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Amway Center Gets a New Canopy

Sims Crane CCO David Tosado rolled onto Church Street in a 60-ton Todano mobile hydraulic crane Wednesday night as the crowds from a concert at Orlando’s Amway Center headed home. Set-up for the lift began just after midnight. Kosmo Studios, a full service design and fabrication firm, hired Sims Crane to place a massive canopy above the bar area at ONE80 Grey Goose Lounge.

Sims Crane Orlando Manager Thomas Baldree and Tosado worked side-by-side to make sure the boom was fully dressed and maxed out. After the assembly, the main boom stretched toward the night sky at 131 feet with the jib adding the additional 52 feet.  After the boom was set up, they busied themselves rigging the massive canopy.

Kosmo Studios designers fashioned the 2,500 lb. metal frame for the rooftop lounge. Hot Shot Welding built the skeleton for the large structure. People from both organizations were on-site in the wee hours of the night, intently watching and jumping in to help where needed.

From the beginning, curious passersby stopped to watch the crew work. A man dressed in a t-shirt and jeans stopped short to see what was happening. He quietly stood by and watched the crew work for some time, sticking around long enough to see the crane lift the canopy higher and higher in the night sky. As he stood with his head bent backwards he simply said, “Wow, that’s something you don’t see every day.” Others just found themselves in the right place at the right time. A couple who attended the show at the Amway had front-row seats as they shared a drink at a local bar across the street. They both looked awestruck. Then the young man said, “I wonder if they’re always out this late doing this. That’s something else.”

The final phase of the job involved a little bit of maneuvering. Tosado remained in the cab of the truck while the rest of the crew headed to the lounge. Baldree used a walkie-talkie to radio information on how to move the boom in order to get the massive canopy in the right spot. After a few attempts, the canopy was gently fit onto a series of poles. The crew spent the remainder of the morning securing the massive structure.

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