October 25, 2016
For Part 2 of her Autumn Adventures on the Conference World Tour, we travel with Chloe back across the Atlantic to the city of jazz, beignets and the 2016 World Waterparks Association Show.
Funworld Magazine has already dubbed 2017 “The Year of the Water Park.” At JRA, we are seeing a ton of waterparks coming up in our overall master plans, and our clients are becoming more and more interested in them in general. With that said, we figured it was time for us to head back down to the World Waterpark Association Show in New Orleans to check out the buzz.
I arrived late in the day on Tuesday, but made sure to get to town in time for dinner. I got settled in at the hotel, and then went to a charming dinner at Square Root with Walt Bowser (Baynum Painting), Marc Gran (Cedar Fair), Mary Jane Brewer (Recreation Engineering Inc.), and Trevor Leonard (Six Flags White Water).
Walt (Baynum Painting) and I exploring.
Walt (Baynum Painting) and I decided to tackle the show floor with one another. There was a happy, laid back feel to the show that was refreshing for a newcomer. It was extremely welcoming, and so great to see lots of familiar faces.
After several hours wondering the show, seeing familiar faces, and meeting new people, we headed back to the hotel to get ready for the evening event.
Snack before the reception…my life has been forever changed by Drago’s charbroiled oysters.
The WWA Annual Reunion Party was held at the hotel. In true New Orleans fashion, the music was fun, and the people were having a great time.
My long time friend (since I was 5 long time), Tess Schuster, moved to New Orleans years ago. We enjoyed a delicious breakfast at one of the Ruby Slipper’s before I headed to the show floor.
My kindergarten buddy.
Day 2 of the trade show was another great opportunity for networking with old, and new friends. As a usual exhibitor, it was a nice change of scenery for me. Being able to see what a trade show floor truly has to offer, without having to rush my way through it, brings a whole new flavor to the experience. I gained knowledge about the industry, and became more excited about JRA’s potential.
WWA trade show floor.
LOVE this girl…Emily Colombo (WhiteWater).
The closing reception was held at the Pat O’Brien’s On The River. The event was packed, the networking was great, and no one wanted to leave.
Left – The one and only George Sells (Water Technology Inc.).
Top Right – Close up with Deb (Scruffy Dog) and Richard Jackson (IAAPA)
Bottom Right – Hanging with some of the WhiteWater crew; Paul Chutter, Steve Heke and Scott Haycock.
I was lucky that my cousin from Chicago, Kyle Judge, was in town for an annual trip with some friends at the same time as my trip. We were able to catch up for brunch before I headed to the airport.
Enjoying the company at one of my favorite spots in NOLA, The Court of Two Sisters.
After one of my favorite Uber rides of all time, I made it to the airport in time to catch Paul (WhiteWater) for a quick goodbye and re-cap of the week, before I was on my way myself.
I just love getting home to my 80lb. lap pup
Thanks Chloe! Check back with Chloe on the final stop of our 2016 Conference World Tour, the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) Expo in Orlando, Florida.
October 21, 2016
To continue what has been a whirlwind fall conference season, Director of Marketing and Business Development (and birthday girl!) Chloe Hausfeld offers recaps of her two recent journeys. First up - last month's IAAPA Euro Attractions Show in beautiful Barcelona, Spain.
I had a short stint at home after a great weekend at Cedar Point for the Golden Ticket Awards, and then it was off to Barcelona, for IAAPA’s EAS. The fall is a busy time of year for industry events, and I have no complaints. It’s always a treat when you don’t have to wait months to see such great people again.
There was a nice little group of us that headed out on Friday afternoon together. Shawn McCoy (JRA, Vice President) and his wife, Kim McCoy, were great company for our “James Clan”. We made our usual pit stop at Natalie’s candy shop for booth snacks, and then were on our way. After a brief layover in ATL, it was smooth sailing to Spain.
Sweets, from Natalie’s, to get us through those siesta hours.
