Triotech wins prestigious IAAPA award
Triotech, a leader in the out-of-home multimedia interactive attractions industry, won a prestigious Brass Ring Award at this year's IAAPA Attractions Expo.
This award tops off a big year for Canada-based Triotech, which announced in September that it had signed a major deal with Canada's Wonderland.
Chosen as the winner in the best new product award for the family entertainment centre ride category for its XD Dark Ride attraction, Triotech stood out amongst several new product developers.
IAAPA is known worldwide as the largest gathering and the most important showcase in the amusement and attraction park industry.
"This is the first time that we have won a Brass Ring Award and we are very proud of it," said Ernest Yale, president and CEO of Triotech. "This closes an exceptional year for us with a record number of contracts around the world.
"It serves as a reward for years of effort and is proof of our commitment to providing our customers with the greatest interactive experiences in the world."
XD Dark Ride is an interactive attraction that offers stereoscopic 3D graphics in real time and multi-sensory special effects that create a different adventure for each player.
The ride is equipped with the fastest targeting system in the world and an individual scoring system that creates an exciting competition between players.
Triotech's products can be found in over 40 countries across all continents.
Gateway scores Nigeria parks contract
The Delta Leisure Resorts and Asaba Wildlife Parks in Nigeria have signed an agreement to use Gateway Ticketing Systems' flagship Galaxy product suite for ticketing and access control.
Gateway Ticketing Systems' ability to provide consultative services from project conception and design through to the system go-live was key to Delta Leisure's decision to work with Gateway as stated by Kevin Howe, of Ocean Designs, spokesman for portfolio management firm, SPFM International.
"Delta Leisure Resorts were aware of Gateway Ticketing Systems' global reputation in the entertainment world for developing 'intelligent' ticketing systems, and as such were included within a 'process' to find and appoint the best company to consult, design and install ticketing and POS systems at the Delta Leisure Resort and Asaba Wildlife Park currently under construction," Howe said.
DEAL aims to create history
Events organiser International Expo Consults (IEC) said the 2014 edition of DEAL, the Dubai trade show for amusements in the Middle East, is set to be bigger than ever, with 60 per cent of the show already sold out.
DEAL 2014 takes place at the Dubai World Trade Centre on April 8-10 and remains the leading platform for international manufacturers and suppliers who are looking to bolster their presence across the Middle East and North Africa.
"We have observed that there is a renewed energy in the industry and it is on an exponential growth path," said IEC chairman, Abdul Rahman Falaknaz.
"The region will soon witness state-of-the-art amusement and entertainment experience as a result of the innovative products that will be showcased at DEAL 2014."
Ground breaks on Texas leisure park
Ground has broken on Hawaiian Falls' sixth leisure facility, in Tarrant County, Texas, marking the company's first combination adventure park and waterpark.
Pegged to open on Memorial Day weekend in May next year, the new venture will employ more than 300 seasonal workers throughout the summer and 100 full-time employees for the adventure park and conference centre.
The $13m attraction is expected to draw more than 300,000 guests a year and will include a 20,000sq.ft indoor family arcade, private birthday party rooms and a restaurant.
The waterpark will feature a football field-sized wave pool, a 10,000sq.foot activity pool with a floating water obstacle course, splash pads and water walks, a 1,000ft-long river with rapids and fountains, and multi-slide towers featuring speed slides, tube slides and a multi-lane mat racer slide.
The adventure park, open year-round, will feature multi-level ropes courses, adventure trail climbing nets, a military-style obstacle course, 60ft-high climbing and rappelling walls, a six-story free fall attraction and 500ft-long zip lines.
The Aloha Conference Centre will accommodate up to 400 people for dining or up to 1,000 people theatre-style for meetings, conferences and team building events year-round.
Gardaland set for a Magic Winter
Italian theme park Gardaland is set to cut the ribbon on the 2013 edition of its Magic Winter event on Saturday (December 7).
Running until January 6, Magic Winter offers guests the emotion of a fairy tale location adorned with magnificent decoration, shining Christmas lights and trees, with a 30m tall Christmas tree standing tall above the other ones.
"Completely ecological, it will dominate the Valley of Kings square," Gardaland said. "It's going to be a place inhabited by fabulous characters, starting from the customary presence of Santa Claus, ready to receive all children's letters.
