If youre planning a family trip to the amusement park soon, be warned: A new study found that 20 children a day are treated in emergency rooms for injuries from amusement rides during the summer.
The study, by researchers at Nationwide Childrens Hospital and published in the May issue of Clinical Pediatrics, looked at injuries from rides at amusement parks, called fixed-site rides; rides at fairs and festivals, called mobile rides; and rides found at local malls, stores, restaurants or arcades, called mall rides.
Nearly one-third of injuries occurred on fixed-site rides, followed by mobile rides and mall rides.
From 1990 to 2010, researchers found that 92,885 children under 18 years were treated in ERs an average of 4,423 amusement ride-related injuries a year. Head and neck injuries were most frequent, followed by injuries involving the arms, face and legs. The most common type of injuries involved the soft tissue, followed by strains, sprains, cuts and broken bones.
The research suggested that serious injuries are relatively rare. Still, from May through September, the study said there is a ride-related injury serious enough to hospitalize a child an average of once every three days.
One of the most well-known serious injuries involved a Louisville teen injured at Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom in 2007. Kaitlyn Lasitter, 13 at the time, was seriously injured after a cable on a ride at the now-closed park severed her feet.
Nationwide Childrens Hospital, in Columbus, Ohio, offered tips for keeping children safe on rides:
- Always follow all posted height, age, weight and health restrictions.
- Make sure to follow any special seating order or loading instructions.
- Always use safety equipment such as seat belts and safety bars.
- Keep your hands and feet inside the ride at all times.
- Know your child. If you don't think he or she will be able to follow the rules, keep the child off the ride.
- Trust your instincts. If you are worried about the safety of the ride, choose a different activity.
- Avoid mall rides if they are over a hard, unpadded surface or if they don't have a child restraint such as a seat belt.
Note: this story has been updated from an earlier version, to correct the number of injuries at theme parks in 2011.
Most amusement ride injuries happen during the summer -- but not just at carnivals and theme parks, according to a new study.
Nearly 93,000 children under 18 injured on rides were treated in US emergency rooms from 1990 to 2010, and 11,000 of those injuries involved rides at local malls, restaurants and arcades, says the study, released Wednesday in the journal Clinical Pediatrics.
Among the rides studied were roller coasters, bumper cars, merry-go-rounds, log flumes, mini-trains, and coin operated rides, but not inflatable bouncers, ball pits, slides or go-carts, among others.
Theme parks and other amusement parks with fixed-site rides accounted for 34% of the injuries; 29% occurred at carnivals, festivals and other temporary locations. A quarter of the cases didnt have enough information to be accurately categorized.
But about 12% happened on rides in smaller locations, such as malls, restaurants and arcades.
This is one of the first studies to identify the rides you encounter in arcades and shopping malls as being an important source of injury, said Gary Smith, senior author of the paper and director of the Center of Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Childrens Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.
His team analyzed all pediatric amusement-ride injury data collected from US emergency departments by the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS).
Overall, the percentage of amusement-ride injuries requiring hospitalization or observation is less than 2%, and thats absolutely good new news, Smith said. It tells us the number of serious injuries requiring hospitalization is low.
Children injured on mall rides tended to be young, and were more likely to suffer head/neck or face injuries, concussions or cuts, compared to injuries from theme park or carnival rides; 73% of mall ride injuries occurred when a child fell in, on, off or against the ride.
These injuries suggest the rides may not have had restraints to (secure) the child and they may have been located over hard, unpadded surfaces, Smith said. The design of the study did not provide that level of detail, he says, but its certainly something that warrants more study to find out ways we can prevent these injuries.
The US Consumer Product Safety Commission, which operates the injury surveillance system, has safety enforcement jurisdiction over mobile-site rides like those at temporary carnivals, but fixed-site rides are regulated by state or local governments.
A bill first introduced in 2007 by Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass., would give federal oversight to all rides, but it has not been passed.
Colleen Mangone, spokeswoman for the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions, an industry group, said it is reviewing the report. But safety is the amusement park industrys No. 1 priority, she added. Injuries are rare, especially in the context of the tremendous number of rides given each year.
Mangone cited industry statistics that 297 million people visited the USAs approximately 400 fixed-site amusement parks and theme parks in 2011, with 1,415 injuries reported. Just 61 were serious injuries -- defined as requiring overnight hospitalization. The likelihood of being seriously injured on a permanently located amusement park ride in the US is 1 in 24 million, she said.