Shawn, being the gentleman that he is, gave Kim his upgrade. Between that, and me kicking KJ out of his seat so I could sit next to Mom, the ladies had a nice flight to ATL
We arrived early Saturday morning…the pool lounge chairs became entirely too comfortable, so I decided to take a run to wake up.
Could have worse views for my morning run.
After a brief (unplanned) detour, Michael Turner (Neptune Benson), and I made it to the convention center for the IAAPA Manufacturer and Supplier Committee Meeting. Committee Chair, Sascha Czibulka (Intamin Worldwide), called the meeting to order, and the group spent the next several hours discussing hot topics in the industry. The meeting was capped with a fabulous dinner, on site, with some of the wonderful members of the IAAPA staff.
RAC Carroll (Jeff Ellis & Associates) and I, ready for some serious deliberation.
First thing was first…time to check on the booth. The trade show floor was busy, and, from the look of the booths being built, it was going to be a great show.
First stages of the JRA booth, and our surrounding main aisle.
After a long walk, I was ready to do some sightseeing with the group. Gina Guglielmi (Intermark Ride Group) set up a fabulous day for us throughout the city. We fit more than I could have hoped for in the afternoon that we had and had the most beautiful day.
Incredible view of the port from Castell de Montjuic, and of the city from Jardins del Mirador. Then, there’s me, just posing with some of my new friends.
Castell de Montjuic
Pretending to be an Olympian at Estadi Olímpic Montjuic Lluis Companys.
Outside of the National Art Museum of Catalonia, and views of, and from, the Font Mágica.
Taking in a little Gaudí at the Sagrada Familia, Casa Milá and Parc Guell.
Top Left - They certainly don’t make hospitals like that anymore.
The other three pictures are from the magnificent St. Mary of the Sea church. Thanks for an unforgettable day Gina!
In true fashion, Shawn and I had our priorities and were in need of a sports’ bar…the Bengals were playing the Steelers. You can look up the score yourself though.
Cheering on my orange and black with Kim McCoy, at Belushi’s. Nice find, Shawn!
Linda Round (JRA, Marketing & Business Development) was lucky enough to visit with family that lives in Barcelona that day. After the Bengals game, we did some catching up with our friends from S&S Sansei, and IAAPA.
Never a dull moment with this group!
Linda and I headed over to the convention center to check on how the booth was progressing. We collected the JRA crews’ badges, and event tickets, and put our sponsorship brochures together, with the help of our wonderful booth project managers. We dropped the brochures off to the fabulous Emily Popovich (IAAPA) and were ready to do some exploring.
Linda with our amazing project managers from Artzfusion, Trixie and Pauline.
We were lucky enough to make it to a late afternoon tour of the Sagrada Familia. What an incredible place.
The time of day made the lighting even more magical than we could have imagined.
The best way to see is a city is to walk it…right? So, we decided to walk back to the hotel. It wasn’t the straightest route, but we saw a lot!
Top Left - Passeig de Lluís Companys
Top Right – An archway in an old convent
Bottom Left – El Born Centre Cultural I de Memória
Bottom Right – Port of Barcelona
Caption: There aren’t many people that I enjoy exploring more with.
We had a fabulous dinner…courtesy of our friends from Sally Corporation, and then found some more friends back at the hotel for a nightcap before the first day of the show.
Caption: Pete Barto (S&S Sansei), Ash Smart (Harbour Park), Linda Round (JRA), Tim Timco (S&S Sansei), Lauren Weaver (SALLY Corp), and Me
“Game Time”…ready for the show to start. Karen Staley (IAAPA), and her team sure know how to throw a party. Start to finish, Day 1 was exciting.
The Opening Ceremony was as exciting as ever, and the perfect way to get everyone ready to start the expo.
The show floor was busy, and it was great seeing clients and friends from all over the world. We could already tell that EAS 2016 was going to far exceed that of EAS 2015.
JRA CEO Keith James and I manning the JRA booth.
