Checketts moves away from rides, closer to parking

Larsen-McColl group of Pennsylvania has acquired S & S Worldwide, the Logan-based company that makes thrill rides for amusement parks. Larsen-McColl becoming majority owner means that Stan Checketts, who founded S & S in 1994, will no longer be actively involved with S & S. “I hope that S & S will go on and be strong long after I’m dead and gone,” said Checketts. “It’s a great company with a lot of great people who I love and admire. “It’s been my responsibility to come up with a lot of good ideas, so now they’ve got more stuff than they can build for the next 20 years. S & S will be great.” Checketts said the new owners would maintain the office in Logan. “Yes, as far as I know,” said Checketts. “They’ve made it very clear they have no desire to move the facility.” Checketts said the amusement rides industry has been difficult, just like everything else in the economy. But there are a lot of things going on with S & S overseas, in China, which has been exciting. “China is growing rapidly and they love things like this. As time goes on there will be a lot of rides going into parks in China and Europe.” Checketts said he will now focus his energy on a company he formed four years ago, Boomerang Systems, which was formed to build storage units and stack them as many as six stories high, all automatically. “That’s now evolved into parking,” said Checketts. “We’re parking cars now and stacking them six and seven stories high. You walk up, swipe your card and it automatically puts your car away. When you return you, again, swipe your card and it automatically brings your car back to you.” He said all the automation and controls for new venture are being built entirely in Logan. “We have a good sized facility right now to do all this work but we will need more buildings to build the product if it takes off like our sales guys are telling us it will.” Checketts admits his days of designing thrill rides are over. “That part of my life was wonderful, I loved inventing rides, but I have no desire to get back into that business.” He said has a small product he’s working on now, a zip line product. “It’s fun, it’s exciting, I love to thrill people,” he said. “I am going to market some of those. But I won’t ever get back into building roller coasters, no.”

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