Flushing Meadows in the historic Queens borough of New York City is steeped in history and community pride as of the home of the New York World’ s Fair in both 1939-40 and 1964-65, as well as the host of the prestigious U.S. Open, and home of the New York Mets. What may surprise out-of-towners and locals alike is that one of its most popular destinations, Corona Park, is actually 50 percent larger than Central Park.
Despite its many claims to fame for the past two decades families still had to travel outside the area to ride a roller coaster. That was until Stevensville’s Ride Entertainment Group came on the scene, opening an Operations Division with offices in New York. It all began with the Flushing Meadows Carousel, which was originally created for the 1963-64 world’s fair by combining two historic Coney Island carousels. Using the historic carousel as the centerpiece, Ride designed a mini-amusement park called Fantasy Forest at the Flushing Meadows Carousel.
Ride’s Operations Division is not only responsible for the development of the Flushing Meadows site, but also manages Forest Park in Brooklyn, New York, which is home to another historic carousel. Ride Entertainment is currently working on plans to expand the offerings at Forest Park.
“Our work in New York has been getting rave reviews,” says Ed Hiller, CEO of Ride Entertainment Group. “It has been rewarding to take our experience in design, marketing, and management to create fun, sustainable operations for families to enjoy now and in the future. We have been awarded similar opportunities in Boston’s Greenway as well as in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor which should be operational by mid to late summer,” he adds.
Ride Entertainment’s successes in New York come on the heels of equally impressive benchmarks in the United States and around the world, including installing the world’s tallest tower swing ride, Six Flags Over Texas’ 400-foot tall Texas SkyScreamer, and the second largest Skycoaster® in the world at 250 feet tall in Australia. In all, Ride has opened 11 major projects in 2013 around the world, and already is sold-out for 2014 for some of its product lines.
Hiller credits the company’s success to its working culture. “Our corporate culture is based on a team approach and developing highly-innovative and thrilling products aimed to making people of all ages laugh, scream, and smile. We are organized into divisions for sales, installation, leasing, operations, and branding — most of which are ranked #1 in the world. For example, our Branding Division has a large portfolio of some of the most successful brands in the world that that we manage, including Hot Wheels®, Thomas the Tank Engine™, and the Survivor television series.
The Ride Entertainment Group is a leader in the entertainment industry with offices located in Stevensville, Maryland, Salt Lake City, Utah, and New York City. For more information, visit www.RideEntertainment.com or connect on Facebook.
In photo: Installed by Ride Entertainment, the Texas SkyScreamer at Six Flags Over Texas, Arlington, is the world’s tallest tower swing ride measuring in at 400-foot tall.