At the recent IAAPA Expo 2017 in Orlando, the president of the design-build contractor who helped Disney create the Guardians of the Galaxy attraction at Disneyland sat down with us to discuss his company and its unique place in the attractions industry.
Scott Acton is the CEO of Forte Specialty Contractors, a company that specializes in designing, fabricating and building restaurants, entertainment facilities and special attractions. This specialty design company has an impressive resume as they have designed for some of the world’s largest entertainment companies. Some of these companies include Dreamworks, Disney, Universal, Caesars Entertainment and Wynn Resorts.
WATCH: INTERVIEW WITH SCOTT ACTON:
Acton started in the attractions industry back when he was sixteen pushing a broom around a theme park, this was when he first fell in love with the business. Currently, Acton works for Forte Specialty Contractors, a design build firm that receives renderings and drawings from different companies. The company takes these renderings and drawings and creates them from concept to completion. “In house we do our own concept design, detail design, theming design… We also serve as the architect engineer on a lot of the projects we work on.”
Acton also discussed the large team behind Forte and all of the manpower required to get some of the company’s large projects complete. “It depends on the project but we do have 15 to 20 designers, a full time architect and full time engineer on staff.” Depending on what the project calls for determines who all becomes involved and what resources the company pulls from to get a job done.
From the time they receive an idea they do shop and permit drawings to get the project into the shop. Once in the shop the company’s craftsmen start fabrications and scenic painting. The physical creation of the attraction is done by a staff of over 100 craftsmen. This team is not only responsible for the creations but also the install in the field.
Forte has had many clients in the past, some being large scale entertainment companies and others on the smaller side of the spectrum. Because of this large range in clientele, Acton expressed the fact that this causes for different levels of designs the company receives. Some companies come in with specific and well thought out plans while others simply come with “designs drawn on a napkin.”
“What we do is a little bit on the grittier side. We mitigate risk for owners while creating experiences for their clients. We take their ideas and concepts and create them,” said Acton. This includes determining how they can build a design, meet a client’s schedule and budget.
Make sure to keep checking back throughout the rest of the week for more coverage of IAAPA 2017.