After a busy day, it was time for the evening event at Parc d’Attraccions del Tibidabo. Although the bus ride up and down the mountain was a bit sketchy, it was well worth it to see such a magical place, with even more magical views.
Top – Welcome signs for IAAPA guests from Tibidabo
Bottom Left – Dan Schultz (JRA COO) and me posing with a view
Bottom Right – Welp, James’ will be James’
Day 2 began with the Leadership Breakfast. JRA was one of the sponsors of the event, and Keynote Speaker, Carlo Bonomi, Owner of PortAventura, did not disappoint. It was a great way to start the day.
Getting ready to give out tickets to the night’s futbol match!
It was another great day on the trade show floor. The time was passing quickly, and that’s a lot to say considering the heels I was wearing.
Nothing but smiles from Shawn, Linda, and Dan at the JRA booth.
For me, Day 2 of the trade show ended with the IAAPA Young Professionals Forum and Reception, lead by fellow IAAPA YP Task Group Chair, Ash Smart. The rest of the JRA crew headed to the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) Party at L’Aquárium.
Top Left – The Officers of the IAAPA Board address the crowd at the IAAPA YP Forum; Andreas Andersen (Liseberg, Second Vice Chair), Paul Noland (IAAPA President & CEO), John McReynolds (Universal Parks & Resorts, Chairman), Hank Salemi (Six Flags Great America, Treasurer) and Greg Hale (Walt Disney World Resort, First Vice Chair)
Top Right – The panelists of the YP Forum; Jakob Wahl (Europa-Park), fellow IAAPA YP Task Group member, Neva Heaston (Wild Wadi Waterpark), Jeroen Holman (Vekoma), and Ash
Bottom – Fellow IAAPA YP Task Group member Will B. Morey (Morey’s Piers) and I having a little fun with the reception sign.
Thanks to my friends at Morey’s Piers, I was lucky enough to go to the Barcelona FC v. Atlético Madrid futbol match. As a former soccer player, this was a huge treat for me, and one that I’ll remember forever.
99,000 of my closest friends!
I couldn’t let my WhiteWater friends down, especially after hearing what a great party they threw all night. The night ended with lots of laughs, and a great time.
Fabulous selfie with Will (Morey’s Piers), and some of WhiteWater’s finest; Anthony Marinakis, Paul Chutter, Chris Perry, and Emily Colombo.
Day 3, the final day of the show, confirmed signs of a great EAS with heavy foot traffic, and great meetings. After a busy day, it was time to box up the booth collateral, and get some rest.
Here’s to a great EAS, and an hour on the beach with my Mama.
We always finish a show with a team dinner, and La Rambla did not disappoint. The theming in the restaurant was fabulous, and created a wonderful atmosphere.
Dinner and a show
Thursday was the start of an annual festival in Barcelona, and there was an incredible digital mapping experience on a historic palace, called the Palau de la Generalitat de Catalonia. Couldn’t have asked for a nicer evening to finish off the show.
The show was impeccable, down to the sound track.
Instead of heading home as planned, I was lucky enough to get a last minute ticket for the IAAPA Post Tour. So, Friday morning, I headed to Madrid for some more fun.
We were being hosted by Parques Reunidos all day, and began our tour at the Madrid Zoo and Aquarium. As an avid animal lover, we couldn’t have started in a better place for me. It was a beautiful day, our hosts treated us amazingly, and the animals seemed happy as could be.
Selfies with some of my favs…
Top Left – I named this one Leonard.
Top Right – Sandwiched by the rock stars that make these things possible, Diane Williams and Karen Staley (IAAPA).
Bottom Left – Cindy Emerick Whitson (Dynamic Attractions) and I, posing with the three bears.
Bottom Right – Mika Nur Faezah (JN Entertainment & Leisure Consultancy) and me, happy we were on this side of the shark tank.
After the Zoo, we headed to Parque de Atracciones. The rides were fantastic, and the staff was wonderful. But, the true highlight (for most) was the haunted house. The evening ended with a fabulous dinner reception, and a performance capped by members of said haunted house. To say that they were good at their jobs is an understatement…I had to jump from the door onto my bed that night because I was certain one of them had followed me home.
