From shuttered to city landmark, this is just one of our success stories in New York.
The Forest Park Carousel
Since taking over the operation of the Forest Park Carousel, the Operations Division of Ride Entertainment has enjoyed running the historic machine. When began operating the ride over in 2012 it had not run since 2009, and needed care and investment. The first of a series of upgrades were made as Ride Entertainment team members refurbished the carousel in the spring of 2012. Concurrently, we reached out to local Queens neighborhood associations and businesses for support and created a marketing plan for the ride.
The opening weekend in May of 2012 saw guests come from all over New York to enjoy a spin on the classic machine. During the ride’s opening weekend community activist Ed Wendell said, “They have done a remarkable job considering how little time they had to get everything up and running for the holiday weekend. Keep in mind that the deal was struck a month ago. The fact that it was open at all was a small miracle. And after nearly four years of silent inactivity, the sight of men, women and children at our carousel was very welcome.”
Over the next year the Ride Entertainment team created a strong birthday party revenue stream to augment their rider revenue and invested back in the ride. One of the project pinnacles occurred in the fall of 2013 when the Forest Park Carousel was named a New York City Landmark- the first time a carousel was given this distinction. In addition, that same year the ride was mentioned on Fox News and in USA Today™.
In early 2015 Ride Entertainment made significant invest ments in the carousel. We ordered and installed custom-machined parts that matched existing parts that needed to be replaced. Managing Director David Galst said, “Over the past several months we undertook a major rehabilitation project of the 100 year old Forest Park Carousel. The entire machine was disassembled and every mechanical and electrical component was examined. As with any type of aging hardware, certain parts had to be fixed and replaced. By performing this major rehabilitation, this timeless piece of magical art and master craftsmanship should be able to spin for decades to come!” The entire project was a dramatic undertaking as key parts of the ride, such as the middle and top bearings, crank arms, cross sweeps, and the commutator were repaired or replaced. This means that the entire historic structure had to carefully be taken apart, stored, and re-assembled with new parts throughout a long, cold winter.
The success of the Forest Park Carousel demonstrates not only the unique level of expertise Ride Entertainment brings to a project, but the ability to create revenue streams for its partners. This is true whether our partners are private investors or, in the case of the Forest Park Carousel, a public entity- the New York Department of Parks and Recreation.