For Optimists, the Recovering Economy is a Source of Opportunity

June 1, 2011 No Comments

Recently, Scott and I went our separate ways to see and learn about new ideas.  Scott attended a legal conference and I went to the International Laser Tag Association / Roller Skating Association convention in Orlando, Fla. We both came away with the same theme—the opportunities to have a successful business are still out there—those who act on them are the ones who are successful.

Owners of small businesses and senior management of large companies are responsible to grab those opportunities.  Individuals in charge of their company’s destiny set the tone, pace and direction. Those who complain and blame the outside world often are the cause of their own problems.  At every ILTA seminar and at the dinner meetings and even on the trade show floor, the positive attitude within that sector of the industry was contagious.  I was excited to learn about “outdoor laser tag” and how it is one of the fastest growing industry sectors.  We spent four hours at dinner learning about the successful promotions of those individuals in attendance, and we all had a chance to debate why they were successful.  We also learned about the unsuccessful ones, and we all had a chance to discuss why they failed and what changes could be implemented next time around to make them successful.

Scott came back with “the deadwood theory” that might explain exactly why companies downsize in a recession.  From a management employee perspective, very few who get pink slips would not spend their valuable time complaining but look at their termination in a positive light as a wake-up call that they may have actually been “dead weight” to their company and now have an opportunity to work for a company where they can play an integral part of that company’s success.  Yes, capitalism can be cruel sometimes, but it is also the best business model out there when it comes to progress.

For example, 9/11, a terrible and tragic event, has created opportunities that did not exist previously.  A huge multi-billion dollar security industry has blossomed worldwide.  In our own industry, those facilities that have offered new and exciting attractions with great service have captured market share in a mature industry.  Other examples are the bowling boutiques (that are generating $30-plus per capita spending rates), ropes courses, upgraded laser tag hardware and software utilized in multi-level interactive arenas, outdoor laser tag (as previously mentioned), a dozen or more great games that are capturing 80 percent of today’s game revenues, water interactive elements (for both outdoor and indoor), and the opportunities just go on and on.

Our game revenues for the Fourth Quarter 2010 and the First Quarter 2011 are now outperforming the pre-recession figures and there is still opportunity to further increase as we pull further out of the recent recession. The opportunities (including technology advances) are coming at us faster and faster these days. Often it is the simplest new technology that we can embrace.

Employees also like to work for companies that are taking advantage of opportunities and capturing market share. They are motivated by their owners/managers who they view as hard workers and innovators. They work harder and spend less time complaining.  They actually like their jobs and enjoy being at work. That just may be the true benefit of capitalism.

(Scott C. Borowsky is president and executive editor of Tourist Attractions & Parks magazine. Reach Borowsky at editortapmag@Kanec.com. Contributing Editor Frank Seninsky is president of the Alpha-Omega Group of companies, which includes a consulting agency, Amusement Entertainment Management, LLC (AEM), a nationwide revenue sharing equipment provider, Alpha-Omega Amusements, Inc., Alpha-BET Entertainment, and Alpha-Omega Sales, a game and related equipment distributor. All are headquartered in East Brunswick, N.J.  Contact information: e-mail: fseninsky@aol.com, Web sites: www.AEMLLC.com and www.comfylandusa.com. For more information, circle 255 on card. )

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Brunswick Bowling

Entertainment bowling center developer and manufacturer of bowling equipment and entertainment products.

Berk Paper & Supply

Concession supplies.

Beckman Insurance Agency

Amusement attractions insurance.

Soft Play

Leader in designing, manufacturing and installing soft contained playground equipment.

Omega Carpets

Printed carpeting for all your facility needs.

Birthday University

Concept development, training and birthday party touring seminars.

Deltronic Labs Inc.

Ticket dispensers.

Gerber Manufacturing, Ltd.

Outdoor furniture, benches, picnic tables and grills.

Jane Farrell Turf and Carpets, Inc.

Commercial carpet, printed and decorative patterns, loop and cut-pile construction. Wall coverings in fluorescents, Class A fire rated. Colored turf, both traditional and neon colors.

Wapello Fabrications

Inflatables and portable amusements.

Hoffman Mint

Tokens, medals, coins and key tags.

Richie's Italian Ice

Italian Ice Kiosks and Carts

Subway

Fresh food and sandwich options.

Spectrum Sports

Climbing walls, ropes courses, go-karts and more.

Lakeshore Merchandise (Smart Vending)

Premier vending supply for all of your vending equipment and supply needs.

Sureshot Redemption

One-stop source for prize redemption counters at entertainment centers.

Penny Press

Penny souvenir machine, great for parks, FECs, bowling and skating centers, museums and tourist attractions.

Weldon, Williams & Lick

Admission systems and wristband ticketing.

Price Chopper, Inc. Wristbands

Admission, financial equipment and wristbands.

International Special Events (ISERA)

Risk purchasing group, a better way to purchase liability insurance, specializing in inflatables and much more.

Chestnut Identity Apparel

Uniform supply, embroidered apparel and flag manufacturing.

Wisdom Industries, Ltd.

Amusement ride manufacturer, new and used rides.

Adventure Golf

Miniature golf courses, consultants, architecture and design.

Muncie Novelty Co., Inc.

Admissions, financial equipment, printing and tickets.

Klopp International, Inc. (Playmeter)

Quality coin counters and sorters.

Flagship Carpet

Custom carpets and rugs.

Look Solutions

Fog machines.

Belson Manufacturing Co.

Park and recreation outdoor furniture and equipment.

Quik N' Crispy (QNC)

Quik n’ Crispy greaseless fryer.

Namco

Namco America is a premier manufacturer of coin-op arcade attractions, ranging from the hottest titles like Crazy Typhoon and Jumpin’ Jackpot to classic game-room experiences such as the Pac-Man 25th Anniversary upright that features Pac-Man, Ms. Pac-Man and Galaga. Specialized pieces such as Wonka Sweetland and Flamin Finger are favorites too! For arcade gaming fun, Namco America is your answer.

Funovation

Laser maze challenge

A'maze Ventures, Inc.

Mazes for every location, new and used.

Sacoa

Designed and manufactures PlayCard, the rechargeable debit card system.

Store on Wheels

Importer and distributor of quality toys, lighting and novelties. Cater to the amusement, retail and entertainment industries.

Safari Ltd.

Leading manufacturer of innovative educational toys.

R&R Creative Amusement Design

Designers of unique themed parks, attractions and environments for the entertainment business.

Master Pitching Machine

Batting cages and pitching machines.

Hamilton Manufacturing Corp.

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Martin Professionals

A lighting supplier of choice for the entertainment industry.

Enchanted Castle Studios

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Tube Pro

Waterpark tubes.

Sippers By Design

Design and manufacture of specialty custom-shaped drink containers.

See Coast Manufacturing Co., Inc.

Coin-operated binoculars and telescopes.

Bulbtronics

A premier source for lamps, LEDs, batteries and lighting-related and electrical products.

Harris Miniature Golf Course

Design and construction of miniature golf courses and water rides.

Laser Star

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Water Wars (T&D Enterprises of Brainerd)

Water Wars water balloon game, portable or startionary.

Zebec Water Sports

Large variety of waterpark needs

Adventure Glass

Unique paddleboats.

Johnny Rockets
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