No caption necessary…
Parque Warner was the first stop for us on Saturday. We started with the adorable Scooby Doo dark ride, met several characters throughout the day, road some bada$$ coasters, and saw a spectacular stunt show. We were also hosted to an incredible lunch reception that provided unlimited amounts of delicious food.
Do they have anything but beautiful days in Spain?
Pete (S&S Sansei), Cindy (Dynamic Attractions) and me posing with some friends.
Braving the water ride.
Top – Lauren and Chris (SALLY Corp), Will (Morey’s Piers), Ash (Harbour Park), Pete (S&S Sansei) and Cindy (Dynamic Attractions).
Bottom – A couple Morey’s (Morey’s Piers), a few Hales (Disney), Johnny Mac (Universal), and me
They weren’t all smiles with me after the second water ride…
Rockin’ in Bedrock with my girls Joanna Guy (Premier Rides), Betty and Wilma.
Top Left - Our hosts posing with members of the Justice League and our IAAPA President and Chairman.
Bottom Left – Action from the stunt show.
Right - Karen (IAAPA), the REAL Wonder Woman, posing with Batman, and her twin.
Looks like I have a room whenever I want to move in…LET’S GO!
After our great day at the park, we headed back to the hotel for some free time in Madrid. We decided to head to the Museo del Prado, and then did some walking. Mom and Dad extended their EAS trip as well, with a weekend in Madrid. We couldn’t be in the same beautiful city and not see them, so, the Weavers and I headed to the Palace Hotel to catch up with them. After meeting up with some of the group back at the hotel, several of us headed to dinner, and a night out in Madrid.
Ready to explore with my girls Mika (JNE&LC) and Lo (SALLY).
San Jerónimo el Real, Museo del Prado and the Palace Hotel
I can’t imagine a better group to happy hour with.
Top Left – Me, and my sister from another mister, Lo (SALLY).
Top Right – Speaking of that other mister…there’s my other dad, John Wood (SALLY)
Bottom – I keep some fabulous company; Megan Noland, Amanda Allison, Lo (SALLY), Karen (IAAPA) and Diane (IAAPA)
Albeit not the easiest, but a crazy morning at the train station got us to Seville. We went straight to Isla and Agua Mágica Sevilla, had a lovely lunch, followed by a tour of the parks. You could certainly tell that the guests were having a great time, and we enjoyed watching them.
Mágica is the perfect word to describe this place.
I caught these two in perfect fashion. Lo, channeling her inner jaguar for game day, and Pete...obviously taking a selfie (I just had to be a part of it).
We headed back to the hotel to get freshened up, and then it was time for our final reception of the post tour. The atmosphere was magnificent, the food was mouthwatering, and the company was unsurpassable. It was truly the perfect way to end the trip. The IAAPA crew is never finished though, so we had to head out to explore a bit of what Seville had to offer. The night ended on the patio of a quaint café, with some of the best people from around the world.
Undoubtedly humbled to be standing with these women; Denise Beckson (Morey’s Piers), Bonnie Sherman Weber (Six Flags Magic Mountain), Franceen Gonzales (WhiteWater), Star Hudspath (the First Lady of IAAPA), Catalina Arteaga (Former First Lady of IAAPA), and Joanna Guy (Premier Rides).
Caption: Seville, Andalusia, Spain…I like you A LOT!
Top Left – Gerardo and Catalina Arteaga (Fantasilandia)
Bottom Left – Diane (IAAPA), Jim Seay and Sara Ingram (Premier Rides)
Right – ONE HELL OF A CREW
Monday, September 26
After a REALLY early flight out of Seville, and a terribly long connection at CDG, I finally made it home!
As I said, Mom and Dad extended their trip for the weekend, and had a fabulous time as well…
Well deserved time for two, for my two favorite people <3
The recovery time was a bit longer than usual after this one, but time well spent with friends is always worth it.
