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IISF Trade Show Thursday Highlights
Kolmax Plus starts out strong at 2017 show; Trailex debuts new concession

2/10/2017

By Ron Weber

Photo courtesy of Matt Cook

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Day three of the IISF Trade Show was another sunny day for the Tampa area.  February 9th also marks the opening of the Florida State Fair held nearby and many will be making their way out to the fairgrounds tonight to see what is new and novel at the first State Fair of 2017.

Kolmax Plus Successful in Gibtown
Yesterday we highlighted the many purchases of All Around Amusements and noted that he was the first or second buyer of several of their offerings.  Kolmax Plus' Irena Zvarova had quite a large setup at the show this year, featuring several of her own rides as well as a few rides from new entrants to the show - and the US - but the others are family members (her cousin owns Flachs Rides and build wheels) or friends,  Jung Max which builds a dragon coaPhoto By Matt Cookster.

This is the third year at the show for Kolamx and what a difference a few years makes!  In year one, related Zvarova, the company just had a booth set up and no rides to display.  There was some traffic, but no sales came from the show.  People took catalogs and asked questions but there was nothing to distinguish her pictures from those of other manufacturers and the company up until that point did not have a track record here in the US.

During the year, Zvarova was contacted by Jeremy Floyd who found the company through its Facebook page.  He then flew to the Czech Republic to visit Kolmax and see their ride building operation.  Impressed by what he saw, he made a deal to purchase a Flying Elephant ride from the company.  A little later, they were also contacted by Robert Salerno who was also interested in a Flying Elephant.  

When Kolmax decided to exhibit at the IISF Trade Show again in 2016, they brought an elephant with them to display.  There was an explosion of interest and Kolmax wound up taking orders for 26 pieces.  By the time a Tea Cup ride arrived by the end of the show, both rides were selling well.  

Interestingly enough, all of the sales before the tea cups arrived were for elephants but once the tea cups arrived, those sales picked up as well.  Shows like PBJ Happee Days, Powers' Great American Midways, Helms and Sons, Funtastic Shows, Wade Shows  and Amusements of America all placed orders.

Zvarova said this shows that in the US showmen "have to see and touch the rides."  "They don't trust just the pictures, they want to see the ride," she added.

Kolmax's success in 2016 only emboldened their dedication to have a big showing in 2017.  This year, with affiliated companies, they brought a Scooter, three tea cup rides, a flying elephant, a wheel and a dragon coaster.  With five rides, they suddenly had one of the largest displays at the show.

After the show in 2016, Corky Powers flew to the factory to see the company's Scooter ride.  He looked at a ride built for a customer in the UK and was impressed with the build quality and innovative setup.  The ride uses a different hydraulic system that makes it easy to set up and tear down.  In fact, it takes 2 adults only 3 hours to complete setup according to Zvarova.  

Zvarova explains that Kolmax is made up of carnival people who have set up and operated the rides and they know what challenges showmen face when moving equipment over the road.  With that in mind, they built a Scooter that is very easy to move.

Flachs Rides, the wheel company sold a 42' wheel last year first to heath Thomas and then to Robert Salerno.  Salerno purchased the smaller wheel and a new 75' version.

At the show so far, Kolmax sold a Scooter to Arnold Amusements; and Jung Max, owned by friend Vaclav Jung, sold a dragon coaster to Jeff Brady's Playworld Unlimited.  Two more wheels were sold as was a tea cup to Jolly Roger Amusement Park in Ocean City, MD.

All told, Kolmax will be shipping about 20 rides to the United States this year and is hoping for even more.  With the dollar so strong and excellent reviews of their rides from buyers, Kolmax is looking forward to a bright future in the US market.

The concession trailer business also looks to have a bright future as many beautiful looking stands were on display by a wide range of manufacturers.  Chester's manufacturing had a Cotton Candy from Pride of Texas Shows, an Elephant Ear and a fried veggie trailer called Tom's Vegetables from Dallas and Bethany Elliott.

Trailex Debuts New Style Concession Trailer
In the back of the show was a single offering from Trailex - formerly Caravan's Unlimited - the Midway Diner.  What makes the Midway Diner stand out so much was the fact that it doesn't look like your typical midway trailer.  It didn't have the marking of a specific food item but rather menu boards that could be changed with the menu.  

"We were going for the clean restaurant look with this trailer," said Carl Carbon, Marketing Manager for Trailex.  The menu boards with LEDs and the food truck-like profile add to the ability of the trailer to stand out in a crowd.  

The trailer on display at the show was built for a customer in Detroit that does Detroit Lions games.  His menu includes items from fish tacos to BBQ.  The back of the trailer has a Detroit theme and the front of the trailer has a single, long marquee.

"The trailer is sleek, sturdy and safe" said Carbon.  "Its like a custom diner on wheels."

Trailex, in addition to food trailers also has several portable Jumbotrons they rent to RV companies, concerts and large sporting events such as the Super Bowl.  They have three portable units mounted in trucks that are constantly working mostly weekend events.

The company also builds car and boat trailers, especially for the luxury lines.  They are a national sponsor of both Ferrari and Porsche.  

In Michigan carnival news, Jamie Skerbeck reported that his family's company, Skerbeck Entertainment Group purchased a Speed from KMG for 2018 delivery.  The show also purchased a lightly used kiddie Up, Up & Away Balloon Race from Zamperla for delivery this season.








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