RSA Rocks Vegas
Exclusive Report by IHC "Senior coorespondant" Adam Stio
Last week was an interesting display of glitz, glamour and color. No, it wasn't the free shows on the strip! The Roller Skating Association visited Las Vegas for the first of its potential three year run of conventions in the city. The show will return to the Flamingo over next summer again and potentially the summer of 2012 as well. It featured the wildest group of people and the most interesting display of things even I wasn't expecting at a roller skating show.
From the time you walked in the front door it was a mass of gifts, prizes, strobe lights and lazer tag. I thought I was at a party. It started with a guy in a pink suit selling you stuff that gets gum off your floors and carpets. There were balloons, stuff that glows in the dark and a giant machine that makes individual cotton candy portions on the spot. There was an electic frying machine that doesn't use oil and frys chicken fingers and stuff up quicker than a deep fryer machine, and its cheaper, more efficient and tastes great. Aside from the skates and all there were many other ways to sell things inside your building other than just skating. There were marketing ideas shared and conferences there for people to share ideas with people from all over North America. I was even taken back by what I haven't seen in years that still goes strong at many of these places. Truthfully, I haven't been to a stricly roller skating place since maybe 1997 for the purpose of actually being at a party my brother was at. If it isn't broke, they aren't fixing it, they are improving it!
I had a great conversation with Jim Ball, president of Sure Grip. You might remember the company as the leader in the roller hockey industry back in the mid 90's. Their youth teams dominated NARCh and other tournaments series along with being the premier frame on the market with RHI and others. The company hit its stride in 1996 with the H-400 series skate frame when it opened an agreement with CCM for a couple of years. Since then the company has fallen off the spectrum of hockey, but continues to be one of the premier roller skate companies. They now offer a set of neon sneaker skates coming in a variety of colors. The Sure Grip name has been around since Jim's grandfather started the company about 75 years ago. Jim's son now heads up their marketing department, straight out of college. The company still produces the H-300 and H-400 series frames though. All Sure Grip products are still Made in the USA!!
For more information on how you can be a part of the RSA or their convetion next year at the Flamingo, go to: