Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Scott And Carol Present Tuesday at IAAPA

Our first stop on the show floor was the booth of the Coney Island Development Corporation. This is the people wearing white hats in the battle over real estate in Brooklyn.

They are trying to preserve the heritage of America’s First Playground, Coney Island. Lynn Kelly, President, was at the booth when we stopped by and she invites all the News Plus Notes readers to visit their website at http://www.thecidc.org/ and read all the news they want about their attempt to preserve this historical treasure.

There still should be places in America where everyone can go to enjoy some seaside amusement rides, not just those who can afford to buy a waterfront condominium.

Right now the CIDC is reaching out to the amusement industry for a white knight who will partner with them to restore the luster of Coney Island.

A pleasant surprise was our encounter with Frank Kozel, owner of Perky’s Pizza. We usually aren’t impressed with amusement facility pizza but if you walk by a stand that advertises Perky’s, it is well worth a taste. With over 600 locations serving it up, it shouldn’t be too hard to find. It was amazingly good for as fast as they served it up. We tried the pepperoni and will try some of their other offerings during the 2009 season. A full service solution provider, we hope they come to a park nearer to us soon.

S & S Power Sports showed a car from Steel Hawg, the new coaster at Indiana Beach.
They are also developing a new coaster concept similar to an old Schwarzkopf concept of many years ago. Here is a photo and a video of the new design:

The also had art showing the cars for the F1 coaster being built at Dubai.

The new coaster being built in China by Martin & Vleminckx is China’s first wooden roller coaster and is a joint venture between Gravity Group and M & V. What a sweet looking ride. No word yet on whether this might be the inaugural installation of GG’s new Timberliner trains.

The company had a model of the Boardwalk Bullet wooden coaster at Kemah Boardwalk on display.

We finished our day listening to a panel discussion from several Disney alumni. From left to right, Marty Sklar, Steve Baker, Van Romans, Ron Miziker, Chris Brown, Darrell Metzger, Andy Mandell, Bob Rogers. Moderated by Marty Sklar and Bob Rogers, they answered two questions:

The first question was what did you learn from Disney that you used the most in your new career away from the mouse? Some of the answers included the oft mentioned quality standards, the idea of starting with a blank sheet of paper for a new project, and the fact that breakthrough ideas never come through customer research. By general consensus, the most important was to develop a passion for your product throughout your entire team. Interestingly, it was brought up that the entertainment company that had a culture most like Disney was the Hershend Family Entertainment Company.

The second question was what have you learned since you left that you would like to have been able to tell Disney that might improve the company? The answers contained reducing bureaucracy by pushing decision making down to the lowest level, being able to take risks and accepting failure, and to make sure you spend enough money to get the quality you want. These are all interesting ideas that many organizations should consider during these trying economic times.
Well that’s enough for one day; we will have more news and views tomorrow.