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Port Coquitlam builder of iconic theme park rides now wants to own them

The tech company is the secret builder of many of the world’s top theme park rides, and now co-owns a Steam Punk-themed immersive ride in the U.S.

If you visited the U.S., France, China, Japan or the Middle East in the pre-pandemic world, you may have enjoyed a thrill-seeking experience on a ride built by a Canadian company with deep roots in Port Coquitlam.

In recent years, Dynamic Structures — through its sister company Dynamic attractions — has fabricated parts of some of the world’s most popular rides, including Harry Potter, Soarin’ and Batman Dark Flight, in a massive 100,000 square-foot facility on Coast Meridian Road in the city's industrial area.

Home to 100 employees, plus dozens more depending on a contract, Dynamic Structures has become a big player in the construction of large projects with complex moving parts.

Now, its parent company, Dynamic Technologies Group, is looking to own — not just build — exhilarating immersive rides.

For CEO Guy Nelson, the thrill is building the next new tourist attraction for a travel-starved public. 

“We know how to put together a terrific attraction,” said Nelson in an interview with the Tri-City News about the company’s new ownership ambitions.

An MBA with a relaxed conversational-style, Nelson told the Tri-City News he prefers an immersive ride — where you soar over some of the worlds’ natural wonders — to a chilling coaster ride.

“I really like the immersive rides more than coasters. It [the roller coaster ride] is a narrow market, it comes and goes as people age,” he said.

“The Immersive experiences are memorable and appeal to those eight to 80 years old, which is our target market.”

Dynamic Entertainment, a division of Dynamic Technologies Group, recently inked a deal to co-own a Steam Punk-themed immersive ride it built in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.

SkyFly: Soar America — named one of 10 best new attractions by USA Today — is described as a flying theatre attraction complete with sounds, smells, and special effects, including wind and mist.

It takes travellers on an exciting six-minute journey to U.S. destinations including Alaska, Niagara Falls and the Everglades.

Nelson said a staff of engineers, builders, creators and photographers designed and constructed the ride while the company’s partner runs the operation.

The ride ownership deal caps a five-year whirlwind of business totalling $700 million of ride contracts, with many receiving industry awards and becoming the most popular rides ever built, according to the company.

In its decades-long business, Dynamic has produced nearly 50 rides, including Poltergeist at Six Flags, the Dinoconda roller coaster ride at Dinopark in Changzhou, China, Mad Ramp Peak for a motorcycle-themed park in Malaysia plus many rides at Universal Studios and Disney that can’t be named due to contract specifications.

As well, the company has built nearly a dozen flying theatres, which Nelson sees as the next wave of attractions because they are smaller, more affordable and easier to maintain even in challenging circumstances such as the pandemic.

Now, Nelson says, the company is on hunt for more destinations — be it in the U.S., Europe or even China — that could be enhanced by an immersive ride.

“Our vision is to do more of that so we are taking a world class attraction and making it be even more successful,” he said.

Sadly, Canada’s short summer season makes it a difficult business for themed rides and attractions here.

But Nelson hopes once the borders re-open, thrill-seekers will be able to enjoy fun experiences that got their start in this often winter-bound country.