ALEXANDRIA, VA -- Officials from the International Association for the Leisure and Entertainment Industry and the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions said their boards gave final approval for the plan to dissolve IALEI and merge its membership into IAAPA.
IAAPA's board met Sept. 29 and agreed that certain issues noted in the earlier, conditional approval resolution had been resolved to its satisfaction. IALEI's executive committee confirmed the final agreement on Oct. 2 and conferred to ensure that merger plans are moving forward. A transition team comprising key members of both IAAPA's board and IALEI's executive committee will guide the transition process in the coming weeks, officials said.
Under the agreement, all current IALEI members automatically qualify for IAAPA member benefits starting on Nov. 1, and effective through Dec. 31, 2010. At presstime there was some question as to exactly how many IALEI members this might involve. Last year, the full FEC membership roster of the fun center association topped 600. Reportedly, just over 100 members of IALEI have paid this year's dues, so far. IAAPA said its membership roster contains more than 375 FEC companies, of which approximately 80 are members of both associations.
Current IALEI members will receive free registration for the 2009 IAAPA Attractions Expo (Las Vegas, Nov. 16-20). This includes free access to the exposition's FEC education track of 16 seminars and programs. New IALEI/IAAPA members can also participate in nearly 100 additional general education sessions at no additional cost.
IAAPA's FEC committee will be reconfigured to include equal representation from current IAAPA FEC members and members of IALEI. IALEI chairperson Dorothy Lewis will chair IAAPA's FEC committee starting in 2010. It will coordinate and oversee FEC recruitment and member service.
IAAPA said it would work closely with the American Amusement Machine Association and the Amusement and Music Operators Association to produce next year’s Fun Expo, which will continue to be managed by William T. Glasgow Inc. The 2010 edition of Fun Expo will take place at the Las Vegas Convention Center from March 10 to 12 and will be collocated with a new show combining the former Amusement Showcase International and AMOA International Expo. Additional information on Fun Expo, including the educational program that begins March 8, is available at funexpo.com.
IAAPA said the FEC section of its website will be redesigned and upgraded to offer additional services. The site will also be accessible at a new Internet address: iaapa.org/fec. Next year, IAAPA will host a minimum of four free webinars that are specifically geared to FEC members.
Also next year, IAAPA will conduct research similar to IALEI's traditional annual State of the Industry report and will publish results for its FEC members. Additional programs and services will be offered to IAAPA's FEC members; details of these will be announced as plans are finalized, officials said.
IAAPA president and chief executive Charles Bray said the association was pleased to welcome IALEI members and looks forward to working together for the continued growth and development of the FEC industry. IALEI chair Dorothy Lewis of Fun Station Associates (Danbury, CT) reaffirmed that the IALEI board acted to affect the merger in the strong belief that joining forces with IAAPA is in the best interests of the association's FEC members.