Ride company owner enjoys Oklahoma State Fair, too

A well-worn roller coaster from New Jersey is among the top attractions brought to the Oklahoma State Fair this year.
By Carrie Coppernoll Published: September 18, 2010
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Zaitshik used it first in Florida, and now he brings it with him. His crew set it up again this year on the Oklahoma State Fair midway.

But the RC 48's big thrills don't necessarily equal big profits.

Because the coaster is so massive, it's massively expensive. It takes eight tractor-trailers to haul from city to city and a 70-ton crane to assemble. It has its own full-time crew of half a dozen specialists. Zaitshik keeps it anyway.

"It's for overall presentation and overall satisfaction," he said. "If you put a pencil to it, you'd say, why keep that?"

Because Zaitshik's about presentation, not just pencil-pushing. He spends tons of cash on landscaping and picnic tables. All the tents and flags and extras fit into the blue-pink-white theme. It's all part of the big picture.

"I look at these things going up with great pride," he said.

His job's about money. It's about logistics, time tables and the number of tractor-trailers it takes to move a roller coaster across a time zone.

But it's also about people-pleasing. It's about persuading the masses to part with their money because they're having a good time.

To Zaitshik, that takes a stage that is perfectly set: rides, games, food, atmosphere. From each morning until the fair opens, he'll hop on his golf cart and drive through it all. It's these peaceful moments, when everything's quiet and dew makes the rides glimmer, that he loves the most.

"My favorite time," he said, "is when the table's set exactly like it's supposed to be set."

Ongoing coverage: State Fair

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