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Issue Date: Vol. 51, No. 7, July 2011, Posted On: 6/10/2011

Family Entertainment Group Acquires Cleveland Coin Machine Exchange; Ron Gold Retires

Nick Montano
Ron Gold, George Smith, Family Entertainment Group, Cleveland Coin Machine Exchange Inc., CCME, CiCi's Pizza, arcade, amusement business, water park vendor, vending machine business, amusement machine sales, amusement machine operators, International Association for the Leisure and Entertainment Industry, FEC, family entertainment business, coin-op news

WILLOUGHBY, OH -- George Smith and an investment group that also owns Family Entertainment Group LLC (Barrington, IL) have acquired Cleveland Coin Machine Exchange Inc., according to an announcement today by CCME's Ronald A. Gold, who is retiring.

Smith, an amusement industry veteran, will serve as chief executive of Cleveland Coin, one of North America's oldest and most respected amusement companies and a former equipment distributor. "We have worked diligently over the past two years to make this combination of our companies a reality," Smith said.

Both CCME and Family Entertainment Group are regarded as leading operators serving indoor water park resorts in the U.S. Smith said the union is part of a strategy to consolidate top firms in the amusement industry.

"We expect that as word of the two organizations coming together spreads, other opportunities will come," Smith said. Family Entertainment Group recently acquired Skymart of Texas, a national CiCi's Pizza game operator.

Ron Gold joined CCME in 1957 and has been one of the guiding forces of in the coin-op industry. He led a multistate firm in music, games and vending distribution prior to converting CCME into a national amusement arcade operation in 2004. Gold will retain his office in Willoughby, OH, and support the new organization as a consultant.

Smith is a former president of the International Association for the Leisure and Entertainment Industry (which folded into IAAPA) and has held numerous educational and board positions with that association and others. Before establishing Family Entertainment Group in 2004, he held senior management positions with Namco Cybertainment, Nancy Sales, Dream Machine, Paradigm Entertainment and Animaland Inc.

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