Splash Adventure Waterpark purchased by The Koch Family

By | March 13, 2014

Landmark Alabama attraction to be owned and operated by renowned industry veterans

Birmingham, Ala. — The Koch family has acquired Alabama’s Splash Adventure Waterpark and will re-open the park for the 2014 summer season. Dan Koch, who led the acquisition, is bringing his family’s seven decades of experience in the amusement and water park industry to his new home in Alabama.

“I am thrilled to be living and working in this community,” said Dan Koch. “Our family wants Alabama’s Splash Adventure Waterpark to be the number one choice for family fun and family memories for generations to come.”

Koch Parks, Inc. has purchased the water park with 89 acres of land, which will aid in future expansion. General Attractions, LLC, the park’s previous owner, will retain 150 acres surrounding the park for future development.

Kent Lemasters, President of General Attractions, LLC said, “We are pleased that the Koch Family are the new owners of Splash Adventure. We feel very confident that because of their very high reputation and experience of over 75 years in the amusement park industry, that they will continue to take the park forward to new, high levels of achievement for the benefit of the entire area including those who visit the park and the surrounding communities and we wish them every success.”

The Koch family has a reputation for superior customer service and will operate the park with a special focus on providing safe, family fun for all ages. New attractions include five new rides for kids including a Wacky Worm Coaster, Rio Grande Train, Junior Bumper Boats, Mini Helicopters, and Vintage Boats. A new Laser Maze Challenge will also be added for heart-pounding family fun as well as games to entertain the younger family members. All guests will enjoy free parking, free sunscreen, free access to inner tubes and free in-park WiFi. Additional expansion plans for Alabama’s Splash Adventure Waterpark are currently being developed. The park will re-open for weekend operations beginning May 17th.

WhiteWater acquires FlowRider

By | March 7, 2014

RICHMOND, B.C., Canada — WhiteWater West Industries has announced the acquisition of WaveLoch’s innovative, award winning line of products including FlowRider, FlowBarrel, FlowCurl, FlowRider Wave-in-a Box, and WaveOz. Previously, WhiteWater had been the exclusive worldwide licensee of WaveLoch’s FlowRider business. This marks the third major acquisition in the past two years for WhiteWater.

Wave Loch founder, Tom Lochtefeld will continue to market the WaveHouse and work on his surf pool business. Aquatic Development Group will continue to be the exclusive marketer and manufacturer of the FlowRider product line in the U.S. and eastern Canadian market.

In making the announcement, WhiteWater President & CEO Geoff Chutter noted, “We are not only adding another original product to the WhiteWater portfolio but also adding the creative talents of another original waterpark pioneer to the family.”

WhiteWater’s goal is not just about creating a collection of great products, but forming an invaluable team of people with amazing talent and skills.

“We are tremendously excited about the momentum this addition brings to WhiteWater’s innovative group of companies,” said WhiteWater’s Marshall Myrman who will head the FlowRider and Waves business unit. “Keep your eyes on the horizon,” he said, “because the best flowboarding is yet to come!”

FlowRider (2)

Painting of Bat roller coaster progressing

By | March 7, 2014

MASON, Ohio — In this photo, Mark Wagers from Baynum Painting Inc., paints a section of track orange on the Bat roller coaster Friday at Kings Island. The ride located in the park’s Action Zone area carries riders through hilly wooded terrain suspended below 2,352 feet of track. The Bat, formerly known to park visitors as Flight Deck, will be operational when Kings Island opens for the 2014 season Friday, April 18.

KI 155

World’s largest swimming lesson event set for Friday, June 20, 2014

By | March 5, 2014

WLSLOverland Park, Kan. — On Friday, June 20th, 2014, Team WLSL will usher in the first official day of summer as they attempt to set a fifth Guinness World Record for the largest simultaneous swimming lesson ever conducted. The international team, made up primarily of kids, is coming together to prevent childhood drowning by participating in a global swim lesson to spread the vital message Swimming Lessons Save Lives.

Team WLSL holds the current Guinness World Record for the largest simultaneous swimming lesson, which stands at 32,450 participants hosted by 432 facilities in 13 countries. The 2013 record saw a 30 percent increase over the previous year’s record of 24,873 and generated more than 50 million media impressions.

