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Behind the Scenes at Santa Monica Pier with the TEA Western Division

Published on July 17, 2019

“Sometimes you’re just plain lucky to be alive, enjoying the sights and sounds of people and the moment,” wrote David Price, sharing the warmth and excitement of a summer 2019 gathering at Santa Monica Pier organized by the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) Western North America Division.

“What better way to experience it than with TEA colleagues and friends against the backdrop of the Santa Monica Pier and Pacific Park and a late summer night surrounded by gaiety, street theater, the sounds of a Carousel, the laughter of a Fun Zone and a welcoming gathering hosted by our friends at Premier Parks and the Santa Monica Pier,” continued David Price of Price Leisure Group, who serves on the TEA Western North America Division Board and helped conceive the event and open the conversation with the venue – a conversation that included executive director Negin Singh of Santa Monica Pier and Pacific Park VP and GM Jeff Klocke. Price Leisure Group also helped sponsor the event, along with Santa Monica Pier and Pacific Park. Behind the scenes at the TEA Western Division, Tracy Balsz and Kourtney Day helped spearhead organization of the successful gathering, which drew 121 participants.

Price continued: “It was an easy call for Price Leisure Group to join Santa Monica Pier and Pacific Park as a sponsor. Frankly, it was akin to joining the parade! Everyone mentioned above along with their staff and colleagues made it a success. Pacific Park ratcheted up the experience by hosting the mixer in an outdoor courtyard accompanied by delicious food choices & open bar and all surrounded by an unfolding summer night and the theatrical backdrop of the Pier and people having fun.

“The mixer began with Negin and Jeff welcoming TEA members, followed by Jim Harris, author of Santa Monica Pier, a Century of the Last Great Pleasure Pier, presenting an overview of the Pier’s history. The party continued from there into the night with free rides of the historic Carousel, Soda Jerks at the Carousel Building, and an Open House at Pacific Park’s Midway Games. Friends and colleagues said it was the best mixer ever. We were all having too much fun to measure.

“I had lots of takeaways that included making new friends along with sharing the FUN with existing colleagues. One exceptional moment for me was stepping onto the Carousel and recalling what it was like as a child to look around in search of that one horse I wanted to ride. It was an entirely emotional and singular decision with bonds that happened magically. The carousel choice, no matter the color, size or animal was a personal decision and before it ended, you were friends. In a sense, nothing had changed other than time and sharing it with people that you have come to value and appreciate. And that is also what it’s like becoming a sponsor of a TEA event like this one. There are certainly plenty of opportunities to do so in an association like ours. Pick your horse and enjoy the bonds that follow.”


Originally posted by David Price to The Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) is the international non-profit association representing the world’s leading creators, developers, designers and producers of compelling places and experiences – worldwide. Learn more about TEA by visiting