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EuroAmusement Professional 1-2011-Leseprobe

Seite 21 EuroAmusement Professional 1-2011-LeseprobeEAP-01-11-Umbruch_layout 20.12.10 15:23 Uhr Seite 59

BusinessReport

das Geld, das wir in die gesamte Entwicklung investieren, ist der Grund,
warum wir der führende Entwickler von
Wasserparkinnovationen sind.
EAP: Rick, vielen Dank, dass Sie sich
die Zeit für uns genommen haben.

The (Sl)ideas Hunter
Rick Hunter, Founder of ProSlide,
in Interview
EAP: ProSlide is celebrating its 25th
anniversary this year. You were the
founder of the company back in 1986.
What was your intention when founding
ProSlide?
Rick Hunter (RH): Before I started
ProSlide I had been working for six
years with the Alpine Slide Company,
which made concrete slide rides with
carts for mountain ski areas for summer
activity. Alpine got involved in waterslides, which was back in the early 80s
and at that time waterparks really started to take off. I left Alpine in 1986 to
start ProSlide and at that time there
was a tremendous amount of waterpark
growth in the USA. I had the opportunity to meet so many great clients in that
time period and I believed, if I could
follow a track of relentless product
development, there was an opportunity
to create a number of very successful,
unique and different water rides.

EAP: How many people did you start
with and were you already producing
the slides by yourself at that time?
RH: In the early years I had met Hans
Tanzer, an Austrian immigrant to Canada, who owned Tanzer Yachts. He was
so passionate about building molds for
yachts and boats that I knew he could
create great molds for any waterslides
we needed. Hans joined with me and so
really together he was the technical of
the fiberglass and I was, from my background with ski racing, the slide guy.
He has two sons, Andreas & Hans Jr.,
and they have also worked with us since
the beginning, at the time we were a
team of not more than five or six people. Now we have grown to over 35 people in the office and 20 installers that
travel worldwide.

EAP: You have been involved in the
waterslide industry for 30 years. What
has been the most dramatic change for
waterslides within the last two to three
decades?
RH: In the early eighties it was single
rider slides, serpentine body slides and
straight speed slides. In the late eighties
we came up with two man slides as we
got into single and double tubing. At
ProSlide we basically played catch up
with the market during the mid-eighties.
The big turning point for us was when
we created, instead of two meter wide
flumes, a four meter wide flume for six
people riding. In 1989, we developed
the MAMMOTHTM River Family Raft
Rides, which were installed for the first
time in 1990 and within two years there
was so much demand we were absolutely leading the world. A lot of the volume
we were doing at that point was in the
USA. Europe, as we know, has taken off
like crazy in the last couple of years but
at that time, the money was being spent
in the United States. So we were at the
right place at the right time! For the
most recent ten years, ProSlide water
ride development has been all about
shapes and different types of high thrill
family attractions like TORNADOTM
funnels and the BOWLTM rides, like the

BehemothBOWLTM, the biggest
BOWLTM in the industry.

EAP: ProSlide works not only for classic waterparks, but also for amusement
parks like Holiday World who has also
waterslides or a second gate waterpark.
What are the differences between both
customer groups? Do they work differently regarding decisions?
RH: They both come from a different
background and there is no doubt that
most of the theme parks who want to
build a waterpark or expand the existing one adopt their height capacity
anchor attractions. Like roller coasters,
they think about large slides and rides
for their waterparks with high capacity
and they tend to request big structures
with more than one slide. Classic
waterparks on the other hand ask more
for single attractions and theme those
to bring them into context with their
existing attractions. Both types of park
setups end up in the same place: lots of
water, lots of variation in attractions,
pools & rivers that target the widest
demographic possible. This means the
extended family, from the youngest
children all the way up to the grandparents.
EuroAmusement Professional 1/2011 59

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