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Faircracker SPRING 2020 Wade Shows — Always First, Always Best! Frank Zaitshik, president of Wade Shows, is a man con-

stantly on the move. While taking some time to reflect on his company’s accomplishments in 2019 and the philoso- phies that make up his future goals, he is always looking forward to the next improvement for his guests while pressing his company to constantly be at the forefront of the industry. “The stakes are always high; but there is ample room for

reward in this business. In order to achieve the reward you have to balance expenses and acquisitions successfully and get some decent weather,” says Zaitshik. After many weather challenges and close calls, Zaitshik is pleased with the results of his season; “As we sit here at the beginning of a new decade, our cash flow is equal or greater than ever before,” says Zaitshik. No stranger to the industry, Zaitshik has built a veritable

carnival empire from humble beginnings working in his par- ents’ games out on the midway. At a young age, Zaitshik had the opportunity to purchase a carnival which he then grew from a regional show which never left Michigan to a nation-wide, three unit operation. This year, Zaitshik wanted to focus on changing up Wade

Shows’ presentation in industry publications in an effort to make the company’s first impression look fresher and cleaner. “We wanted to choose a picture and slogan that would typify and personify who we are,” says Zaitshik. Eventually, a new slogan of “always first, always best,” was chosen. Zaitshik recognizes that this is a bold statement and explains the motivation behind it. “I’m sure there were eyebrows raised by people both in my own circle and friendly competitors,” says Zaitshik. Rather than a bragga- docios claim, Zaitshik used the saying as a motivator; “If we wake up each day with the goal to be first and best, it will help us be successful. We’re going to use this philoso- phy to guide us in the 2020 season and many seasons af- ter that,” says Zaitshik. True to their new slogan, Wade Shows purchased the

FunTagg digital ticketing system and will be the first to use it on the midway. After purchasing the bar code-based FunCard system in 2012, Wade Shows was one of he first carnival companies to operate a cashless system. In Zaitshik’s opinion, there were some areas of the program that were lacking and the FunTagg system will close those gaps, providing even better technology. “We eventually viewed the FunCard system as just another tool in the bag

and our goal is to implement the FunTagg system as a totally cashless midway,” says Zaitshik. Wade shows is looking forward to the benefits the FunTagg system will offer the company, their event partners, and especially, their customers. Wade Shows will be rolling out the new system in March at the 2020 Central Florida Fair. The new system uses the latest in RFID technology, “Near Field Communications” (NFC), which is the same technol- ogy used by leading innovators like Apple Pay and Mobil SpeedPass. “We will be the first to introduce this technol- ogy in a comprehensive way to the midway and I am proud Wade Shows is once again leading the way”, he added. As is typical for the time between seasons, Zaitshik is taking stock of his 125 ride inventory, deciding what pieces need refurbishing, what pieces are ready to be cycled out, and thinking about purchases he may want to make. “At the end of 2019, we purchased a re- manufactured Downdraft from Bay-Tech. With a ride in- ventory as large as ours, there’s not a lot you need to purchase,” says Zaitshik. “Our main objective in the past, present, and future is to maintain the equipment we have in a safe, cosmetically appealing way.” According to Zaitshik, there are times that this can be accomplished in -house and others when making a decision about refur- bishment requires evaluating the investment; “we want to make sure we’re not putting a $60 saddle on a $10 horse,” says Zaitshik. Using this philosophy, Wade Shows decided to get rid of their old Sizzler and purchase a new Wisdom Sizzler. They also acquired a new Wisdom Star- ship, making all three of their Starship rides under 6 years old Additionally, Was Shows just received 18 new bumper

cars; “we were disappointed they were not in in time for our Fall fair route but are very pleased with our pur- chase,” says Zaitshik. Wade Shows is also planning to purchase 18 more bumper cars from the same manufac- turer. Previously, Zaitshik had purchased bumper cars from a company in China and while here are plenty of great Chinese products out there, this was a particularly bad purchase for Wade Shows. However, he adds, “these new cars are the greatest cars available anywhere and we are very happy with them” says Zaitshik. While Wade Shows’ ride arsenal is certainly filled-out, Zaitshik never rules ride purchases out; instead, he acts on op- portunities as they present themselves. Whether it be in a more traditional way: constantly

updating his ride inventory, or in a progressive way: im- plementing the FunTagg system and a totally cashless midway, Zaitshik and his team are constantly striving to be “Always First, Always Best.”

Congratulations Frank Zaitshik Elected to the

OABA Hall of Fame

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