January 2011

Spotlight on Gibsonton

14    The Outlook for Carnivals in Changing Times
Carnivals face unique operating challenges, and their success depends on factors such as the weather, price of fuel, number of available workers, and changes in state and federal laws. Despite these demands, traveling carnivals are ready to hit the road with their rides, games and food stands each spring.

The Large Park Report

20    Leadership By Example: A Profile of Erin Wallace
The Large Park Report visits with Erin Wallace as part of our closer look into how effective leadership strategies can benefit a company in a myriad of ways. What we found was someone whose high-level title was matched only by her high-level commitment to leading by example in the operation of Disney’s parks.

Business Strategies

24    Adding Value to Out-of-Home Experiences
Despite financing challenges, bowling and skating centers, restaurants, movie theaters, retail, and just about every out-of-home leisure business is still looking for ways to expand their services and offer their customers added value.


28    Schlitterbahn Waterparks: Leading the Industry with Expansion and Innovation
A look at a company that has offered many “firsts” over the years, making it a standout in the waterpark industry for developing new and innovative rides,     and parks.

AAM Museum Report

86    The Greening of Museums – An Environmentally Friendly Approach to Art, Science and History Institutions
As the notion of “going green” permeates most every aspect of 21st century life, more and more museums are finding ways to play a part in the movement. And for most of the “greenest” museums in the country, playing it ecologically safe also means saving money.

Industry Owls

36    A Dozen Main Considerations to Picking the Right Mix of Arcade Games
There are many subtle considerations to take into account simultaneously when picking the right mix of games for an amusement entertainment center or game zone. This article offers a dozen considerations for choosing the right mix of games and placing them properly into a game space.

Mini-Golf & Go-Kart Report

40    From Date Night to Family Time: Top Tips for Expanding the Customer Base
Couples of all ages, as well as families, can find an evening or afternoon of fun and relaxation at miniature golf courses, and courses that make upkeep and improvements a priority reap business rewards from all demographics.

BPAA Section

46    Bowling Is Poised to Strike in 2011
More than 71 million consumers annually take to the lanes to bowl, an increase of more than 4 and-a-half percent over the previous year and the fourth year in a row of continued growth in the industry.  As the number one participatory sport in the United States, bowling has a $10 billion impact on the national economy.  To keep bowling growing in 2011 and beyond, proprietors are taking advantage of the latest trends and responding to customer preferences with innovative programs.

Bowling Report

52    Creating the Perfect Place to Play – Color and Music at Bowling Centers
Today’s bowling centers are a hub for corporate events, birthday parties and social get-togethers. To attract such a diverse following, bowling centers have to be about fun and entertainment.  Everything from the décor to the music that plays throughout the center has to express a sense of fun.

Roller Skating Center Report

58    When the Product Is Fun – How to Increase Birthday Party Revenue
While revenue is the bottom line in any business, you cannot lose sight of the product you are selling. And one of the products roller skating centers sell are birthday celebrations.  How do you keep the birthday good times rolling while making a larger profit? Two Roller Skating Association International members shared some insight regarding birthday parties at their facilities.

International Laser Tag Association (ILTA) Section

60    A Message from Executive Director Shane Zimmerman
62    Marketing Outside Your Target
While most laser tag facilities tend to focus on the most common group elements such as birthday parties, church or scout groups, corporate teambuilding, lock-ins and casual walk in traffic, there are whole other virtually untapped markets. With creative ingenuity and a little effort, you can actually open yourself up to new and interesting business prospects.
66    Facility Focus – The Web Extreme Entertainment
In March of 2010, facility owner Jerry Weber closed one of his stand-alone laser tag centers in Dayton and moved it into a closed grocery store, expanding his list of attractions to create a family entertainment center (FEC) that includes laser tag, go karts and black light mini-golf, and named it The Web Extreme Entertainment.

Street Beat

68    Breaking Into Bulk Vending – Tips for Negotiating the Business Waters
Starting and operating a bulk vending business may sound like an easy proposition, but there’s more to it than buying a few machines and expecting them to deliver profits as readily as they do the merchandise contained within them. Perseverance, hard work and flexibility are the keys to success in this arena.
70    Top Tips for Expanding Your Bulk Vending Business
72    Expert Advice: How to Keep Coin-op Machines Clean and In Working Order
Two longtime experts spoke with Tourist Attractions and Parks to discuss some of the lessons they’ve learned over the years when it comes to keeping coin-op machines in great shape. Regular maintenance, they both agree, saves money in the long run.
76    Street Beat News Beat

Food Service Spotlight – AZA

78    Concessions and Carts – Trends in Location-Targeted Food Service at Zoos and Aquariums
For visitors, it is perhaps most entertaining and educational to catch animals at feeding time, and guests can spend the day, or even the morning or afternoon, working up an appetite themselves. Zoos and aquariums weigh in on how they feed the humans.
85    Food Service Spotlight News

Amusement Rental / Inflatable News

94    Starting an Inflatable Party Rental Business – What to Embrace and What to Avoid
Flexibility and a large, varied target market make starting an inflatable rental business a viable option for many would-be operators. “Done right, it definitely works,” said Richard Atchison, owner of 3-year-old Jump N Bounce Fun in Naugatuck, Conn. “The money can be incredible.”
97    Little-Known Secrets to Operating an Inflatables Business

Foundations Entertainment University

103    Foundations Entertainment University is an educational seminar held at locations around the country that offers a blueprint for success, growth and profit in the entertainment industry. The seminar covers topics such as feasibility costs, games and attractions, financing, design, operations, food and beverage and more.
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