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The Wheels of Change!

01 July 2022

Playsafe Systems supplies its Thomas PayStations to a myriad of different companies around the world but one of the most unusual customers is the Giant Wheel Co. which operates observation wheels at festivals, major sporting events, city centres and on the UK coast.

Not only is this a unique business, but it is an unusual business model for Playsafe, as it rents the Thomas Paystations to Giant Wheel Co. on a seasonal basis, an agreement which has been working well for the past four years.

“The Giant Wheel Co. is a business formed by my sons Jake and Evan de Koning after working for the family business De Koning Leisure Group Ltd., who have owned and operated Observation Wheels since 1998,” says Jan de Koning. “We started the company with one 35m wheel that we bought from a Dutch bank after it was repossessed following being caught up in the Serb/Bosnian war in the 1990’s. We operated that for 15 years before selling it to upgrade with a new 35m model and adding 3 more wheels, including a giant 50m version.”

The Giant Wheel Co. operates the wheels as stand-alone attractions in city centres and also at large-scale festivals and events such as the British F1 Grand Prix, Cowes Festival week, The Isle Of Wight music festival and others. “In 2019/20, during the pandemic when many of these events were cancelled we carried on the business by operating for longer periods at popular coastal locations such as Great Yarmouth, Eastbourne and Bognor Regis,” adds Jan.

The Giant Wheel Co. first saw a Thomas PayStation in use at a crazy golf course and thought it would be perfect for accepting payments at their own attractions.

“We find the PayStations to be very reliable and were at first very pleasantly surprised at how well the public take to using the machines,” says Jan. “Sometimes even when we have a cashier working as well as the machine, we find people are just as happy to use the PayStations. We are very happy with the service from the team at Playsafe – they are very prompt and professional, especially the back-up and support systems. I can definitely recommend them.”

For more details about renting or buying a Thomas PayStation contact Iain Lunt on