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In Depth - January 2017


A Passion for Perfect Rides

One ride company built a loyal clientele long ago and is still thriving today—Bertazzon 3B Ltd. in Treviso, Italy.

Scott Simpson, president of Playland’s Castaway Cove in Ocean City, New Jersey, is a 20-year customer of Bertazzon through Ital International, Bertazzon’s distributor in North America, and tells why he thinks Bertazzon is so special: “They have a perfection mentality. Their rides always work from day one after they’re installed.”   

The company traces its roots back to the early 1950s when three brothers—Luigi, Ferruccio, and Marcello Bertazzon (thus the “3B” in the company’s name)—repaired carnival rides. They then began building bumper cars and the company formally became Bertazzon 3B in 1962. Its current president, Michele Bertazzon, is the son of co-founder Luigi Bertazzon and recalls how the firm gained a foothold in North America in the late 1960s: “Gilbert Ramagosa contacted us to import our products into the United States. The first rides Mr. Ramagosa brought inside the U.S. were operated in Wildwood, New Jersey, where many of them are still in operation.”

Today, Bertazzon’s staple rides include bumper cars, classic Venetian carousels, Matterhorn flat rides, and swing carousels.
All ride production is done in-house, and painting and finishing is carried out by hand. Each ride is completely assembled and tested in the factory before shipping. Bertazzon estimates the company has made almost 2,000 rides and 25,000 bumper-car vehicles, with many of the original rides still in operation.

Simpson talks about his dealings with the company: “We operate three of their rides in our park. The attention to the smallest detail in their manufacturing process and the quality of their products is well known with operators around the world. When the ride arrives on location, every electrical connection, nut, bolt, and pin fit perfectly. The fabrication and the attention to detail of the entire ride from the mechanical, structural elements, electrical, paint process, artistry, fiberglass work, and eye appeal to the customer are always perfect.”

Regarding the “perfection mentality,” Bertazzon says: “This is probably a consequence of our family approach to the business. Each ride we build is actually ‘our creature’ and signature. We put the same attention and care into designing and manufacturing … we would expect if we had to buy it ourselves.”

He adds that though Europe and the United States were the company’s dominant markets for years, it is now becoming more balanced around the globe. Park companies with Bertazzon rides include Merlin and Six Flags, and individual parks like Tivoli Gardens, Europa-Park, and Morey’s Piers.