Thursday, September 30, 2010

AIMS Safety Seminar at IAAPA Attractions Expo 2010

For the second year, the Amusement Industry Manufacturers and Suppliers International (AIMS) Safety Seminar will be held in conjunction with IAAPA Attractions Expo. The seminar will be held Nov. 13-18, at the Double Tree Resort Orlando – International Drive and Orange County Convention Center.

The seminar is a comprehensive safety training program for both current and future leaders in the area of maintenance and/or operations at amusement parks and other attractions. Attendees will receive valuable safety and maintenance instruction from top industry leaders that they can bring home to their facilities to apply to their own jobs and share with colleagues.

The program, in a nutshell:

  • Education: More than 200 classes will be offered, and attendees can customize their course work to meet specific goals. Specializations are available in maintenance, operations, aquatics, leadership, and crisis communications. In addition to classroom sessions, attendees will spend time on the show floor at IAAPA Attractions Expo, interacting with manufacturers and suppliers to build their industry knowledge.
  • Certification: For those seeking AIMS certification, several tests are being offered during the seminar. (Be sure to bring completed applications, documentation, and payment!)
  • Networking: The partnership with IAAPA Attractions Expo allows AIMS Safety Seminar attendees to attend the industry’s premier networking events. From receptions to tours to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter event on Thursday night, AIMS Safety Seminar attendees will get unparalleled exposure to our industry and the people behind it. (Expo admission is included for AIMS participants, but separate registration is required for special events.)

Seminar registration is available through AIMS. Hotel reservations should be made directly through the Doubletree. A group rate is available through this link.

I hope to see you in Orlando!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

September FUNWORLD Highlights Gardaland, Italy

As IAAPA prepares for EAS 2010 next month in Rome, FUNWORLD's September issue takes a look at the Italian attractions industry in this month's cover story. Gardaland's Aldo Vigevani, divisional director for the Merlin-owned park, graces the cover and talks about the growth opportunities our industry has in the country.

The September issue of FUNWORLD is available to read right now via digital edition by clicking here.

Other highlights from this issue include:
• Fernando Medroa discusses the success and continual improvements at Walibi Belgium
• Arnaud Bennet talks about the unique legacy of France's Le Pal amusement and wildlife park
• FEC experts share their thoughts on the future of the business
Full coverage of IAAPA's record-breaking Asian Attractions Expo 2010 which drew thousands to Kuala Lumpur in June

And, of course, there is much more. Thank you for reading FUNWORLD, and if you have any comments/questions, please e-mail me.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Health Care Reform Update: IAAPA submits comments on tax credits, menu labeling

IAAPA recently submitted comments to two regulatory bodies on rulemakings under the Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act (health care reform).

The comment period ended last week on tax credits for small businesses not subject to the employer responsibility provisions, but choose to offer their employees health insurance anyway. Generally speaking, IAAPA supports these tax breaks. However, the bulk of IAAPA's comment focused on the definition of "seasonal worker."

As you may remember, the definition of a seasonal worker and the applicability of the employer responsibility provisions to seasonal workers are somewhat ambiguous in the Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act. The attractions industry relies on seasonal workers to staff peak times, but unlike a regular full-time or part-time employee, a seasonal worker is unique in that he or she works a lot of hours in only a few short months. The rulemaking on the small business tax credit presented an opportunity for IAAPA to request a clarified definition of "seasonal worker" as one who works fewer than 120 days.

This week we also filed a comment with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on a proposed rule on menu labeling at resturants and other food retail outlets. Under the health care law, businesses that have 20 or more outlets, operating under the same name and serving substantially the same menu items, must post information about calories, fat content, and other nutritional information on menus or menu boards. This requirement also applies to vending machines.

IAAPA's comment focused on mobile handcarts, which may serve a variety of items but have limited surface area available to post nutritional information. Since much of the proposed rule is statutory (that is, in the law), the agency does not have the power to "overturn" the menu labeling provisions, but it does have discretion in areas where the law is ambiguous.

We encourage IAAPA members to read both our of comments, which can be found on our website. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.