Just a couple weeks later, and it was off to New Orleans for the World Waterparks Association show! Check out our blog tomorrow for Part 2 of my Autumn Adventures as the 2016 Conference World Tour continues. Adios!
October 18, 2016
The City of Whiting, Indiana invites you to join them (and JRA!) on Friday, October 21st from 11:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m., to commemorate and witness the groundbreaking of the future Mascot Hall of Fame, with an opening set for late 2017.
Mayor Joe Stahura along with City officials, MHOF creator David Raymond, project and design consultants (including JRA), special guest speakers, and a few of our favorite furry friends (including the Phillie Phanatic and Mrs. Met) will begin the celebration with a short ceremony at Oil City Stadium. From there, Mayor Stahura will lead 500 community school students, residents and business leaders on a march to the construction site of the MHOF, at the intersection of 119th St. and Front Street to break ground for all to see.
What was presented to Mayor Stahura as a fun and innovative idea back in 2014 is now on its way to reality, making Whiting, Indiana "the silly, wacky city that could!" In successful partnership with Raymond Entertainment Group and multiple project consultants, the 25,000-square-foot Mascot Hall of Fame will be brought to life as a state-of-the-art interactive family fun zone with a wide range of exhibits, activities and events that celebrate mascot fun. In addition to providing entertainment, the MHOF will serve to educate about the roles, craft and science of mascots, creating opportunities for school groups and complementing state and local curriculums. This exciting new Whiting venue will host the Mascot Hall of Fame’s annual induction ceremonies, and other original, memorable mascot interactions and performances will entertain, teach and enthuse children and their families year-round.
Mayor Stahura, the City of Whiting, JRA and beloved mascots in attendance from around the country hope you’ll join us for this memorable event. Can't make it? Stay tuned to our blog and social media channels for photos, interviews and more!
September 15, 2016
This week, we've turned over the blogging reins to Director of Marketing and Business Development, Chloe Hausfeld. Chloe recently attended the Golden Ticket Awards and was eager to share her adventures!
The Golden Ticket Awards are coined as the “Networking Event of the Year,” and I had the privilege of attending them this past weekend at Cedar Point, in Sandusky, Ohio, with Keith James. It’s not very often that there is an industry event so close to home, so that added an extra charm for me. The Golden Ticket Awards are presented annually to honor the “Best of the Best” in the amusement industry.
Here’s a little re-cap…
Thursday, September 8
It’s been quite some time since KJ and I took a road trip together. I dare say it’s been since my glory days on the soccer field where he rarely missed a game. Not much has changed though; we both agree that anything over 45 minutes is too far to drive.
Posing for a car selfie to get the drive started off right!
I loaded up my bag (from my new favorite bookstore in Beijing) with goodies, and we ended up with a relatively smooth ride. We made great time, and were lucky enough to drive along the causeway to Cedar Point and see a beautiful sunset on the water. Not only did we make perfect timing for the sunset, but we also made it just in time to see the kickoff for the start of the NFL season.
My bookworm bag of goodies, and the start to another year of football!
Friday, September 9
I started the day off with a great run with Walter Bowser (Baynum Painting Inc.)
Soaking my feet while getting a beautiful picture of Hotel Breakers
It was time to get the weekend officially started, so KJ and I met at registration.
Cedar Point was closed to the public on Friday, but Gary Slade (Amusement Today), and his team, pull out all the stops for the GTA attendees. We started with the guided bus Legacy & Landmark Tour, followed by the Behind-the-Screams Tour; each showcasing different features that the park offers to its guests. The Coasters & Cocktails Reception, in the Valravn Plaza, was one of my favorite aspects of the day. We had the opportunity to take a ride on Cedar Point’s new dive coaster; my voice is still recovering. Not to mention the Exclusive Skeleton Crew performance that we had the honor of witnessing in Celebration Plaza.
Top – Posing with a performer during the Behind-the-Screams Tour, and then enjoying his acrobatics.