Tragically, drowning remains the leading cause of unintended, injury related death for children ages 1-5, and the second leading cause for children under 14. Research shows participation in formal swimming lessons can reduce the risk of drowning by 88% among children aged 1 to 4, yet many kids do not receive formal swimming or water safety training.

The World Waterpark Association supports Team WLSL in their mission and encourages waterparks and aquatic facilities to join the effort by registering as an official WLSL Host Location or volunteering for the 2014 event. More information and registration is available at www.wlsl.org.

About The World’s Largest Swimming Lesson
The World’s Largest Swimming Lesson was created as a platform to help aquatic facilities and the many different regional, national and international water safety organizations work together to communicate the fundamental importance of teaching children to swim. Visit www.wlsl.org to learn more.

AquaticSanAntonio2013WLSL

PAPA Spring Meeting postponed

By | February 28, 2014

PAPA_logoHershey, Pa. — As a result of the upcoming storm predicted for the Mid-Atlantic region early next week, the 79th annual Pennsylvania Amusement Parks Association meeting set for March 3–4, has been postponed until March 10–11. It will be held at the Hershey Lodge and Convention Center, Hershey, Pa. The PAPA organization is assuming that everyone who previously registered for the original date will be attending the rescheduled date. The Hershey Lodge has moved the block of rooms that were reserved for attendees to another part of the resort. Participants should reconfirm with the Lodge. For more information, participants can call the PAPA at: 800-ITS4FUN x120.

— B. Derek Shaw

Core Cashless partners with BPR to provide solutions to new Georgia Waterpark

By | February 26, 2014

CoreCashless_2013SAVANNAH, Ga. — Core Cashless continues it’s recent success by partnering up with North Carolina based BPR Properties to provide a variety of cashless solutions for the brand new Pooler Water Park, located in Savannah, Ga.

Core reps met with BPR at the World Waterpark Association Trade Show and Symposium in 2013 to discuss the specific needs for the new facility. Pooler Water Park will feature four water slides, a wave pool, and a lazy river for guests to enjoy. Core will be equipping the park with handheld and stand-alone barcode scanners with integrated turnstiles for access control. In addition, Core will configure custom online sales portals for Pooler that will let guests go online and purchase their admissions. Lastly, Core partner Smarte Carte will be providing the co-developed Locker Link system which integrates seamlessly with Core software. Locker Link lets guests rent all-day lockers for their belongings and access them easily using a waterproof wristband.

Pooler waterpark will be managed by Innovative Attraction Management LLC. The park is looking to open in May 2014.

Bill Gelhaus of Jersey Shore Beach & Boardwalk to be featured on the History channel’s popular show American Restoration

By | February 24, 2014

NJAA_logoSEASIDE HTS., New Jersey — The New Jersey Amusement Association (NJAA) is pleased to announce that “Riders of the Storm,” an episode of the History Channel’s “American Restoration” program, featuring coverage of the hurricane-damaged Jersey Shore Beach & Boardwalk, will air Tuesday, February 25, at 10:31pm EST on the History Channel.

Episode description: When a New Jersey amusement park owner brings a Hurricane Sandy damaged 1920s Haunted House Car to the shop, the pressure is on to restore a piece of history for a recovering community. With the help of Ted and new painter Niko, Rick hopes to help this wreck-on-wheels once again take some spooky spins.

Since cable companies vary, viewers are advised to check their local cable guide to see where the History channel is located. Additional information is available at History.com.

American Restoration: Riders of the Storm
Tuesday, February 25th, 2014
10:31pm Eastern
(9:31pm Central, 8:31pm Mountain,10:31pm Pacific)

Adventure City announces new Rewind Racers roller coaster

By | February 24, 2014

Anaheim, Calif. — Adventure City is proud to kick off the construction of its newest roller coaster Rewind Racers, expected to open this summer. At a cost of over 2 million dollars, this coaster will be Adventure City’s largest single investment to date in its 20 year history.

