Coast to Coast Entertainment co-founder John Maurer died at St. Clair’s Hospice in Dover, N.J. the evening of August 8 after a lengthy battle with cancer. The sad, though expected, news was all the more tragic considering that this crane maker was only 50 years of age and leaves his wife Kimberly and sons Andrew and Christopher all too early.
John and his partner Gary Balaban founded the Lakewood, N.J.-based “C2C” 17 years ago as an importer of cranes they had contract-built for them in China. They’d already known the coin-op business having owned and operated arcades on the Jersey Shore (e.g. in Seaside Heights) since 1995 and were thoroughly familiar with everything to do with what has become a keystone industry product.
Both Maurer and Balaban graduated Middlesex College with engineering degrees and were more than able to dictate their designs to the Chinese fabricators in great detail. They enjoyed many years of success and in 2015, they sold the company to Elaut USA, though continued to run the division under the supervision of the Belgian group’s American CEO Glenn Kramer.
Over the years, the C2C founders made a name for themselves as providers of competitively-priced goods that stood the test of time on location. As engineers, their design expertise played a big role in the company winning three AMOA Innovator Awards (e.g. for the Side Box prize dispenser that vends keys the players use to open doors automat-style).
John’s illness didn’t keep him from attending the more important trade shows these past couple of years. He not only wanted to help his partner Gary and employees doing “booth work,” but actually enjoyed that part of the manufacturer’s duties.