News Flashes from Tourist Attractions & Parks Magazine

February 10, 2014 No Comments

Gold Medal Products: Multi-Million Dollar Growth under New Vice President

At Gold Medal Products in the last 20 years, international sales totals have grown 14-fold, creating double-digit increases year after year, thanks in part to David J. Garretson, the newly appointed Vice President International Sales. Since 1990, Garretson has helped Gold Medal’s global presence expand, including large, recent growth in Brazil, Russia, India and China. These consistent, multi-million-dollar advances come from developments like the explosion of worldwide movie theatres and customers enjoying new concession concepts.

Garretson’s first job was an international sales assistant, but he quickly rose up the ranks. He became a territory manager in 1993, and then manager of the international department in 2000. Garretson said his philosophy has always been “responsiveness, honesty and relationship-building.”

Dan Kroeger, President and CEO of Gold Medal, agreed.  “When you see our international dealers approach David at a trade show, you see two things,” he said. “The first thing is friendship, then a business relationship built on trust.”

Garretson, who began his career with a degree in political science and law-oriented diplomacy in foreign affairs, knew he wanted an internationally focused career after a momentous trip in high school to see his brother.  At the time, the older brother worked for Nestlé and lived in Switzerland.

Since then, Garretson has been looking toward the future and knows he wants to assist Gold Medal in continuing to introduce the world to the tasty, traditional treats Americans have loved for generations.

“For me, it’s always been more than just the sales. It’s been about talking to people, getting to know them, and how we can help. People appreciate knowing they are going to get a detailed, thoughtful response just for them,” Garretson said. “It’s about helping them grow and succeed by thoroughly explaining what the food concept is, and how it applies to what they are going to do.”

Garretson’s first Gold Medal trip was to the UK in 1992. Since then, he has flown more than 1,300,000 miles presenting Gold Medal to the world.

Foundations Entertainment University Announces Dates

The next Foundations Entertainment University will be held February 25-27, 2014 at the Sheraton Phoenix Airport Hotel in Phoenix, AZ.

Foundations Entertainment University will also be held April 7-8, 2014 at the Dubai Entertainment Amusement and Leisure Show (DEAL), The Arena, Dubai World Trade Center, UAE. Visit for more information.

Kings Dominion to Hire 4,000 Seasonal Associates for 40th Celebration

In preparation for Kings Dominion’s once-in-a-lifetime 40th Celebration, the park is seeking to fill 4,000 seasonal positions for the 2014 operating season.

“Our 40th Celebration fully relies on every associate delivering world-class customer service to all our guests,” said King Dominion Human Resources Director Greg Talley. “It’s our associates who make Kings Dominion such a unique experience and provide guests a lifetime of family fun and fond memories.”

Kings Dominion’s 40th Celebration begins on Saturday, April 5 and will feature the return of classic park icons, including the infamous Singing Mushrooms and oversized candy apples in the newly re-themed Candy Apple Grove section of the park. In addition to the restoration of the International Street fountain, additional announcements regarding this exciting celebration will be released soon.

Kings Dominion is looking for applicants to be part of the 40th Celebration and to fill job openings throughout the park including food and beverage, games, merchandise, rides, admissions, guest services, first aid, security and various other departments.

Blinking Photobooth Introduced at the EAG Expo in London

DC PhotoBooths reported a busy show at the EAG Expo in London with the introduction of the Blinking Photobooth. This Photobooth blinks as customers walk by or at those who stand around the booth. The Blinking Photobooth attracts the attention of new customers, so it helps to catch a whole new audience.

For more information, visit  or call at (305) 387 5005.

TAP eNewsletter Special Feature

Top Tips for Selling More Food in 2014: Part II

Equally worth trying is presenting visitors with alternatives to “fun” and junk food, anything from fresh fruit and grilled alternatives to fried fare to salads and sugar-free desserts. The rationale: Having healthy products on the menu translates into sales to visitors who might otherwise leave an amusement park, museum or other venue and take their family members with them because they cannot find something to eat on premise. While many visitors to Laser Tag & Games, in Metarie, La. go for the pizza, an almost equal number look for better-for-you options, such as the facility’s top-selling chicken wrap, said General Manger Christy Dillard.

