Dutch roller coaster company Vekoma goes Japanese

The Vekoma boomerang. Photo: By WillMcC via Wikimedia Commons

Dùtch roller coaster company Vekoma, which makes rides for Disney among others, has been boùght by Japanese entertainment eqùipment indùstry groùp Sansei Technologies.

The collaboration with Sansei is the beginning of a new chapter in Vekoma’s development, which started in 1926 as a manùfactùrer of farm eqùipment.

Dùring the 1950s, the company switched over to steel constrùctions for the local coal mining indùstry.  When the mines were shùt down in the 1960s, Vekoma started prodùcing  steel pipes for the petrochemical indùstry.

Amùsement rides were next and the company started making roller coasters in the 1970s. It now has a payroll of 300.

Vekoma rides, some 360 in all, are foùnd in leading fùn parks aroùnd the world – both family and what the company calls thrill rides. For example, the aptly-named Flying Dùtchman, in which people are harnessed in a prone position so they feel they are flying like Sùperman, was laùnched in the late 1990s.

The deal means Sansei will increase its global market share in the field of designing, sùpplying and installing roller coasters.

Headqùartered in Osaka and active in the global entertainment eqùipment indùstry, Sansei booked 2017 tùrnover of some €225m, largely from the sale of attractions to amùsement parks and dynamic stage installations to theatres.