Village Roadshow offloads US waterparks
Village Roadshow Limited (VRL), the Australian media and entertainment conglomerate, has agreed to sell its wholly owned Wet 'n' Wild waterpark in Phoenix, Arizona, to real estate group CNL Lifestyle Properties. Additionally, the company will end its lease of the Wet 'n' Wild Hawaii property from CNL.
Net cash proceeds from the sales, after repayment of debt, will be approximately A$27m (US$24.6m).
Upon completion of the transaction, which is set for the end of this month, CNL Lifestyle will also acquire the US rights to the Wet 'n' Wild brand name.
VRL continues to hold its approximately 51% interest in Wet 'n' Wild Las Vegas, which opened in May 2013 and has had a successful first season of operation.
The Victoria-based group said considers it to be an "appropriate time" to divest its waterpark interests in the US, as it believes it would be "difficult to achieve a significant presence in this market".
"The competitive pressure to acquire properties has been increasing with the upturn in the US economy, and VRL believes that management time and capital can be better focused in countries where the market is not yet mature, and higher returns possible," the company said.
VRL continues to examine opportunities for theme parks - including waterparks - in Asia. The group is currently developing a waterpark on Hainan Island, China, in conjunction with the marine theme park under construction by R&F Properties.
Wet 'n' Wild Sydney, VRL's latest waterpark, is on schedule to open next month.
"VRL is looking forward to the successful launch of one of the world's biggest and best water theme parks, with over 40 slides and attractions," the group said.
Industry raises $115,000 in Orlando
The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) and attractions industry professionals raised more than $115,000 for the association's 18-year charity partner, Give Kids The World (GKTW) Village, through private donations and four events held during the IAAPA Attractions Expo in Orlando last week.
Proceeds from IAAPA's International Charity Golf Tournament, Motorcycle Ride, 5K/1K Fun Run and Walk, Footprints from the Heart, Chance to Win raffle, and private donations benefit the non-profit resort, which provides cost-free vacations for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families.
"We are overwhelmed by the tremendous outpouring of love and support from the IAAPA family throughout the Expo," said GKTW president Pam Landwirth.
"Through IAAPA Attractions Expo 2013 events and individual check donations, a record amount was raised this year. Our heartfelt gratitude goes out to everyone who has embraced our mission and helps us create the happiness that inspires hope for our precious guests."
Sacoa rolls out financing scheme
Sacoa PlayCard, the global revenue management solutions group for the amusement, leisure and entertainment industries, has partnered with Firestone Financial Services to offer 0% financing on purchases of its debit card payment systems.
Sacoa launched the programme at the IAAPA Attractions Expo show in Orlando last week. For a limited period, financing on the PlayCard system is available interest free for 12 months for operators spending a minimum of $10,000.
"We are extremely pleased to join with Firestone Financial to offer Sacoa customers an economical way to pay for their debit card system," the company said. "It's a cost-effective way to go cashless and get the best debit card payment available today.
Price hike for Universal Studios Japan
Universal Studios Japan will raise its admission fees on January 27, 2014, according to its operator, USJ Company.
The price of a one-day ticket will be increased by JPY190 ($1.90) to JPY6,790 ($67) for those aged 12 or over and by JPY250 ($2.45) to JPY4,750 ($47) for children between the ages of four and 11.
This will be the sixth price hike since the theme park opened in Osaka in March 2001.
Ticket prices were last raised in January this year.
Legoland Florida hotel to open in 2015
Legoland Florida has announced that the park's much anticipated Legoland Hotel will open in 2015.
The announcement was made last week by Legoland Florida general manager Adrian Jones, amid a ceremonial groundbreaking event at the site where the hotel will be built, adjacent to the park's entrance.
"The opening of a Legoland Hotel will transition Legoland Florida from a single-day visit theme park to a multi-day resort destination," said Jones. "This will serve as a catalyst for future economic development in Polk County."
Welcoming guests with a multicoloured exterior and entrance, the four-story Legoland Hotel will immerse families with young children in the world of Lego, as an extension of the vibrant and interactive theme park experience.
Created to bring children's imaginations to life, the Lego-themed hotel will feature 152 brightly coloured and highly themed rooms and suites, Lego decor, interactive play areas, a pool and a restaurant.