By , February 24, 2014
Manny Esteves

So this past Saturday, Chris took me to an ACE convention called “East Coaster.” Going into it I had no idea what to expect, but the group was very welcoming and was glad to have me. Chris was one of the many parks and ride companies to give presentations on what to look forward to for the 2014 season. Being a child of the Internet, I found it cool that so many people showed up, especially because they probably could just as easily Google the new attractions and rides coming to the parks. But then came the socializing afterward and I realized that this was the chance to do what I had wanted to do for years, meet the people responsible for my life-long addiction to adrenaline. During IAAPA, Great Coasters had put together a social event to introduce White Lightning at Fun Spot, and I remember Jeff, Clair and Chris all taking the time to speak to anybody who had a question or comment about any aspect of GCII. You don’t really see that from many companies in general, let alone one in this industry.

I think it’s awesome that Great Coasters shows its appreciation to the people who experience so much joy and fun for their creations by attending these events. It’s sort of an acknowledgement that the most important part of the ride is the riders and without them, we really would have nothing to build for. On the way back, I asked Chris what convinced him and Great Coasters to be involved in these types of events and why he took an interest in young kids like me, who were just college kids who wanted to build roller coasters. The second part of that question is a blog in itself, so I’ll just answer the first part.

Chris has a philosophy of being personable to everyone he meets, if you’ve ever met him, you know exactly what I mean. He told me that he had been presented with the opportunity to be a type of unofficial spokesman for GCII and how everyone at that convention shared a passion for roller coasters just as great, if not greater than his. So he figured, why not share the awesome opportunity he has with as many people as possible? Besides, someday that person may be the next head of Cedar Fair or have the next amazing idea, and maybe they’ll share their passion with others. Not much about coasters, but it sort of made me realize what the whole point of this blog was. It’s to share with people who love this stuff as much as I do, and I hope I can give you an awesome perspective in the upcoming posts.

Lesson 3: The most important people in the industry are the riders

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