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Industry Awards
Three sets of amusement industry awards were presented in the latter quarter of 2009, but who was
honoured and why? Here’s Park World’s whistle-stop round-up of the winners
Golden Ponys
The Golden Pony Awards were conceived by Italian publisher Facto
Edizioni in 2002 and since then over 150 park operators and travelling
showmen have been honoured.
The objective of the awards, according to Facto’s Danilo Tosetto, is
“to give tangible recognition and visibility to excellence in leisure so
that this may be a stimulus and an example for the entire business.”
The 2009 ceremony, recognising a further 15 industry
representatives, was held during Amusement Expo Europe in
Genoa on October 29. This year, for the first time, ride
manufacturers and suppliers were recognised alongside
amusement operators.
The full list of winners was as follows: Amusement Parks – Crazy
Park Casablanca (Morocco), Mirabilandia (Italy), Cavallino
Matto (Italy), Zoosafari Swierkocin (Poland); Travelling Fairs –
Europark Krasnal (Poland), Kermis Laren (The Netherlands);
Family Entertainment Center – Jacques Cosson (France); Ride
Manufacturers – Alterface, Dotto Trains, Gerstlauer, KMG,
Mack Rides, Moser’s Rides, Zamperla; Special Award –
Golden Pony award winners assemble in Genoa Giorgio Conti (Italy).
IAAPA Awards
grew and he became a leading light in the FEC (Family Entertainment
Centre) business, going on to lead the International Association for the
During IAAPA Attractions Expo this November in Las Vegas, the Leisure and Entertainment Industry (IALEI).
International Association of Amusement Parks & Attractions (IAAPA) IAAPA’s Must See Waterparks for 2009/10 are Dollywood’s Splash
presented no fewer than 10 sets of awards. Country in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee and World Waterpark in West
New entrants into the IAAPA Hall of Fame include Ricardo Castillo, Edmonton Mall, Alberta, Canada. Top FECs of the World were declared
Frederic W. Thompson and Elmer “Skip” Dundy. Richard Castillo, as iT’Z Family Food and Fun in Houston, Texas, and Magic
founder of the Institute for Recreation for Private Sector Workers in Planet Kuwait.
Guatemala (IRTRA), created two innovative and award-winning parks – Other IAAPA awards presented in Las Vegas included the Exhibitor
Xetulul amusement park and Xocomil waterpark, both in Retalhuleu on Awards, Best New Products, Big E Awards (entertainment), Brass Ring
the Pacific Coast. Awards (marketing), Souvenir Awards (merchandise) and Spirit of
The late Frederic W Thompson (1872-1919) and Elmer “Skip” Excellence (human resources). For the full listing of all 2009 award
Dundy (1862-1907) served as luminaries in the birth of the attractions winners and the selection criteria see and
industry, founding Luna Park in 1903 at Coney Island in New York. Their search for “IAAPA Awards.”
work set the stage for future industry classics, including a chain of Luna
Parks opened by Frederick Ingersoll, and later even Disneyland.
Recognised for a Lifetime Service Award, Roland Koch of Bruhl in
Germany, has been part a prominent IAAPA member during a career
spanning more than 50 years. The showman has owned and operated
rides and restaurants throughout Germany, helped develop
Phantasialand and was also instrumental in bringing large format films
to Germany and Scandinavia.
Colin Dawson, chief executive of the British Association of Leisure
Parks, Piers and Attractions (BALPPA), was presented with an Outstanding
Service Award. As head of BALPPA, he has promoted safety and training
issues to great effect, leading to a 79% reduction in ride-related
accidents. Colin has also served on multiple IAAPA committees and is
currently president of the Europarks lobby group.
Winner of this year’s Meritorious Service Award, Tim Sorge is
president of Swings-N-Things Family Fun Park in Cleveland, Ohio. After
BALPPA’s Colin Dawson collects his Outstanding Service award as IAAPA committe
opening a state-of-the-art batting cage in Ohio in 1982, Tim’s vision
members Mario Mamon (left) and Jim Seay look on
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