News Flashes from Tourist Attractions & Parks Magazine

July 26, 2013 No Comments

IAAPA Is Accepting Hall of Fame Nominations

Have you ever considered nominating someone for the IAAPA Hall of Fame Award? Now is your chance! Nominations are due Aug. 1, 2013

The IAAPA Hall of Fame was established in 1990 to celebrate outstanding achievement and contributions to the growth and development of the global amusement parks and attractions industry; an industry that, like few others, depends on the imaginations, talents and vision of its dream builders.

Since that time, dozens of industry pioneers have been honored. The IAAPA Hall of Fame inductees are not chosen by virtue of their personal success alone but rather for significant contributions to the entire industry. Nominees may be living or deceased. The IAAPA Hall of Fame and Archives Committee, led by Ron Gustafson of Quassy Amusement Park, will select the 2013 inductee(s) and the award(s) will be presented at IAAPA Attractions 2013 in Orlando, on Nov. 19.

Please review the selection criteria and submit an online nomination form by Aug. 1, 2013, to nominate someone for the IAAPA Hall of Fame. If you have questions about Hall of Fame nominations, please contact Jan McCool ( or David Mandt ( at IAAPA at +1 703/836-4800.

CORE Cashless Announces a New Partnership

CORE Cashless is proud to announce a new partnership with Firestone Financial that will give CORE customers two different financing options., including an option for 0 percent APR for 12 months.  This will give customers a flexible way to pay for their cashless system and will allow CORE to reach previously unattainable levels of business and efficiency.  Both financing options are now available through CORE Cashless.

Gold Medal Offers “Build Your Own Production System”


Redefine the future and design your own financial freedom. That’s the power of the new Build Your Own Production System. Operators asked for more control over their popcorn and gourmet corn production, so Gold Medal created the completely customizable, one-stop shop for popping up profits.

This revolutionary setup is extremely versatile. The equipment is independent of each other, interchangeable and can be retrofitted in the field. Owners can add as many machines as they need, run only the items they want, and control their investments.

Selections include:

  • 48, 60, or 79-inch tables;
  • 36 to 60-ounce poppers;
  • Domestic/export options for all equipment;
  • Right/left-hand kettle dump options for poppers and Corn Treat Mixers;
  • Salt/Sweet Switch (lowers the kettle temperature by about 40° to keep
    the sugar from burning);
  • Bag-in-Box or bucket oil systems;
  • 5 or 10-gallon Corn Treat Mixers and digital displays;
  • Filter and Karmel Kool systems;
  • Plus, a pull-out corn storage bin is a standard features and holds 50 pounds.

The options are endless! For more information on this system or any other product, contact Gold Medal Products Co. at 800-543-0862 and, or check out the website at

Special Tourist Attractions & Parks (TAP) Newsletter Feature

Top Hiring and Training Tips For Leisure Entertainment Facilities

It’s no secret that the quality of attractions and foodservice play a significant role in determining whether or not guests return to any leisure entertainment facility. However, the caliber of employees also comes into play here, which is why savvy hiring and training are a must for venues of all types.

In addition to the standard interview questions, such as those pertaining to candidates’ experience, owners and operators would do well to pose other queries to give them a better feel for whether a prospective hire is the right fit for the job and if the individual really wants to work at a given facility, or just wants a position anywhere. For instance, during interviews at Gilroy Gardens Family Theme Park in Gilroy, Calif., candidates are asked why they want a position with the venue in particular, the name of their favorite amusement park character, how they would handle an angry customer, how they play with children and how they would make a child laugh. Other questions include why the person thinks guests frequent the park, what type of environment should be promoted there and what suggestions candidates may have for ensuring a safe, yet fun working environment.

Special considerations apply to hiring seasonal workers, whose temporary employment status may make them less interested in and dedicated to their jobs as their permanent counterparts. Seasonal workers also tend to be younger and less experienced, and, as such, may not be as serious about fulfilling their responsibilities as they otherwise might be. To increase the odds of success in finding seasonal staff members who will give their “all” to a leisure entertainment facility despite their relatively short tenure there, owners and operators should consider seeking out candidates who clearly have an interest in the nature of their work. For example, at the Administrative Assistant and Guest Services Manager ElizaBeth McKay (who is involved in the hiring process) and Director Kathy Diekman narrow the field of potential hires not only to individuals who enjoy interacting with the public, but who clearly are animal-lovers (for instance, they have done volunteer work with animals or are big animal show fans). Seasonal “help wanted” notices posted at high schools and colleges throughout the area include verbiage that promotes the positions as educational opportunities to learn about animals, wildlife conservation and zoos as a whole.

For many facilities, hiring temporary workers who can remain on hand after the high season and/or once most students have returned to high school or college can be a challenge. One way to handle this is to offer at least some seasonal positions to students from abroad. Funland, in Rehoboth Beach, Del., employs about 100 to 110 people, with about 30 foreign students brought in to increase the staff ranks during the high season when American workers are largely unavailable, said Christopher Darr, personnel manager.

The Center for Cultural Interchange (CCI) facilitates relationships between United States businesses and international university students through its J-1 Summer Work and Travel Program and Career Advancement Program. CCI works with vetted partners in various countries to recruit and screen these students, matches them with potential employers based on their ability to suit individual facilities’ needs  and offers hiring options based on employer requirements, such as whether the latter will travel overseas to handle screening or if it prefers to/can only meet candidates via Skype All CCI program participants are  currently enrolled and in good standing at a university in their home country, have been tested for various levels of English proficiency and have passed muster in interviews with the U.S. Embassy in their own country.

