Currently, the Space Tower is owned, maintained and operated by a family, the Kantors. Purchased by Errol Kantor in 1982, and ever since the entire family has been working on it. Errol has been a self-employed lawyer in the Minneapolis area for years. Growing up he used to work as a "barker" at the Minnesota State Fair, selling ice cream at the midway. His fond memories of working at the fair pushed him to purchase the Space Tower.
Gretchen Kantor, Errol's wife, is the boss. She spends months each Summer before the fair painting various parts of the ride. She also works with elevator companies, electricians and other people to keep the ride maintained. Since the Space Tower sits outside year-round, it is exposed to the elements and the harsh Winters Minnesota is known for. Because of this harsh winter, every year the paint needs a touch-up, and it keeps her very busy.
Gretchen and Errol's two sons, Joe and Ben, have been working on the ride in one form or another since 1982, when they purchased it. Growing up, it was Ben's first job to find the 13 different gates and spray WD-40 on them, to keep them from squeaking. As they grew older, their responsibilities grew. Since they are brothers, working together would be out of the question. Currently, Joe handles the night shift (3:30 PM to close) and Ben handles the morning shift (8:00 AM to 3:30 PM).
One of the greatest parts of having a family run the Space Tower is that as new members join the family they are compelled to help out. One day, while the family was having mechanical issues and the Space Tower wasn't cooperating, a man walking by who used to work on the ride (amongst others at the fairgrounds) when he was younger told Errol and Gretchen that he could fix what was wrong. Because of his fixing the problem, he was hired on the spot and continues to be our main maintenance man to this day. This man was none other then Larry Borud, proud owner of Borud's True Value Hardware store in Oxford, Wisconsin.
One of the next years, after the above happened and the Kantors hired Larry, he decided to bring his family up to spend time at the fair, relax and have fun. One of his daughters almost ran over Ben when parking at his house (across the street from the fairgrounds), and it was "love at first accident". Later, Ben and this daughter, Michelle, met up and walked around the fairgrounds. Fast-forward a couple of years and they get married and Michelle has been roped into working with the rest of the family, not only helping to get it ready before the fair but also working during the fair and managing the workers.
One of the youngest in the family, Harrison, was born in 2010 after that year's fair. He was assigned "advertisement duty", which basically means he walks around the fair with the rest of the family wearing a Space Tower shirt. He does this well, bringing in many riders who want to see the blond-haired cute kid.
The latest addition to the family is Eben.