The Oregon Amusement and Music Operators Association hosted its annual gathering on May 23 capitalizing on the rare Oregon sunshine and the friendly solidarity felt between the nearly 35 attendees. Operators, distributors and representatives of AMOA convened to discuss the state of the industry in Oregon, legislative issues, new technology and more. The meeting was held at Langdon Farms in Aurora, Ore., just outside of Portland.
“These are the best operators in the state of Oregon,” Lee Prantl said of the crowd. “I think we should take advantage of the friendship in this group. If you’re struggling with something — anything — ask someone!”
The meeting kicked off with introductions and reconnections over coffee. AMOA’s sitting president Rick LaFleur was in attendance, as well as other members of the AMOA board. After the coffee kicked in, attendees were treated to several short presentations, kicking off with Heartland MicroPayments’ Leanne Price discussing the latest collaboration between the company and AMOA.
Heartland began working with the AMOA this spring to provide cashless capability to operators. Since April 5, the company has installed its WaveRider readers in six amusement locations, with plenty more planned.
Price discussed what the partnership entails and explained why she feels cashless is the way of the future. She emphasized that use of cash has dropped by 38 percent since 2013, while similar data projects that by 2018, less than half of transactions will be made with cash. The company has high hopes for growth, touting its growing presence in the cashless field and its dedication to the customer experience.
“We didn’t ramp up that fast because of a major marketing campaign,” Price said of Heartland’s continued growth. “It was because the technology was there, the need was there and people already knew what to do with our devices.”
Randy Cesco of Venco was the next presenter, showing off his company’s new wireless connectivity products: the OptConnect and wireless bridge. The OptConnect offers machine-to-machine connectivity, while the wireless bridge eliminates the excruciatingly difficult task of running Cat. 5 cable through dingy floorboards in a wireless-less location.
LaFleur followed, discussing the upcoming AAMA/AMOA joint lobbying trip to Washington, D.C. He also spoke about the Hesch scholarship and AMOA’s many other educational opportunities.
The OAMOA’s legislative counsel, Roger Martin, didn’t attend the meeting, but sent a letter detailing what legislative issues should be top of mind. Martin’s note said that Oregonians should expect some disruptive tax proposals as the year goes on, including a likely increase to the gas tax.
The official part of the meeting ended with a raffle and auction. AMI, TouchTunes, Raw Thrills, Incredible Technologies and others donated items to the auction, which helps fund the OAMOA year round.
The membership also took time to remember longtime Oregon operator Jim LaVia, who passed away this March. “He was one of the most respected men in the industry, always fair in his dealings,” said Gary Kilgore. “To me, it just seemed like we were all part of his family.”
For more information on the Oregon meeting, look to RePlay’s July issue. We will have continued coverage of state association meetings throughout the summer.