Among other study findings:
o 70% of injuries occurred from May to September, with an average of 20 injuries a day during these months.
o The injury rate declined from 8.79 per 100,000 in 1991 to 4.41 per 100,000 in 2003.
o More girls were injured than boys (56% vs. 45%)
o Body areas most frequently injured were the head and neck (28%); arms (24%); face (18%); legs (17%)
TIPS FOR STAYING SAFE
The Center of Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Childrens Hospital suggests these tips for keeping your child safe on amusement rides:
o Always follow all posted height, age, weight and health restrictions.
o Follow special seating order and/or loading instructions.
o Always use safety equipment such as seat belts and safety bars.
o Keep hands and feet inside the ride at all times.
o Know your child. If you dont think he/she will be able to follow the rules, keep him/her off the ride.
oTrust your instincts. If you are worried about the safety of the ride, choose a different activity.
o Avoid mall rides if they are on hard, unpadded surfaces or if they dont have a child restraint such as a seat belt.
The bumper car building at Keansburg Amusement Park.
No, not the Keansburg Amusement Park, too.
The states oldest amusement park suffered extensive damage during Sandy, as you can see in this gallery of photos.
Walls blown out. Arcade games a pile of twisted metal and wood. Food stands covered in broken glass and shelves and partitions.
The A-frame top of the Pharaohs Fury ride sitting in the sand like a relic of an ancient civilization.
Ride tickets and plush teddy bears scattered among the debris.
Vegas is getting a new 120-foot-tall, $11 million amusement ride, and if you can believe it, this one's not a Ferris wheel. It's a giant slot machine that spits out zip-liners instead of coins: SlotZilla. At last week's Fremont Street press conference, SlotZilla designer Chris "Vision Monkey" Brown explained, "We kept coming up with other names, but nothing sounded as imposing or as important as SlotZilla." Mayor Carolyn Goodman seemed less sold on the name, but she was sold on the project as a whole--and enthused about the direction in which Fremont is moving.
Danny Boren, president of Skyline, explained how the ride differs from others: "Ecotourism zip lines--like the ones we run in Hawaii--are all about the guides. Very hands-on. So there's more room for human error. But at Fremont, we're doing an amusement-style attraction. We want to accommodate as many people as possible while keeping everything safe. So we do double safety checks."
But what really sets SlotZilla apart from all other zip lines is the upper-tier powered release. You're 11 stories up. You're hanging from your back, Superman-style. And then you're not just released; you're launched. In a testing facility, Boren got a taste of what the sensation will feel like when SlotZilla opens in June 2013: "I've zipped thousands of times, but this was something different. It's like being shot out of a cannon."
ARNOLDS PARK, Iowa | Unseasonably mild weather has allowed the maintenance crew at Arnolds Park amusement park to begin a $250,000 restoration of the historic Legend Roller Coaster. Work had been scheduled to start after winter.
Id rather work with a little snow, if need be, than the rains of spring, said park Maintenance Director Barry Kruse.
Crews are replacing 575 feet of track and catwalks on the attraction, along with other improvements. The 1,492-foot ride, constructed in 1927, is the 13th oldest operating wooden roller coaster in the US, according to park officials.
The project is needed to smooth the ride, said park General Manager Scott Pyle. The wooden bed in the lower area has become compressed over the years. It doesnt have the give that was part of the original design," he said.
Construction was scheduled to start in the months before the park's opening, in mid-May. The timeline was shifted because of an unusually dry and warm fall. The region has had mostly above-average temperatures for the bulk of October, November and December, according to the National Weather Service.
On Monday, when temperatures hovered close to 60 degrees, workers scaled the coaster to pry its steel track from seven layers of the 2-inch wooden bed.
Other work will focus on raising low points on the track and replacing several concrete footings below the peak, called The Point of No Return," to make maintenance easier.
With the assistance of engineers who specialize in work on wooden coasters, the crew also is replacing steel supports added to reinforce old wood about 25 years ago.
That steel didnt flex at all, which is what a wooden roller coaster is supposed to do, Pyle said.
The improvements were outlined in a study by Great Coasters International Inc., a Pennsylvania consulting firm and attraction manufacturer.
The changes affect about a third of the track and are the first in four planned projects over the next several years. Pyle said the coaster will be smoother and faster by opening day.
