By Robin Broberg
A lecture hall full of business students in black suits and flashy suits welcomed their guest of honor, who came completely clad in denim and cotton.
The multi-million-dollar, thrill-ride creator Stan Checketts was at UVSC to present his secrets of success Thursday as part of the School of Business Executive Lecture Series.
Checketts created a product incorporating what he loves best: an adrenaline rush.
S&S Power Inc., based in Logan, makes world-famous thrill rides like the Big Shot on the Stratosphere in Las Vegas and the Dodonpa in Japan. Checketts said he and his business have made it a life-long pursuit and hobby to thrill crowds with their innovative designs.
Checketts didn”t make his name in the amusement ride world simply because he figured out how to accelerate from zero to 108 miles per hour in two seconds; there is much more to a steady successful business than that, he said.
“If there is anything I want you to take with you, it is to maintain a positive attitude,” he said. “You”re solving problems every day in every kind of business. You need the ”can do” attitude.”
Checketts never studied at a university, but that never stopped him from continuous learning beyond high school.
“I”d put experience only a tad above education,” he said. “It”s that important.”
Higher education is only a part of life-long learning, he said. Business people need to be able to think and be creative beyond the norm.
“People have told me I think so far outside the box I can”t even see it anymore,” Checketts said.
Mostly, his hair-raising ideas are just taken from observations about people. He said he got the idea for the Space Shot in Finland from his 11 children.
“When you toss kids in the air they love it,” Checketts said. “I”m doing the same thing with people – only at 55 miles per hour.”
Checketts said he strongly believes in being happy where you work. Religion, work, hobbies, loves and pursuits don”t have to be put in separate categories.
“If you are doing what you love they will all be the same activity,” he said.