Friday, officials from the International Association for the Leisure and Entertainment Industry (IALEI) and the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) announced the two attractions industry trade associations are considering a merger.
The IALEI board of directors met during Fun Expo in Las Vegas on Tuesday, March 10 and voted to talk further with IAAPA about merging IALEI into the IAAPA organization. The IALEI board appointed a task force of members to work out the details with IAAPA.
"Approximately six months ago, we started a thorough review of the future of our organization, the way we do business, and how we support our members, " said IALEI Chairman Richard Sanfilippo. "As a result of those conversations, we carefully considered a number of options, but the board felt merging into IAAPA was the best long-term decision for our organization and our members." Continuing, he added, "We have always considered IAAPA as an association with common interests and one which we have partnered with over the years to benefit our members. Many of our board members, association leaders, and founders have been involved in leadership roles within IAAPA and we feel the combined resources and leadership will create one strong voice for the FEC (family entertainment center) industry."
Following the IALEI board meeting, IALEI and IAAPA signed a memorandum of understanding. The IAAPA board of directors and membership of IALEI will vote on a final proposal in May.
"We appreciate the interest of the IALEI board in merging the two organizations, ” said IAAPA President and CEO Charlie Bray. "I think it’s a natural combination. Both organizations offer a number of services to family entertainment centers, and FECs have been one of our largest constituent groups for several years. Some of the services we offer are similar and some are different. The merger will allow companies to have the best of both worlds with one membership. We look forward to more formal discussions about this unique opportunity, " Bray added.
IALEI is a 17-year-old nonprofit trade association representing family and location-based entertainment centers and leisure and entertainment facilities of all kinds. It serves its members with a wide array of educational, research, and information projects and services, including the Fun Expo trade show. IALEI.com
Founded 90 years ago, IAAPA is an international trade association for permanently situated amusement facilities and attractions and is dedicated to the preservation and prosperity of the attractions industry. IAAPA member facilities include amusement/theme parks, water parks, attractions, family entertainment centers, arcades, zoos, aquariums, museums, science centers, resorts, and casinos. IAAPA is a nonprofit organization. Funds generated for the association by its involvement in trade shows and other activities are returned to the association to fund services for its members and the industry. IAAPA.org