Franchot honors Ride Entertainment for innovation
STEVENSVILLE — What started as a small business of two people in 1998 has turned into an internationally recognized thrill company with more than 150 employees. On Monday, July 17, Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot recognized Ride Entertainment Systems, headquartered at the Chesapeake Bay Business Park in Stevensville, with the 2017 Bright Lights Award for Innovation and Entrepreneurship award.
The award from the comptroller’s office recognizes businesses and nonprofits that foster innovation in their fields and strengthen Maryland’s economy by creating jobs and tax revenue. One company or nonprofit from each of Maryland’s 23 counties plus Baltimore City were honored as Franchot made his tour throughout the state to present the awards.
Ed Hiller, Ride Entertainment CEO and Maryland native, thanked the comptroller for the recognition and award.
Rider Entertainment Systems, located at 114 Log Canoe Circle, serves every sector of the attractions industry with specialities in sales, operations, financial partnerships, installations and attraction and park development, according to its website.
From roller coasters and extreme rides like its patented Skycoaster where participants are harnessed together and swung at speeds upward of 70 miles per hour back and forth, to multimedia attractions and ropes courses, Ride Enter tainment has planned, created and installed fixtures throughout the world over the past 20 years.
Most recently the group created a Wonder Womanthemed ride at Six Flags America in Upper Marlboro called “Wonder Woman Lasso of Truth.” That ride, which opened in tandem with the movie’s theater release, is now the tallest ride in the park’s history, standing at 240 feet.
Franchot said he was delighted to present the award to Ride Entertainment for their great rides and commended the risky investment turned out in their favor. He said the company’s recognition internationally for its development of amusement parks and inventive rides and attractions has helped create a strong economic backbone for the state.
Maryland Sen. Steve Hershey said the company’s reputation is “certainly out in front of you” and that it has done an “outstanding job.”
“Queen Anne’s County is very, very proud of you,” Hershey said.
County Commissioner Mark Anderson said great things are expected to be continued from Ride Entertainment.
“Entrepreneurialism is a combination of ideas and risk taking and a lot of frontend loaded debt that is scary, but if it all comes to pass you can create something really wonderful,” Anderson said. “That’s what we’re seeing here.”
Kim Kratovil from U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin’s office gave thanks on behalf of the senator. She, on a personal note, praised Hiller for his commitment to his community.
For more information about Ride Entertainment, visit www.rideentertainment.com.
Follow Mike Davis on Twitter: @mike_kibaytimes.
Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot, right, presents Ride Entertainment CEO Ed Hiller, left, with the 2017 Bright Lights Award for Queen Anne’s County on Monday, July 17.
Ride Entertainment employees show Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot the back room at their headquarters at the Chesapeake Bay Business Park on Monday, July 17, after the company received the comptroller’s 2017 Bright Lights Award for innovation.