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PW May 09 P11.qxd 4/28/09 9:03 am Page 11
Park News
Suspense heightens at Potts Park
German park prepares new coaster
Turbo-Drachen crosses over and under itself
ABC Engineering is preparing a new suspended family coaster for Potts Park in several times, as well as around other
Germany, ready for a summer debut. Featuring six 3-seater glider vehicles, attractions such as the Noratlas plane ride.
Turbo-Drachen (Turbo-Dragon) will feature 450-metres of track and a number While it might be exhilarating, the
of family-friendly specifications to suit Potts’ young clientele. experience is never too scary, as it has been
The Pott family’s relationship with ABC and its founder Willy Walser goes engineered for guests as young as three to
back over a decade. In 1997, when he was still working for Bear Rides, enjoy, if they are accompanied by an adult.
Walser supplied a flume ride to Potts with whale-themed boats instead of the Each ride will last around 90 seconds.
usual logs. This was the first time such vessels had been used on this type of
ride, and the two parties have fostered a spirit of innovation and co-operation
RIGHT: The hanglider theme chosen after
ever since.
careful consideration
When ABC developed plans for a suspended coaster in 2005, Walser was
keen to present the concept to the Potts family, and one year
later a variety of layouts were prepared. In July last year, after
Six Flags flirts with bankruptcy
some trying negotiations, the contract was signed. Six Flags Inc, which currently owns 20 theme parks in North America, has said
Going by the catalogue name of the Dynamic Flyer Ride, the there is substantial doubt about its ability to continue as a “going concern”
motorised coaster was originally envisaged with a pterodactyl unless a successful restructuring occurs.
theme, but this and several other options were looked over by At the centre of its financial worries is an August 15 deadline to pay $287.5
Potts in favour of the glider you see here. The theme fits in million to preferred stockholders. The payout to could run more than $318
well with other rides in the park and also its beautiful million when accrued and unpaid dividends are factored in.
surroundings in the Wiehen mountains. The company may have to seek a pre-packaged or pre-arranged Chapter
The layout chosen for 11 bankruptcy filing if it can’t negotiate a restructuring agreement with the
shareholders out of court, it said. That would likely happen “well in advance
of” the preferred shares maturity date.
The new for the new coaster. Red is up, green is down
IALEI plans merger with IAAPA
The International Association for the Leisure and Entertainment Industry
(IALEI), a trade body for American family entertainment centres (FECs), is
considering a merger with IAAPA, the International Association of
Amusement Parks and Attractions.
The move comes following a meeting of the IALEI board during March’s
Fun Expo in Las Vegas. “Approximately six months ago, we started a
thorough review of the future of our organisation,” reveals chairman
Richard Sanfilippo.
"We have always considered IAAPA as an association with common
interests and one which we have partnered with over the years to benefit
our members” he continues. “Many of our board members, association
leaders and founders have been involved in leadership roles within IAAPA
and we feel the combined resources will create one strong voice for the
FEC industry."
A number of IALEI members, of course, will already be members of
IAAPA. “Some of the services we offer are similar,” concedes IAAPA CEO
Charlie Bray, “and some are different. The merger will allow companies to
have the best of both worlds with one membership.”
Following the meeting in Las Vegas, IALEI and IAAPA have now signed a
memorandum of understanding. The IAAPA board and IALEI members are
due to vote on a final proposal this month (May).
MAY 2009
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