Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Notes from NEAAPA

I recently attended the 82nd Annual NEAAPA Meeting to participate in a Government Relations panel and discuss issues such as availability of H-2B visas, school start date legislation, international travel promotion, and regulatory issues facing amusement rides.

Other panel participants included Jim Seay of Premier Rides, Jason Freeman of Six Flags New England, Greg Cheicko of the Big E, and Bob Johnson of OABA. David Daly, president of NEAAPA, moderated the panel.

The meeting was held at Jiminy Peak resort in Hancock, New Hampshire, which boasts the only mountain coaster in the Northeast. The year-round attraction is thousands of feet long and goes up to 25 miles per hour as it twists down the mountain. I took several rides on the coaster, and then unintentionally grilled the operators about the safety mechanisms (I can’t help it—safety is the basis for our industry and I want to learn as much as possible). The operators knew their stuff cold and provided an enjoyable afternoon for all of us.

Also during the meeting, NEAAPA inducted James and Eleanor Brady of Six Gun City into the NEAAPA Hall of Fame. The story of James and Eleanor and how Six Gun City came to be, coupled with the slideshow showcasing their 50 years in business was truly touching.

Congratulations to NEAAPA on another successful meeting!

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