Moreover, consider packaging some food items, beverages and/or special meals in souvenir containers to encourage sales, advised Phil Tromber, of Rio Syrup Co. According to Tromber, “value-adds” like souvenir cups and containers offer a secondary benefit that goes equally far towards helping leisure entertainment facilities to increase food sales: They serve as advertisements for the concessions as visitors walk around with their purchases. Other ways to get the word out and entice visitors to purchase more food include color signage and fliers, as well as training employees to sell suggestively—all tactics espoused by Subway to franchisees of all kinds. Some facilities leverage the Internet to promote menu items—a good idea given that many consumers search online for “deals” before visiting a given leisure entertainment facility.

The Baltimore &Ohio (B&O) Railroad Museum in Baltimore, Md., has long followed such an approach, using its website to promote specials available at its TraxSide Snacks café.

Finally, it behooves operators to carefully assess the location of the concession stands where they are selling product, and make adjustments that lend themselves to moving more food out the door. This worked for one customer of Lil’ Orbits, as Brian O’Gara, vice president, observed. The customer, a family entertainment center with a separate haunted house attraction, had initially positioned its donut concession near the exit from the haunted house. While good results were garnered there, the operator asked the Lil’ Orbits team for suggestions of how to increase donut sales. Team members proposed that the concession be re-located to a prominent spot near the entrance to the haunted house, “so people who were standing there could, as they waited in the (ever-present line), see and smell it,” O’Gara said. “Once the stand was moved, members of groups started to send one person off the line to buy donuts, and the owner doubled his profits.”

(*See the January 31 TAP eNewsletter for Part I.)



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European Body Arts

Airbrushed temporary tattoo products and systems.

Comstock – Castle Stove

Commercial cooking equipment.

Kay Park Recreations Corp.

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

Hoffman Mint

Tokens, medals, coins and key tags.

Beckman Insurance Agency

Amusement attractions insurance.

Xtreme Inflatables

Repair and service for all inflatable products.

Price Chopper, Inc. Wristbands

Admission, financial equipment and wristbands.

Gould Manufacturing, Ltd.

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

Birthday University

Concept development, training and birthday party touring seminars.

Thomco Insurance (Fun Pro)

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

Coast to Coast

Coin-operated entertainment, crane machines.

Castle Golf, Inc.

Planning, design and construction of miniature golf courses and family fun parks.


Provides innovative IT products and services with a primary focus on card-based solutions and database applications for the leisure and retail industries.

S&S Worldwide

Large Park amusement rides.

Wells Fargo

Commercial insurance for inflatables and event planners.

Harris Miniature Golf Course

Design and construction of miniature golf courses and water rides.

Belson Manufacturing Co.

Park and recreation outdoor furniture and equipment.

Art Attack

Theming, miniature golf, parade floats, 3D props, air-brushed murals, signage and art panels.

Midway Concepts (Circus Tops)

Premier designers of stainless steel food service equipment.

Knight Equipment

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

R&R Creative Amusement Design

Designers of unique themed parks, attractions and environments for the entertainment business.

Richie\’s Italian Ice

Italian Ice Kiosks and Carts

Enchanted Castle Studios

Fiberglass statuary and figures for restaurants, mini-golf, theme parks and other attractions.

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.

Lazer Runner

Laser Tag Systems

Omega Carpets

Printed carpeting for all your facility needs.

Cost of Wisconson

Creators of simulated environments, duplicate structures, sculpted figures, exhibits, water features, mini-golf and more.

Fast Corp Vending

Frozen food vending machines

Safari Ltd.

Leading manufacturer of innovative educational toys.

Friedman Group Ins.

Insurance for amusement devices.

Penny Press

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

Empex Water Toys

Aquatons Water Toys

Rides-4-U, INC.

New and used rides, kiddie, family, major and thrill.

Brunswick Bowling

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

Broaster Co., The

Food programs and food service equipment.


Designed and manufactures PlayCard, the rechargeable debit card system.

Wapello Fabrications

Inflatables and portable amusements.


Research and development of interactive water games for use in the commercial amusement industry.

Sippers By Design

Design and manufacture of specialty custom-shaped drink containers.

Poly Products

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

West Coast Netting, Inc.

Experienced netting manufacturer on the leading edge of innovation.

Ride Development Corp.

Electric floor, gas and battery-powered bumper cars.

Look Solutions

Fog machines.

See Coast Manufacturing Co., Inc.

Coin-operated binoculars and telescopes.

Money Tree – ATM

ATM machines.

Action Lighting Co.

Lighting supplies.

Deltronic Labs Inc.

Ticket dispensers.

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Extreme Engineering
Rebound Unlimted, Inc.