by Martin Palicki, Publisher
The collective sigh of relief at the end of IAAPA Expo was one filled with joy and optimism. The week in Orlando is always fun, if not exhausting, but it felt like this year’s event held even more meaning. It was largely business as usual at the conference, with plenty of new ride and attraction announcements, countless deals being made in private conference rooms, cheers from the crowd spilling into the aisles at the TEA Thea Awards announcement, and great conversations with industry friends and colleagues.
Just because buyers and sellers are upbeat doesn’t mean there aren’t challenges facing the industry, from the pandemic, global economic conditions and political struggles. And there were losses along the way. Companies closed, people lost jobs, and others succumbed to illness. We shouldn’t minimize that. But there’s plenty to celebrate and be thankful for as our industry recovers.
I want to thank all the people at IAAPA that coordinate this mammoth event every year. I ran into IAAPA CEO Hal McEvoy on the show floor (above photo) and congratulated him on his final successful show with IAAPA; he’s retiring in a matter of weeks. Hal has been a great asset to the association. He’s complemented by a talented team of workers in the IAAPA office that help bring the industry together for IAAPA Expo. Special shout out to Caitlin Dineen for wrangling the press during the event and helping to make our job easier.
Finally, thank you to all of our loyal clients, subscribers and readers. Here’s wishing you all a safe and happy new year ahead!