Ten years ago, Adam Williams was just a struggling magician putting on shows at the Magic Castle (he says "I wasn't very good") and then one cold call to Grove developer Rick Caruso turned it all around--today his company MagicSnow is pulling in crazy profits making it snow at the Grove and creating sleddable drifts for Mattel. The Los Angeles Business Journal reports (sub. req.) that, while Williams may have been a lame magician, he was good at creating effects. So about nine years ago, he called up Caruso "with his idea to stage a magic show with snow effects for the holiday season." Caruso hired him, but just for the snow (it now comes down twice a night at the Grove for about five minutes). That led to gigs at Caruso's Americana at Brand in Glendale, and around the world, at "more than 20 major shopping centers and entertainment venues worldwide each year."
What's the secret? The falling snow is "a light, water-based foam that when applied to a high-powered blower, dries out the water and creates a light foam puff that floats through the air," as Williams explains it to the LABJ. The on-the-ground snow "is made by crushing 300-pound blocks of ice into a fine powder and shooting it out of a high-pressure hose onto the ground."
Earlier this month, Mattel paid MagicSnow "tens of thousands of dollars" to cover seven LA elementary school sites in 190 tons of snow. MagicSnow also has a contract with Princess Cruises "to outfit its entire fleet of ships with snow machines" and with the enormous mall chain General Growth Properties "to bring snow to 55 of its nationwide locations." But aw, they still save the best for Caruso: "After nine years in business, the Grove is still MagicSnow’s biggest, most elaborate snow show."
· Playing It Cool [LABJ, sub. req.]