Chance Rides family-owned companies have been dominant producers of amusement ride-related equipment for decades.
- Chance Manufacturing Company, Inc., was founded by Harold Chance in 1961 in Wichita, Kansas. It all started with a C.P. Huntington train, today there have been over 400 trains produced.
- Another popular ride that Harold and the team were known for was Trabant – the first trailer-mounted amusement ride that made it easy for carnival crews to set up.
- Dick Chance started with the company in 1970, after graduating from college.
- In 1971 Harold organized the first amusement ride safety seminar that continues today as AIMS, the Amusement Industry Manufacturers & Suppliers, Int. In 2023, over 700 people attended its 6-day safety seminar.
- The 1970s and early 80s were a period of rapid innovation and creativity for Chance Manufacturing, including the development of the classic Zipper, YO-YO and Skydiver to name a few.
- In 1985, Harold retired, and Dick started Chance Industries, Inc., with its subsidiaries: Chance Rides, Chance Coach and Chance Engineering.
- In the 80s and 90s Chance Manufacturing experienced impressive growth, expanding its product line to include ornate carousels, and urban transit buses, notably the Replica Streetcar bus.
- In 1998, Michael, Dick’s oldest son, joined the company and helped expand the theme park side of the business. His influence and drive allowed the company to begin building rollercoasters.
- The early 2000s was the period of thrill ride growth for Chance Rides.
- In 2001, Michael acquired the roller coaster designs of D.H. Morgan Manufacturing in California and formed Chance Morgan Coasters, Inc. The manufacturing was moved to its Wichita headquarters while engineering remained in California. Michael served as Chance Ride’s president until he passed away in 2016.
- In 2004, Chance American Wheels, LLC teamed with European partners to produce R60 (60 meters high) Observation Wheels, holding exclusive rights to the design for North America.
- Celebrating 50 years of the family in the amusement ride business, in 2011 the Chance Rides name was reintroduced.
- Dick’s second son, John joined the business in 2016, working alongside Michael in the engineering and development of new products before Michael’s passing that same year. John’s current role is leading business development.
- In 2017, Aaron Landrum joined the company as President & Chief Operating Officer.
- In 2018, John led the efforts to convert the C.P. Huntington Trains from internal combustion to fully electric, dramatically increasing sales.
- On June 30, 2023, Chance Rides Manufacturing, Inc., formed a financial partnership with Missouri-based Permanent Equity, a private equity firm. The Chance Rides name will now be in the form of Chance Rides, LLC, and will remain in Wichita, KS. Chance Rides will maintain its skilled workforce and the current management team. Dick Chance will transition from Owner & CEO to holding a minority interest. Aaron Landrum will lead the company as President & CEO.
The company proudly operates at the same facility Harold Chance started in, spanning 250,000 square feet. It currently employs 130 skilled workers, from welders to artists, many serving Chance Rides for more than 35 years.
Click on the video below to learn more about Chance Rides.