Interview with Antonio Zamperla Jr.

General Manager of Zamperla Group

Stefan Zwanzger: Antonio.

Antonio Zamperla Jr: Stefan.

Stefan Zwanzger: You are the third generation in Zamperla, correct?

Antonio Zamperla Jr: Yes.

Stefan Zwanzger: Your grandfather founded the company in the 60s. Your father made it go international.

Antonio Zamperla Jr: Yeah.

Stefan Zwanzger: And now you inherit all this.

Antonio Zamperla Jr: (laughs) That could be, that could be. I hope that will be.

Stefan Zwanzger: How many countries have you delivered rides to?

Antonio Zamperla Jr: More than 200, probably. We don't know how many. I cannot tell you how many countries.

Stefan Zwanzger: That's all countries in the world, you know?

Antonio Zamperla Jr: Yes. Every country have and should have the ride. We can provide rides to everyone.

Stefan Zwanzger: I mean, I've seen... when I Google Zamperla rides, I see a picture of your father with Donald Trump. And I also see Kim Jong-un of North Korea in a Zamperla, right? You can see them both. So you're actually the only connection between the American and the North Korean government. I mean, they both use Zamperla rides.

Antonio Zamperla Jr: Yeah. They have something in common in this. They like to have fun. They like to. Everyone likes to have fun.

Stefan Zwanzger: Yeah.

Antonio Zamperla Jr: No matter who you are, no matter where you are, no matter if you are from a wealthy country, if you are from a poor country, if you are, like, in a hot weather or in a cold weather, you want to have fun. And fun, actually, is the second needing of a human being. The first one, actually, is food. And then it's really... to have fun, to amuse.

Stefan Zwanzger: Is it?

Antonio Zamperla Jr: Yes.

Stefan Zwanzger: It's before sex?

Antonio Zamperla Jr: This is fun.

Stefan Zwanzger: I forgot (laughs). So you have that the pyramid of needs, right? That you just got. And don't you supply about 250 rides per year? That's what you told me, right?

Antonio Zamperla Jr: Yes.

Stefan Zwanzger: That's more than anybody else, right?

Antonio Zamperla Jr: That's more than anybody else. And actually, probably everybody else combined makes the same amount of rides that we do. But we start with rides from 50,000 euro until millions and millions. We are the only one that are able to supply a full, complete amusement park from the kiddie rides to [the] family rides, to the water rides. Well, of course, there's whatever. We have the complete line of rides. And we have also capabilities, manufacturing capabilities that is not only based in Italy, it's based also in Croatia, Belarus and the Philippines. So we are geographically also based in terms of the needs of the market.

Stefan Zwanzger: You also planning theme parks. I know you did this Coney Island revamp in New York recently, right? That's a complete 100% Sao Paulo showroom.

Antonio Zamperla Jr: Yeah, it's not only something like a showroom. We managed actually the park. So we are on both sides of the fences as to say. So we are able also to understand how is the mentality of an amusement park operator. And this helps us on developing new rides. We develop every year new rides that we bring to the market.

Stefan Zwanzger: You told me before, you were going back in history. I think it was one of the first Luna Parks in the world. I think it was.

Antonio Zamperla Jr: Well, actually, it was the first Luna park, was the first one that has been named Luna Park. And from that on, many other Luna Parks [were] opened around the world. We have a couple of them in Australia. We have different of them in Europe. And it's interesting because in the US the name Luna Park relies only to Coney Island and back on the first days of the set of the 19th century. And if you talk about Luna Park in the US, they don't understand what is on offer.

Stefan Zwanzger: They don't know it.

Antonio Zamperla Jr: Nope. We are able even to trademark the name.

Stefan Zwanzger: Luna Park is a trademark of Paramount. Globally?

Antonio Zamperla Jr: In the US.

Stefan Zwanzger: In the US. You managed this. Well, that is interesting. And no one objected?

Antonio Zamperla Jr: Well, we answered to a request for proposal from the city of New York. We bid with different other companies. And we proved that we were able to manage amusement park because we had experienced [it] before, we were managing that. And we started managing [an] amusement park in 2003 in New York City, in Central Park, a small park called Victorian Garden. And then from 2007 to 2010, we managed an amusement park in Italy called Minitalia Leolandia, which actually I was managing directly.

Stefan Zwanzger: You managed it?

Antonio Zamperla Jr: Yes, I was managing directly. I was inside the park, you know, in an office/apartment inside the park. So I was like opening the door and I was in the meeting room.

Stefan Zwanzger: How is it to wake up in an amusement park?

Antonio Zamperla Jr: Awesome.

Stefan Zwanzger: Yeah?

Antonio Zamperla Jr: Yeah. The morning run. Oh, my God. Is incredible.

Stefan Zwanzger: You're like it, waking up inside? I can imagine. How many people do you think in the world wake up inside an amusement park?

Antonio Zamperla Jr: Oh, not many. Not many of us.

Stefan Zwanzger: Not many, okay. One more time to the Coney Island Luna Park, because we talked about it was the first Luna Park of its kind, right?

Antonio Zamperla Jr: Yes.

Stefan Zwanzger: In the US. But the US didn't invent a roller coaster, right?

Antonio Zamperla Jr: No.

Stefan Zwanzger: It was the Russians, right?

Antonio Zamperla Jr: Well, if... well in Italy we call it Russian, Russian mountain.

Stefan Zwanzger: Russian mountain, right?

Antonio Zamperla Jr: And it's fun because it was actually back in the Tsar [period] where the sled [was put] on a small hill and then going down. And they were calling [it] American Mountains.

Stefan Zwanzger: American mountains. So that's the only time ever the Russians and the Americans gave each other credit for something.

Antonio Zamperla Jr: It seems like, yes.

Stefan Zwanzger: Yes, let's hope we're going to get there again.

Antonio Zamperla Jr: Oh, yeah, definitely.

Stefan Zwanzger: Antonio, thank you so much.

Antonio Zamperla Jr: Thank you, sir.

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