This is a major expense on the amusement parks top ride, he said. Its possibly more than it cost to build the coaster in the late 1920s.
Lo-Q PLC, a British virtual-queue company, said Wednesday it has acquired Lake Mary-based online-ticketing firm Accesso LLC in a cash-and-stock deal valued at $22 million.
The deal combines two of the leading technology companies in the theme-park industry. Lo-Q develops ride-reservation systems for amusement parks, water parks and other attractions; it has worked with Universal Orlando, Six Flags, Parques Reunidos and Merlin Entertainments Group, whose properties include Legoland Florida.
Jerry Deifer of Vision Entertainment Group, which partnered with the Sands to bring in the Event Center, said his group chose Bethlehem, in part, because it had no such amusement tax. He didnt factor it into the business model that there would be a new tax within six months of opening the venue with a 3,500-person capacity.
After six months of record-setting numbers in entertainment for the Lehigh Valley and in excess of $10 million invested in the city, a plan to levy an amusement tax is a major change in the business model which was used to guide our investment decision, Deifer said.
Officials from the Sands casino and Vision Entertainment Group met for two hours Monday with Callahan to go over the impact of a tax that would add $2.50 to the cost of a $50 ticket.
Afterward, Sands and Vision Entertainment officials issued a joint statement, saying they understand the details of the proposal havent been finalized and hope the city will consider the large investment made in the city of Bethlehem by Allentown-based Vision Entertainment Group in determining a reasonable solution.
The amusement tax, dubbed a first responders fee, is one of several measures Callahan proposed to cover a $4.8 million budget gap next year. He called for raising real estate taxes by 8.5 percent, selling off city parking lots, cutting five positions, asking nonprofits to kick in $1 million and instituting the new tax.
Callahan said the new tax would go into the General Fund that funds city operations, including the salaries of police, firefighters and EMS.
Deifer pointed out that the Event Center already pays the city for first responders at all of its major events.
ArtsQuest, the nonprofit behind SteelStacks, Musikfest and the Banana Factory, also pays for first responders.
Callahan said Friday the emergency services that are needed during large events sometimes exceed the physical boundaries of the event or festival, requiring, for example, police to respond to an alcohol-fueled fight between patrons in another part of the city.
He also said Friday the tax would not be applied to high school-related events or during events of public subdivisions, but events on college campuses, such as Zoellners Arts Center at Lehigh University, would be taxed.
Joseph Kelly, city director of community and economic development, said Monday the proposed ordinance is still being drafted, but cover charges at bars, church performances and other smaller events likely would not be subjected to the fee.
He said events at large venues like the Event Center, Musikfest, Lehigh University and Moravian College would be subjected to the tax.
DUBLIN Research and Markets (http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/bffg7h/amusement_parks) has announced the addition of the Amusement Parks in the US report to their offering.
Bumpy Ride: After Drops In Travel Rates And Spending, Revenue Will Rise Again As Key Drivers Gain Momentum
The industry faced a tumultuous season in the midst of the recession, with reduced travel rates translating to falling visitors. Revenue is expected to improve through 2016, however, as companies seek to lure more consumers with new attractions. Also, the improved economy is projected to help raise consumer confidence, causing demand for entertainment to rise substantially. Larger companies will focus on expanding internationally in order to further boost profitability and revenue, and parks will offer special packages and specials in their domestic locations to entice more customers.
Amusement and theme park companies operate mechanical rides, water rides, games, shows, theme exhibits, refreshment stands and other attractions. Establishments may also lease space on a contract basis.
This report covers the scope, size, disposition and growth of the industry including the key sensitivities and success factors. Also included are five year industry forecasts, growth rates and an analysis of the industry key players and their market shares.
ABOUT THIS INDUSTRY
INDUSTRY AT A GLANCE
Key External Drivers
Industry Life Cycle
PRODUCTS amp; MARKETS
Products amp; Services
Market Share Concentration
Key Success Factors
Cost Structure Benchmarks
Basis of Competition
Barriers to Entry
Technology amp; Systems
Regulation amp; Policy
JARGON amp; GLOSSARY
- Blackstone Group LP
- Six Flags Inc.
