada.  Among the events this year will be the new educational programming, Tech Tidbits.  These fifteen-minute sessions will cover useful bits of information about the use of technology within the fair and amusement industry.  Subjects include: Social Media Pitfalls, Google Analytics, YouTube, Surveys, and iPads at the Fair.

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