Saturday, October 20, 2012

News From Premier Rides, Chance, Vekoma, and Ride Entertainment

Maryland's Premier Rides, known for some of the wildest and unique rides and attractions out there, has welcomed Pete Barto as their new Director of Sales.

Pete will travel directly to customers in order to meet specific client needs and interests, and better present the wide variety of products that Premier Rides offers.  He has worked in the industry previously, as the Vice President of Exhibitions, Conference and Sales with IAAPA - where he worked the marketing efforts of the organization's trade shows, along with FunWorld Magazine.

A true ride fan, Pete is a theme park enthusiast, and seems quite pleased to be rejoining the industry after spending some time working outside of it.  He and his wife, Heather, have traveled to many parks, even spending part of their honeymoon at them.

Jim Seay, President of Premier Rides, commented, “We are excited to have Pete on board. The combination of Pete’s sales expertise and extensive experience in the industry will allow Premier to better anticipate the needs of our valued customers and to identify new opportunities.”

Congratulations to Mr. Barto and by all means, get selling!  


Chance Rides and Vekoma Manufacturing have announced the discontinuation of their partnership in North America.  The two have had a licensing agreement for Vekoma products sold in the U.S. market since 2006.

"Despite the good cooperation during the past years, effective October 2012, Chance and Vekoma have decided to separately approach the US-market. Our companies have valued the relationship and will work together to ensure a smooth transition on the existing projects. Chance Rides will continue to provide spare parts and technical service for all the rides built under the license agreement," says Chance.

The partnership successfully delivered three Vekoma family coasters in the U.S. market, with another one currently under construction at Fun Spot Action Park in Florida.


Gerstlauer Amusement Rides, represented in the U.S. by Ride Entertainment, has had a very busy past couple of years.  So busy in fact that for the last few years they have been producing coasters at capacity, filling as many ride orders as possible.

To keep up with the demand, Gerstlauer previously expanded in 2008 with the addition of a new production space dedicated to track manufacturing.  At the time it seemed that the new space would allow for almost endless expansion, however, now with so much coaster track being bent throughout the year they're in need of more room once again.

Enter the above new production facility, this time tailor made to handle sandblasting and painting.  Large track pieces can now be easily handled by Gerstlauer on site, substantially upgrading the company's efficiency.

So just how busy as 2012?  Well, three SkyFly rides opened around the world, a unique spinning coaster, complete with a world's first inversion, opened in Japan, a Family Shuttle Ride went to France, and a Polyp flat ride opened in Sweden.  The U.S. saw the creative Iron Shark open in Texas, new coaster trains fabricated for Hersheypark, and a SkyFly at the Mall of America.

But how about next year, we're always looking forward to next year, no?  "Next year we are busy doing more classics like hybrid coaster trains and Bobsled Coasters, but also some more firsts, such as our newly-designed 8-passenger launch vehicles," says Gerstlauer.  Projects will appears on three continents next year, so keep an eye out for future announcements.