Breckenridge Texan

World Waterpark Association inducts Amusement Today’s Gary Slade into Hall of Fame

World Waterpark Association inducts Amusement Today’s Gary Slade into Hall of Fame
November 09
11:07 2023

Gary Slade, owner and publisher of Amusement Today, was inducted into the World Waterpark Association (WWA) Hall of Fame. The award was presented at the WWA Trade Show & Symposium on Oct. 25 at the Ernest Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Slade is a 1977 graduate of Breckenridge High School and plans to move back to Breckenridge after he retires in a couple of years.

The World Waterpark Association Hall of Fame recognizes and honors individuals who have made noteworthy achievements in the development and advancement of the water attractions industry. The WWA Hall of Fame celebrates individuals who have reached a position of eminence through contribution that have provided outstanding service, innovation or advanced the WWA and/or the water attractions industry in a unique way.

Slade was awarded for his 27 years of news service to the waterpark industry and for his annual support with WWA’s World’s Largest Swim Lesson promotion through his Amusement Today publication and supporting electronic news sites.

“I want to the thank the entire WWA organization and its Board of Directors for this worldwide honor,” Slade said. “It’s hard to believe that a sports photographer from a small West Texas town could enjoy the success that Amusement Today has had. I’m most thankful for the worldwide group of friends I have made, thanks to membership in the World Waterpark Association. I never thought my love for parks and roller coasters, would expand to witness and enjoy the birth, along with the rapid growth, of waterparks into the global industry it is today.”

Also inducted into the Hall of Fame with Slade were John Child, Sandcastle Waterpark, Blackpool, England, U.K.; Gaylee W. Gillim, attorney at law and member of International Amusement and Leisure Defense Association; and Rob Lawson, Innovator and Daldorado CEO.

Headquartered in Overland Park, Kansas, the World Waterpark Association was established in 1982 as an international not-for-profit member-based trade association that serves waterparks, aquatic venues, spray parks and other water attraction-based attractions. The WWA is focused on providing its worldwide member base with the education and networking that they need to operate safely and effectively. There are currently 108 members of the WWA Hall of Fame.

Amusement Today, based in Arlington, Texas, was founded in 1997 and has grown into the largest independently-owned trade publication for the amusement industry, publishing 14 issues per year. Slade has served as owner and publisher since its inception. This past March, Slade was inducted into the New England Association of Amusement Parks & Attractions (NEAAPA) Hall of Fame. At 110 years, NEAAPA is the amusement industry’s oldest association.


Cutline, top photo: The World Waterpark Association inducted Amusement Today owner and publisher Gary Slade into its Hall of Fame during its annual symposium and trade show held Oct. 24-27 in New Orleans, La. Presenting the Hall of Fame award to Slade, center, was Andrew Chafatelli, WWA Chairman and Turk Hospitality Group, left, and Chris Landgrave WWA Vice-Chairman and Deep Rivers Waterpark, right. (Photo courtesy of Shaye Bruyere, Waterpark Association)


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