Fairs and festivals are always looking for new ways to entertain the public as they travel the country. As the International Independent Showmen’s Association prepares to hold its annual trade event Feb. 7 – Feb. 11, 2012, in Gibsonton, Fla., we offer a special section devoted to the state of the industry. Included are stories on how fairs are creating shade for overheated guests, the challenges and changes that have shaped the business during the last decade and an exclusive conversation with Barbara Hensinger, the new executive director of the National Independent Concessionaires Association (NICA).
Effective communication with the public and the media is a key strategy toward profitability, a fact known well by Dave Herbst, who served as a publicist at the Walt Disney World resort for 30 years. In The Large Park Report, Contributor Chad Emerson interviewed this industry expert on the challenges posed by new media.
Profitability in the area of food service can be an indicator of overall success, and smart owners and managers of leisure entertainment facilities put a heavy emphasis on both the setting for serving meals and the menu itself. In the recurring Food Service Spotlight section, we examine how American Indian museums across the country, including the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C., are bringing a taste of indigenous culture to guests of all ages. Also in the section is an examination of the trends that are shaping food cart and concession businesses at amusement parks.
Amusement Expo 2012, a premier trade event for the coin-op and out-of-home entertainment industries, is scheduled for March 14-16, 2012. This year, the Expo is pairing with Foundations Entertainment University (FEU) to offer educational opportunities aimed at family entertainment centers. You can read about this collaboration, along with The Excellence in Family Entertainment Center Awards, a recognition program sponsored by Tourist Attractions & Parks magazine and FEU, in a special Industry News feature.
A unique hybrid of museum and waterpark, The Evergreen Air and Space Museum in McMinnville, Ore., with its Evergreen Wings & Waves Waterpark, is fulfilling an educational and entertainment mission for the whole family. See the Waves section for this fascinating story of combining aviation history with water play by Contributor Clare Adrian.
The magazine also features stories on trends for party rental companies, the outlook for the year regarding coin-op games and cranes, elephant conservation and exhibit efforts at zoos, strategies for the care of and trends in bowling rental shoes plus the history of bowling lane composition, redemption counters and prizes at family entertainment centers, creating a winning laser tag center, the haunted attractions industry and more.
I hope you enjoy the issue. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your comments, questions and suggestions.
Scott C. Borowsky
President and Executive Editor
Tourist Attractions and Parks magazine