Gerstlauer Amusement Rides GMBH, a well-known German ride manufacturer has been tasked with building Rewind Racers, the first family shuttle coaster in North America. The coaster will move both forward and backwards and will accommodate riders of all ages. With a mere 39″ height requirement, the coaster’s unique design comfortably seats both small children and adult passengers, allowing the whole family to join in on the fun. Themeing for the ride ride, queue, station and video production for the building interiors will be provided by R&R Creative Amusement Designs of Anaheim, Calif.

For many of our visitors, an Adventure City coaster is their first roller coast ride, said Allan Ansdell, President of Adventure City. We are so excited that this summer, Rewind Racers will be many children’s first coaster ride, in reverse!

Family owned and operated, Adventure City opened its gates in 1994 and has been known as Southern California’s
“Little Theme Park That’s Big on Family Fun.” Located on the border of Anaheim and Stanton, Adventure City boasts a variety of rides including Adventure City Express Train, Drop Zone and Rescue Ride for the whole family to enjoy. Also, not-to-miss attractions like live entertainment in the children’s theater and friendly animals to meet in the petting farm.

Rendering courtesy of R&R Creative Amusement Designs

Rendering courtesy of R&R Creative Amusement Designs

Britton Gallagher adds staff to its entertainment insurance division

By | February 24, 2014

Cleveland, Ohio—Britton Gallagher announced the expansion of its staff with the recent hiring of industry veterans Rick D’Aprile, Gene Berger, Rodney Gerbers, David Gallace, Randy Ebens, Tammy Catterton, April Merino and Jennifer Wolfe.

The group brings decades of experience in the entertainment and specialty insurance industry and are experts in creating unique risk management solutions. This team will support Britton Gallagher’s specialty insurance division, which has already experienced large success with niche markets such as pyrotechnics, professional athletes and entertainers along with amusements and life sciences.

“The entire Britton Gallagher team is excited to welcome the new staff additions,” stated Dennis Laughlin, President and CEO of Britton Gallagher. “We are eager to develop new programs which utilize the team’s extensive experiences and expertise which will allow us to offer a level of unprecedented service to niche markets in the entertainment industry.”

Founded in 1942, Britton Gallagher, a Cleveland-based privately owned insurance brokerage firm has been providing liability and risk management solutions for a diverse scope of industries. The service-based client model has established Britton Gallagher as the leader in unique arenas including amusement, pyrotechnics, life sciences, professional athletes and entertainers, construction, employee benefits, childcare and executive risk. For more information on Britton Gallagher, please visit www.brittongallagher.com or contact the office at (800) 607-4711.

El Loco adds ‘motion’ at The Adventuredome

By | February 19, 2014

LAS VEGAS, Nev. — After several weeks extensive testing and media teasing, El Loco — the acrobatic, S&S Worldwide-designed roller coaster that is only the second of its type in the U.S. — finally cut loose inside The Adventuredome at Circus Circus Las Vegas on Feb. 18.

Filling the space formerly occupied by the indoor amusement park’s Rim Runner flume ride, the undulating, expectation-defying thriller packs a lot of action into its swift 72-second running time. Its 1,300 feet of bright yellow track include a rapid, 90-foot ascent followed by a high lateral-G hairpin turn and a greater-than-straight-down diving drop.

Sudden, outwardly banked curves and dips catch riders off-guard throughout. The coaster’s concluding element, a reverse 240-degree roll that dives into an inverted drop, provides pocket-emptying upside down hang time just before returning to the loading station.

El Loco’s four-person, open-carriage cars allow for tight, fast turns. Passengers are treated to a custom soundtrack featuring Latin, Hip Hop and rock music via a surround-sound system built into each seat.

“El Loco offers our guests something they have never experienced before and is the perfect addition to The Adventuredome,” said Tom Nolan, the park’s vice president of operations. “Riders enjoy El Loco’s twists, turns and drops in such close proximity to our other rides that, for an instant, they get the sensation that they may run into Canyon Blaster or even touch the top of the dome. It creates a truly thrilling experience.”

For more information, visit www.adventuredome.com. Look for a full report on El Loco in the April print edition of Amusement Today.

— BY DEAN LAMANNA, AT STAFF / FEBRUARY 19, 2014

Photo: Dean Lamanna, Amusement Today

Photo: Dean Lamanna, Amusement Today