Bottom Left – Getting ready to brave Valravn with Joanna Guy (Premier Rides, Inc.)
Bottom Right – Enjoying a beautiful evening at Cedar Point with Nathan Jones (Vekoma Rides)
We paid tribute to a couple of industry greats, Mike Chance (Chance Rides) and Mark Moore (Uremet Corporation) during toasts in their remembrance at the Chef’s Table Food Feast at Lakeside Pavilion. The day was capped with an End-of-Evening Gathering at Surf Lounge.
KJ poses with Jim Seay and Sara Ingram (Premier Rides)
Saturday, September 10
GTA attendees were given exclusive early access to the park on Saturday. The weather was a bit questionable at times, but we made the most of it, and had a great time.
Posing with the “Selfie King” Pete Barto (S&S Sansei)
After an enjoyable morning spent at the park, it was time to get down to some real business…naturally, a group of us headed to Quaker Steak & Lube to catch some games.
It’s a good Saturday when both of my teams win!
The evening began with the Golden Ticket Awards Red Carpet LIVE! for a pre-show of the events to come later on, and was followed by a fabulous dinner in the Lakeside Dining Room.
Lots of laughs at this dinner table
Clockwise from front left – John Andrews (Baynum Painting Inc.), Kimberle Rolle Samarelli (NJAA), Chris Baynum (Baynum Painting Inc.), Ken Kobane (Apex Parks Group), Gina Guglielmi (Intermark Ride Group), Keith James (JRA), Chloe Hausfeld (JRA), Walter Bowser (Baynum Painting Inc.)
The 19th Annual Golden Ticket Awards was held in the Cedar Point Convention Center. The room was certainly filled with people representing some of the most esteemed and respected parks around the world.
Members of Cedar Point’s Bandstand USA perform for the GTA crowd.
The Post-Party was held at the Surf Lounge, where everyone reminisced on the fun weekend, and checked in on when they’d be seeing one another next.
Smiles from Gina Guglielmi (Intermark Ride Group), KJ and me. Until next year!!!
Sunday, September 11
We headed out bright and early to make sure we made it back for game time (if you haven’t noticed a theme from the weekend, I’m a bit of a football fan). It was a tighter game than I would have liked, but I’ll take a Bengals “W” no matter what!
Watching intently with my nephew, Mason
Thanks, Chloe! Be on the lookout for Chloe next week at the IAAPA Euro Attractions Show, and turn in next time for more adventures from her conference world tour.
September 07, 2016
If you've read our latest blog, you know that we are excited to embark on another Conference World Tour! Our first stop, the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) Euro Attractions Show, happens to take place in one of the most beautiful cities in the world, Barcelona. This cosmopolitan capital of Spain's Catalonia region offers mesmerizing architecture, luscious food, and picture-perfect weather.
It's easy to forgo business for pleasure in Barcelona, but there are plenty of business opportunities to go around at EAS. The crowd of attractions industry professionals convening at the Fira Gran Via Convention Center September 19-22 will be 9,000 strong, including over 425 exhibiting companies.
The 10,000+ net square meters of exhibit space make this year's Euro Attractions Show one of the biggest in IAAPA's history, but the show floor isn't the only place to experience the expo action. Also on the agenda for the week are over 15 educational sessions, the IAAPA Safety Institute, the IAAPA Institute for Attractions Managers, EDUtours, a variety of segment-specific forums and panels, evening networking receptions, and a sold out post-tour to Madrid and Sevilla. As a Silver Sponsor of EAS, JRA is the official sponsor of the EAS Leadership Breakfast, which will feature Carlo Bonomi, main shareholder of PortAventura World. With all of these activities, IAAPA promises an "epicenter of fun," and as always, we're sure they won't disappoint.
With its gorgeous setting, emphasis on education, and ample opportunities to connect, the 2016 IAAPA Euro Attractions Show will be one to remember. But don't take our word for it - hear what other industry professionals have to say via the video below.
Ready to join us? Click here to register, and visit us at booth 1121! We'll see you in Barcelona!