Orlando has long been considered the Theme Park Capital of the World™ and a leader in innovative attractions, making us an ideal location for advanced manufacturing companies in the entertainment design sector. One such company is ITEC Entertainment, a global leader of entertainment solutions since 1985. Steve Alkhoja, vice president of entertainment technologies, speaks with Visit Orlando about the company’s technology initiatives and explains what makes our region so attractive to the industry.Q&A with Steve Alkhoja, ITEC Entertainment
Tell us about ITEC and how you have made your mark here in Orlando.
ITEC Entertainment designs and develops many types of properties, but our professional roots and unique expertise come from theme park development in Orlando and around the world. The equipment we design for attractions — mostly integrated control systems for rides, shows, special effects and animation — is manufactured at our fabrication shop in Orlando. We have a team of very talented engineers and technicians who work together to ensure that the equipment we design and manufacture is held to a high-quality standard, pushing entertainment to new heights.
Why is it important to be headquartered in the Theme Park Capital of the World™?
The setting of our home base is great for brand identity, new business development, recruiting and maintaining business relationships. Our location is attractive to candidates when relocation is necessary, and we also work with Central Florida universities to build the pipeline of local talent.
What does your industry need from a location?
We are fortunate to have our headquarters in Orlando (at the corner of Sand Lake Road and John Young Parkway). In addition to Orlando being home to the world’s top theme parks, the housing here is affordable, there is a sizable local university base for talent recruitment, and the entertainment scene is vibrant. Being just minutes away from the outstanding Orlando International Airport ensures our staff has ample flight destination options, as our work regularly expands our portfolio to new markets around the world.
Tell us about some of the unique challenges you face.
We are in the business of igniting the dreams of hundreds of millions of people all over the world. In our industry, we must take a client’s abstract vision of a property, such as a theme park attraction, and bring it to life while preserving the client’s vision throughout the entire development process. This involves a unique collaboration of both creative and technical elements, including the concept design, architecture, engineering and production. It’s a comprehensive process, where each step must be perfectly executed.
How is Visit Orlando an asset to your industry?
Visit Orlando supports our industry by keeping visitors and businesses informed and helping to sustain Orlando’s reputation as the Theme Park Capital of the World™. Orlando is widely known as an epicenter of the most advanced and popular themed attractions. We benefit from that identity and the ability to show our work to a broad international clientele during industry events that happen in Orlando, such as the annual expo of the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA), which is a very important event for us.
STRENGTHENING OUR CORE
Ride innovators from around the globe — and right here in Central Florida — create seamless experiences to expand our imagination, suspend our disbelief and forge priceless family memories. Many of these high-tech companies call Orlando home because of the proximity to our theme parks and other amenities that come with doing business in America’s most-visited destination.Thanks to our world-class tourism industry, Orlando is truly at the intersection of local and global innovation, especially when rolling out the latest and greatest in attraction design. And it’s only getting better, as more than a dozen new rides and attractions will open through the early part of 2019, with several additional unveilings planned over the next five years.Outside the parks, perhaps nowhere is the energy more evident than at the annual IAAPA Expo at the Orange County Convention Center. The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions, which recently moved its headquarters to Orlando, will celebrate the event’s 100th anniversary in November — and Visit Orlando is proud to extend a big welcome to our hometown.As the hub of the creative process that fuels entertainment innovation, Orlando makes for the perfect host. Here, in addition to displaying and discovering the latest technological advancements, company leaders worldwide get to become leisure visitors and enjoy many experiences exclusive to our destination.
Our economy’s familiarity and connection with the attractions industry — unrivaled by any other destination — is a major asset that creates positive impact across every corner of our community. And it all starts with tourism.