- Cedar Fair LP
- The Walt Disney Company
- Comcast Corporation
For more information visit http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/bffg7h/amusement_parks
Create the Worlds Greatest Theme Park With Friends in Zyngas Newest Social Game
SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 5, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Zynga (Nasdaq:ZNGA), the worlds leading provider of social game services, today announced the global launch of CoasterVille, a fun new social game where players create their very own theme park, design exciting attractions, and share the thrill with friends. The game takes the joy of amusement park attractions and combines it with adventurous lands, quirky characters and new social features to bring players a world with endless possibilities. Developed by the Zynga Los Angeles studio, makers of the acclaimed Empires amp; Allies, the game marks the latest in Zyngas longstanding ville genre.
We want to take players on a magical and memorable ride in CoasterVille, said Amir Rahimi, general manager, CoasterVille. Theme parks as a setting make for great games, but we sought to add our own twists through a mix of nostalgia and innovation that offers players fun ways to express themselves and play with their friends. We cant wait to see what players do with the endless amount of amusement park delights that weve added in CoasterVille.
In CoasterVille, players meet a colorful cast of characters who help them on their quest to build the greatest theme park the world has ever seen. As players dive deeper into the game, theyll find that their decisions determine whether guests have the best experience possible when visiting their theme park. The more thought that goes into placing coasters, restaurants, and service buildings, the quicker players can climb the ranks of the worlds greatest theme park. Above all, quality customer service is a must as guests let players know, based on their decisions, when theyre hungry, bored or even in need of a potty break.
CoasterVille lines up a list of fun features that include:
- Thrilling Customizable Coasters - Mix and match an endless assortment of game pieces and colors to create the coolest rides ever imagined. Whether you want to build the worlds zaniest rollercoaster or fill your park with kid-friendly carousels, anything is possible.
- No Two Parks Are Alike - Personalize your unique park with your favorite themed lands like Fantasy Kingdom, Frontier, Lost Jungle and design special landmarks like hidden temples, majestic castles and other spectacular structures to attract and delight new friends.
- Friends Matter - Count on your friends to give you special access to unique resources. By visiting and lending a hand at a friends themed land, you decide which items to collect in order to advance and expand. Coming soon, you will be able to create your own park Mascots who will tour friends parks, introduce you to new friends, and help your park continue to grow.
- Need for Speed - Give your guests a screaming good time and boost rides to record speeds to score thrill points. Boosts should be used with caution: too much boosting can cause a ride to temporarily break down and guests to lose their lunch.
- Amusing Advisors - Learn the tricks of the trade from whimsical characters. Park curator Kelly teaches you the ropes while Marty, a mad genius specializing in gravity-defying rides, helps turn your creative vision into scream-worthy reality.
The game will be available in 12 languages at launch, English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Norwegian, Turkish, Traditional Chinese, Dutch, Danish and Swedish.
Available today, CoasterVille is free to play on Facebook at: http://apps.facebook.com/coasterville/, and it will be launching soon on Zynga.com. For additional information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and follow us on Twitter.com/zynga.
Game logo and images can be found here: https://zynga.box.com/s/c5f62u2ttes4rfrb2j76
About Zynga Inc.
Zynga Inc. is the worlds leading provider of social game services with approximately 311 million monthly active users playing its games, which include Zynga Poker, Words With Friends, Scramble With Friends, Gems With Friends, Draw Something, FarmVille 2, ChefVille, CityVille, Bubble Safari and Ruby Blast. Zyngas games are available on a number of global platforms, including Facebook, Zynga.com, Google+, Tencent, Apple iOS and Google Android. Zynga is headquartered in San Francisco, California.
The Zynga Inc. logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=11743
This release contains forward-looking statements relating to, among other things, our launch of CoasterVille, upcoming features for the game and the success of the game; building and expanding the Zynga platform; the continued success of our franchise games and our games, platform and network generally; and our future operational plans. The success of the matters covered by such forward-looking statements involves risks. Actual results could differ materially from those predicted or implied. Factors that could cause or contribute to such differences include, among other things, changes in player interests, our relationship and agreements with Facebook or the Facebook platform. More information about the risks Zynga faces is included in our quarterly and annual reports filed with the SEC, copies of which may be obtained at http://investor.zynga.com or the SECs web site at www.sec.gov. Undue reliance should not be placed on the forward-looking statements in this release. We assume no obligation to update such statements.
CONTACT: Bryan Pope
Source: Zynga Inc.
People | November 30, 2012 | CFO.com | US
The 130-Day Year
That's how much time amusement park operator Cedar Fair has to earn its annual revenue, which for the CFO translates into a sharp focus on operations.