Larson International

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Larson International, Inc.
TypePrivate
IndustryManufacturing
Founder(s)Walter Larson
HeadquartersPlainview, Texas, United States
Area servedWorldwide
Key peopleJeff Novotny (President)
Websitelarsonintl.com
 
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Larson International, Inc.
TypePrivate
IndustryManufacturing
Founder(s)Walter Larson
HeadquartersPlainview, Texas, United States
Area servedWorldwide
Key peopleJeff Novotny (President)
Websitelarsonintl.com

Larson International is a designer and manufacturer of amusement rides based in Plainview, Texas. The company has designed its own collection of amusement rides, as well as owning rights to rides originally designed by Bisch-Rocco and Sellner Manufacturing.

History[edit]

J & S, Rides, Inc., currently doing business as Larson International, dates back to at least 1988.[1][2]

In January 2002, Larson International, along with AmTech and International Ride Services, hosted the annual Amusement Industry Manufacturers & Suppliers (AIMS) Safety Seminar.[3]

In February 2002, Larson International acquired the rights to Bisch-Rocco's Flying Scooters ride.[4] In the late 1920s, Alvin Bisch and Ralph Rocco designed a rotating, ride-like device for training pilots.[5] In the 1930s, this design evolved into the Flying Scooters amusement ride.[6] Several installations were manufactured by Bisch and Rocco. The first new installation by Larson International was purchased by California's Great America and installed in 2002.[7]

In January 2011, Larson International purchased Sellner Manufacturing, an amusement ride company based in Faribault, Minnesota.[8] Sellner Manufacturing's foundations date back to 1923 when Herbert W. Sellner invented a Water-Toboggan Slide. In 1926, Sellner invented the Tilt-A-Whirl carnival ride, and founded Sellner Manufacturing. The company invented other products over the years, but the Tilt-A-Whirl, remained its most popular, with nearly 1000 units manufactured to 2010.[9] In the late 2000s, Sellner Manufacturing, which was then led by great-granddaughter Erin Sellner Ward, was facing financial difficulties. The State Bank of Faribault approached Larson International for a possible takeover. Larson International's acquisition saw the company gain ownership of everything except Sellner's building. This included the relocation of all ride plans, molds, computers, office furniture, equipment, and machines, to Larson International's Plainview facility.[1]

Products[edit]

NameIntroducedOriginal designerIn association withDescription
22M Giant LoopLarson InternationalN/AA larger version of a Fireball, measuring 22 metres (72 ft) in diameter.[10]
Flying Rides2011Sellner ManufacturingN/AAerial carousels that come in a variety of themes, including Bumble Bee Bop, Jumping Jumbos, and Star Command.[11]
Flying Scooters2002Bisch-RoccoN/A[4]
Flying Scooters (portable)Bisch-RoccoMajestic Manufacturing, Inc.A portable, fairground version of Larson's ride is in development.[12]
Fireball2000Larson InternationalN/ASuccessor to the Super Loop (1999) and Ring of Fire (2000).[13]
Funnel ForceLarson InternationalN/A[14]
The Hubless WheelLarson InternationalN/ACombines the 22M Giant Loop structure with Star Dancer ride vehicles to result in a ferris wheel-like experience.[15]
Huff-n-Puff2011Sellner ManufacturingN/AA self-powered handcar ride for children.[16]
Kiddie Star DancerLarson InternationalN/A[17]
Mega BounceN/AA.R.M.[18]
The Ships AhoyLarson InternationalN/AA themed teacups-style ride.[19]
Spin Rides2011Sellner ManufacturingN/ATeacups-style rides that come in a variety of themes, including Barrels of Fun, Bear Affair, Berry-Go-Round, Chilly Willy, Dizzy Dragon, Martian Madness, Monkey Mayhem, Pumpkin Patch, Spin the Apple, Tea Time and Tons of Fun.[20]
Star DancerLarson InternationalN/A[21]
Super ShotN/AA.R.M.Originally known as Atmosfear.[22][23]
Tilt-A-Whirl2011Sellner ManufacturingN/A[8]
Track Rides2011Sellner ManufacturingN/ASmall track-based fairground rides, with themes available of Jalopy Junction and Rock Town.[24]
The WhipSellner ManufacturingGordon Rides, LLCA modern version of the classic Whip ride is currently in development.[8]

Former products[edit]

In the past, Larson International has had informal alliances with other manufacturers including Chance Rides, S&S Power and NBGS, whereby the manufacturers would assist in the fabrication of each other's rides in exchange for revenue sharing.[25] Products previously designed and manufactured by Larson International are shown in the table below.

NameIntroducedDescription
High Roller/Crazy Train1998[26]
Moby Dick[27]
Ring of Fire2000Successor to the Super Loop (1999) and predecessor to the Fireball (2000).[28]
Space Loop[29]
Super Loop1999Predecessor to the Ring of Fire and Fireball (2000).[30]

Installations[edit]

Many of Larson International's ride have been sold to fairground operators as portable, travelling rides.[31][32][33][34][35] A listing of rides permanently installed at amusement parks is shown in the table below.

