ABOVE: Michael Haimson, Cindy Emerick and George Walker
Walker, Haimson and Emerick bring a new strategy to Dynamic Attractions
by Martin Palicki & Judith Rubin
[dropcap color=”#888″ type=”square”]D[/dropcap]ynamic Attractions, known for delivering world-class ride systems, has announced a bold strategy to provide an innovative concept called Unlimited Attractions™ to its clients around the globe. It’s a strategy that the company expects will take them a giant leap forward, offering new capabilities, a new facility, and a talented new leadership team. The trio of George Walker, VP Creative Development, Michael Haimson, VP Technical Development, and Cindy Emerick, VP Business Development, are leading a new division of the company that will augment Dynamic’s established engineering prowess with the ability to execute every level of fully integrated and comprehensive attraction design. “We now have the ability to craft large-scale immersive attractions from start to finish,” said Walker. “The combination of our team’s experience in storytelling, engineering, and business development brings a powerful synergy to this company.”
Dynamic Attractions President and CEO, Guy Nelson, who is also CEO of Dynamic’s parent company Empire Industries, is enthusiastic about his dynamic trio and the three-pronged approach of creative, tech and business development. “With this new team I feel I have covered all sides of the triangle in-house. Creatively, we can now deliver the story that wraps around the ride system. Technically, we can now bridge the story with the engineering and technical design that turns it from a ride into an attraction. And through business development, our clients can be sure that the project promised is the project delivered.”
This “triangle” philosophy runs deep with the new Dynamic division. “The triangle represents our three-sided approach and applies in many ways,” Haimson said. “It references time/budget/quality, show/ride/integration, and client/vendor/guest. Even our conference room table is triangular because this allows for the best balance between screen, presenter and audience.” Haimson recently joined Dynamic, armed with a deep background in technical wizardry, including R&D at Bell Labs, and award winning attraction design at the former Iwerks Entertainment (now SimEx-Iwerks).
The new division is implementing a concept Dynamic calls Unlimited Attractions™. “We are literally saying that our services are unlimited,” Emerick said. “We take a very pragmatic, openbook approach to ensure that our clients understand all that we offer, and can then choose to engage us for as much as makes sense for the project – which now includes the show elements.” Emerick has been with Dynamic Attractions for four years. Her previous experience includes managing and engineering major attractions including the Mummy for Universal Studios, and The Italian Job for Paramount Parks. “Building complex attractions is a complex process because of all the integration between the show and the ride,” she said. “We saw an opportunity at Dynamic to do things differently, and deal with that complex process in a compelling new way.”
“We are moving away from the concept of a ‘turnkey attraction,’” says Walker. “We feel the concept of an unlimited attraction more accurately represents the breadth of possibilities we offer to our clients.” Walker is transitioning from nearly three years with Farah Leisure as he completes his role as Creative Director overseeing the expansion of Ferrari World Abu Dhabi. Referring to himself as a “storybuilder,” he has worked for design firms, on Universal Studios projects, and recently Disney’s Cars Land.
Dynamic Attractions Development Center
Mounted over the door in a business complex near the Florida Mall in Orlando is a new sign draped in red fabric, like a gift waiting to be unwrapped. Beneath the drape, the sign identifies the new Dynamic Attractions Development Center. “This center is the part of the new strategy that we are most excited about,” Walker said. “We will be constantly cooking up top-secret, cutting-edge ideas inside. It’s the theme design equivalent of Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. We wanted to create a place where ideas become more than just drawings on paper or words on a page; a place that isn’t just about dreaming up new ideas, but is about developing them into reality; a place of prototypes where experiences are invented, concepts are mocked up, and emotions are evoked.”
But also like the Chocolate Factory, most people will never see the inside of these walls as much of what goes on inside will be confidential. “We are building in a degree of internal security measures,” said Haimson, “so we can ensure our clients that the projects we develop for them will remain proprietary.”
Clients won’t be the only ones with secrets inside the box, however. “We are also inviting a very exclusive group of partner vendors to join us in this think-tank environment,” said Emerick. “Dynamic’s goal is to lead a developmental forum where their team’s ideas and those of key, strategic partners, can be developed, tested, and prototyped into the next big thing.”
The combination of the new Orlando facility with the expertise in Dynamic’s core engineering and fabrication facilities in Vancouver, along with its joint venture fabrication facility in China, its parts and services division in Texas, its in-house talent and collaboration with other talent, and the strength of the company history, helps form the basis for Dynamic’s executive team to feel that their use of the term ‘unlimited’ will be justified.
Building on a Dynamic foundation
What drew the new executive team to Dynamic? According to Walker, a combination of resources, structure, culture and longevity. “Dynamic is so much more than just a rented office and a web page. As a publicly-traded company with hundreds of employees and huge facilities, this is a classic brick-and mortar establishment with the stability and resources that we knew would allow us to really do this right and begin to offer all the show elements that turn a ride system into an attraction,” he said. Walker’s excitement over the new venture is such that he ties his necktie in a unique trinity knot whose triangular shape intentionally echoes the company’s 3-sided strategies.
Emerick, who has been with the company the longest, recognized the potential early on. “Dynamic’s deep ranks of engineers and technicians come from a variety of advanced industries. Through these relationships we also have special access to an array of exceptional vendors with highly innovative technology that few others can offer,” she said. “Dynamic has a strong base that will be the springboard to expand uniquely and to cultivate big ideas that we can now design, manage, and install, start to finish.”
It is this base and history that are providing the foundation for the company’s new plan.
“We have a new team, a new strategy, and a new facility,” Nelson said proudly. “Dynamic Attractions means business. We believe the investment in this new division will strengthen our position as a cornerstone establishment in the industry, and allow us to deliver the entire attraction with all its show elements included, out of our new, Orlando facility.” • • •
Meet the Dynamic Attractions team at the IAAPA Expo in booth
#1364 or online at www.dynamicattractions.com