As for training, formal orientation should include, in addition to meetings and classroom-style sessions, several days of “shadowing” an experienced staff member. At Oasis Bowl & Family Fun Center in Fallon, Nev., new employees work alongside more seasoned personnel for several days before they are allowed to do their jobs solo or to interact with guests.

Follow-up training is also critical, especially—but not only—for younger, less experienced employees. At The Track Family Recreation Center facilities, in Destin, Fla.; Pigeon Forge, Tenn., and Gulf Shores, Ala., management holds a brief staff meeting each morning to discuss basic standards, like customer service, cleanliness, safety and how to handle common problems.

Kathy and Todd Elmer, owners of Casey’s Amusement Park, in Alexandria, Minn., follow much the same procedure, holding frequent gatherings to reinforce concepts learned by employees when they begin their tenure and discussing any difficulties staff members may be having.

Customer service skills, in particular, necessitate ongoing reinforcement. Gregory Smith, president of human resources and workplace management consulting firm Chart Your Course International, counsels his clients to regularly demonstrate and reinforce appropriate customer service principles. One family entertainment center, he said, has developed a list of “customer service commandments,” which run the gamut from eschewing a lack of answers to guests’ questions or telling visitors to ask another equally unknowledgeable colleague in favor of  politely offering to find the answers; to staying calm, collective and non-defensive when fielding guests’ complaints.  Daily customer service commandment reviews are held at the start of each shift. Another client relies on monthly role-playing sessions to impart customer service principles upon employees.


Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.


Empex Water Toys

Aquatons Water Toys

Challenger Industries

Sports surfaces, carpets and mini-golf surfaces.

Laser Star

Laser shooting galleries, laser tag, dark ride target systems, overhead target ranges.

Extreme Engineering

Industry leader in zip lines, climbing walls, jumper systems and adventure products.

Gould Manufacturing, Ltd.

Concession trailers and Antique, Jeep and Grand Prix auto rides.


Fresh food and sandwich options.

Master Pitching Machine

Batting cages and pitching machines.


Flashing cotton candy cones.

Penny Press

Penny souvenir machine, great for parks, FECs, bowling and skating centers, museums and tourist attractions.

Coast to Coast

Coin-operated entertainment, crane machines.

American Changer

Bill and coin dispensers and counters, ticket machines and more.

Tear Repair

Tear-Aid industrial strength patches to repair holes and tears.


Namco America is a premier manufacturer of coin-op arcade attractions, ranging from the hottest titles like Crazy Typhoon and Jumpin’ Jackpot to classic game-room experiences such as the Pac-Man 25th Anniversary upright that features Pac-Man, Ms. Pac-Man and Galaga. Specialized pieces such as Wonka Sweetland and Flamin Finger are favorites too! For arcade gaming fun, Namco America is your answer.

Beckman Insurance Agency

Amusement attractions insurance.

West Coast Netting, Inc.

Experienced netting manufacturer on the leading edge of innovation.

Berk Paper & Supply

Concession supplies.

Max Flight

Manufactures interactive virtual reality motion-platform game systems including networkable flight and roller coaster simulators.

Adventure Glass

Unique paddleboats.

Lakeshore Merchandise (Smart Vending)

Premier vending supply for all of your vending equipment and supply needs.

International Special Events (ISERA)

Risk purchasing group, a better way to purchase liability insurance, specializing in inflatables and much more.

Wapello Fabrications

Inflatables and portable amusements.

Sippers By Design

Design and manufacture of specialty custom-shaped drink containers.

A\’maze Ventures, Inc.

Mazes for every location, new and used.

Kay Park Recreations Corp.

Picnic tables, grills, park benches, planters, trash containers and more.


Manufacturer of waterslides

Fast Corp Vending

Frozen food vending machines

Nieco Corp

Nieco automatic broilers.

Weldon, Williams & Lick

Admission systems and wristband ticketing.

Jane Farrell Turf and Carpets, Inc.

Commercial carpet, printed and decorative patterns, loop and cut-pile construction. Wall coverings in fluorescents, Class A fire rated. Colored turf, both traditional and neon colors.

Brunswick Bowling

Entertainment bowling center developer and manufacturer of bowling equipment and entertainment products.

Look Solutions

Fog machines.

Davis & Davis, Inc.

Planning consultants for wet/dry attractions, mini-golf, go-kart tracks and laser arenas.

Spectrum Sports

Climbing walls, ropes courses, go-karts and more.

Thomco Insurance (Fun Pro)

Fun Pro is an insurance program especially designed for party planners and party rental businesses.

Knight Equipment

Drive cables for ferris wheels, Tilt-A-Whirls, Rock-O-Planes and many others.

Muncie Novelty Co., Inc.

Admissions, financial equipment, printing and tickets.

Family Fun Corp.

Waterpark walls for rivers, bumper boat and splash down pools.

Barron Games

Redemption air hockey games.

Center Edge Software

Facility Management Software Solutions

Flagship Carpet

Custom carpets and rugs.

Store on Wheels

Importer and distributor of quality toys, lighting and novelties. Cater to the amusement, retail and entertainment industries.

Sureshot Redemption

One-stop source for prize redemption counters at entertainment centers.


Laser maze challenge

Klopp International, Inc. (Playmeter)

Quality coin counters and sorters.

Martin Professionals

A lighting supplier of choice for the entertainment industry.

Poly Products

Tables, benches and related products. Green products for a green world.

Money Tree – ATM

ATM machines.

Harris Miniature Golf Course

Design and construction of miniature golf courses and water rides.


Boxerjocks robotic boxing amusement ride game attraction.

LMap Powered by Silvercrest
Extreme Engineering
Rebound Unlimted, Inc.