Ride nameParkTypeOpenedStatus
AtmosFEARMorey's PiersSuper Shot2005Operating
Dragons FlyCastle ParkFlying Scooters2008Operating[36]
FearfallKentucky KingdomSuper Shot2014Announced
Flying EaglesCalifornia's Great AmericaFlying Scooters2002Operating[7]
Flying FishStory LandFlying ScootersN/AOperating[37]
French Quarter FlyersSix Flags AmericaFlying Scooters2014Announced
Frontier FlyersHersheyparkFlying Scooters2003Operating[38]
Hair RaiserLuna Park SydneySuper Shot2013Operating
Hornet's NestDarien LakeFlying Scooters2012Operating[39]
Lake Erie EaglesCedar PointFlying Scooters2014Announced
Lakeside GlidersMichigan's AdventureFlying Scooters2013Operating
Professor John's Flying MachinesKentucky KingdomFlying Scooters2014Announced
Screamin 'EagleGreat EscapeFlying Scooters2013Operating
Surfside GlidersKnott's Berry FarmFlying Scooters2013Operating[40]
Super LoopsVirginia Beach Amusement ParkSuper LoopN/A[41]
ZZZN/AMorey's PiersFireball2002Operating[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Larson gains new dimension with Sellner purchase". Amusement Today 14 (11): 1. February 2011. Retrieved November 23, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Larson International, Inc.". Larson International. Retrieved 23 November 2013. 
  3. ^ O'Brien, Tim (January 29, 2001). "Hundreds of students attend seminar; seven honored at awards banquet". Amusement Business 113 (4): 16. 
  4. ^ a b Mooradian, Don (February 18, 2002). "M&S news". Amusement Business 114 (7): 4. 
  5. ^ US patent 1912174, Bisch, Alvin, "Device to train aviators or for amusement purposes", published May 30, 1933, assigned to Rocco, Ralph 
  6. ^ US patent 2162877, Bisch, Alvin, "Amusement device", published June 20, 1939, assigned to Rocco, Ralph 
  7. ^ a b c O'Brien, Tim (May 13, 2002). "Parks holding off on adding major rides". Amusement Business 114 (19): 20–22. 
  8. ^ a b c McDonough, Doug (January 25, 2011). "Larson International acquires Tilt-a-Whirl manufacturer". My Plainview. Retrieved November 23, 2013. 
  9. ^ "Fast Facts". Amusement Today 14 (11): 1. February 2011. Retrieved November 23, 2013. 
  10. ^ "22M Giant Loop". Larson International. Retrieved November 23, 2013. 
  11. ^ "Flying Rides". Larson International. Retrieved November 23, 2013. 
  12. ^ "What's New". Larson International, Inc. Retrieved November 23, 2013. 
  13. ^ Muret, Don (May 1, 2000). "Windy City 'Flings' itself into outdoor season". Amusement Business 112 (18): 36. 
  14. ^ "Funnel Force". Larson International. Retrieved November 23, 2013. 
  15. ^ "The Hubless Wheel". Larson International. Retrieved November 23, 2013. 
  16. ^ "Huff-n-Puff". Larson International. Retrieved November 23, 2013. 
  17. ^ Muret, Don (July 1, 2002). "Minnesota State Fair set for 68 rides, new attractions". Amusement Business 114 (26): 17, 24. 
  18. ^ "Mega Bounce". Larson International. Retrieved November 23, 2013. 
  19. ^ "Ships Ahoy". Larson International. Retrieved November 23, 2013. 
  20. ^ "Spin Rides". Larson International. Retrieved November 23, 2013. 
  21. ^ "Star Dancer". Larson International. Retrieved November 23, 2013. 
  22. ^ Millbauer, Katie (June 2005). "Pier Review". Amusement Business 117 (6): 16–19. 
  23. ^ "Super Shot". Larson International. Retrieved November 23, 2013. 
  24. ^ "Track Rides". Larson International. Retrieved November 23, 2013. 
  25. ^ O'Brien, Tim (May 13, 2002). "Suppliers point to weather as key for sales in 2003". Amusement Business 114 (19): 12–16. 
  26. ^ Emmons, Natasha (February 3, 2003). "Mason having 'Fun' with new signing". Amusement Business 115 (5): 15. 
  27. ^ Powell, Tom (May 31, 2004). "Good Weather Makes PBJ Owners 'Happee'". Amusement Business 116 (22): 13, 20. 
  28. ^ Powell, Tom (August 7, 2000). "Business picking up for Interstate". Amusement Business 112 (32): 28. 
  29. ^ Powell, Tom (December 6, 1999). "Reithoffers nearing deal for rides". Amusement Business 111 (49): 32. 
  30. ^ Powell, Tom (November 8, 1999). "Amusement industry expo still growing; attendance tops 4,000". Amusement Business 111 (45): 44. 
  31. ^ Muret, Don (April 28, 2003). "Geren acquires 13 fair/festival dates". Amusement Business 115 (17): 1, 16. 
  32. ^ Muret, Don (August 21, 2000). "Warm weather and short jump good for Salernos at Rib America". Amusement Business 112 (34): 48. 
  33. ^ Barbieri, Kelly (August 11, 2003). "McDonagh's invests $1.3 million into show". Amusement Business 115 (32): 14–15. 
  34. ^ Powell, Tom (November 18, 2002). "Carnival owners discuss plans for spending at IAAPA trade show". Amusement Business 114 (46). 
  35. ^ Powell, Tom (December 8, 2003). "Macaronis Have Great Season; Eye More Foreign Help Next Year". Amusement Business 115 (49): 11, 12. 
  36. ^ "Dragons Fly at Castle Park: Larson Scooters now open". Park World Magazine. May 30, 2008. Retrieved October 27, 2013. 
  37. ^ Ruben, Paul (May 7, 2009). "Story Land". Park World Magazine. Retrieved October 27, 2013. 
  38. ^ Barbieri, Kelly (February 3, 2003). "Hersheypark prepares for new rides, food". Amusement Business 115 (5). 
  39. ^ "Kernels – May 2012". Park World Magazine. May 9, 2012. Retrieved October 27, 2013. 
  40. ^ "New at Knott's". Park World Magazine. December 12, 2012. Retrieved October 27, 2013. 
  41. ^ Powell, Tom (September 2, 2002). "Virginia Beach Park has solid blend of rides". Amusement Business 114 (35): 6. 

External links[edit]