Business Strategies: Attracting Patrons to Leisure Entertainment Facilities with Coin-Operated Games

October 5, 2011 No Comments

Coin-operated games can not only be a lucrative business for leisure entertainment facilities; they can help to attract patrons as well. However, this is the case only when operators go the extra mile to make the games more appealing to patrons.

“Games aren’t necessarily going to be the ‘draw’ for someone to come into a leisure entertainment facility, but in many cases if the attractions are about equal at two places and the games are better at one,” the latter is where customers often will go, said Gary Balaban, owner, Coast to Coast Entertainment.

With value and saving money a major concern among consumers, offering “packages” and other deals has become a very effective means of improving the potential of coin-operated games to function as customer “bait”. HeyDay Entertainment Center in Norman, Okla., has experienced positive results with a “Bucket of Gold” deal that allows patrons to purchase 100 game tokens for $20—essentially giving them 20 tokens for free, according to Brian Burks, entertainment and program manager.

Similarly, patrons of all Dave & Buster’s locations can take advantage of a “Power Hour” wherein they may play as many video games as they like for one hour at a set price of $10. A half-price game offer is in effect on Wednesdays. Customers who sign up for Dave & Buster’s Rewards program receive $10 worth of free game play and an additional $10 worth for every $100 they spend on games, food and beverages at any of the operator’s facilities.

Meanwhile, Oasis Family Fun Center in Glens Mills, Pa., touts an option for patrons to rack up “bonus value” on the reloadable “Fun Cards” used to play coin-operated games. The purchase of a new “Fun Card” worth $20 to $49.99 earns $5 in “bonus value”; $50 to $99.99, $12.50 and $100 or more, $30; the same “bonus value” structure is in place for re-charges. Fun cards worth $5 are also included in “package deals,” such as an $18 “Action Pass” good for unlimited use of the laser maze, rock wall and trampoline basketball attractions and a $25 “VIP Pass” that buys unlimited admission to the facility’s soft playground, “Ballocity” ball attraction, rock wall, laser maze and trampoline basketball.

“Changing it up” is an equally important strategy for bolstering the appeal of coin-operated games in general and their potential to help bring in patrons, noted Rick Williamson, president of 8-Ball Amusement.

Both Balaban and Williamson recommend that one out of every 10 coin-operated video games be entirely replaced (or at minimum rotated) each month. The suggested rate for coin-operated redemption games is 5 percent per month. Coast to Coast Entertainment utilizes such a formula in its three New Jersey family entertainment centers, two of which are located in Keansburg, and one, in Seaside Heights.

As an adjunct or addition to actually switching coin-operated games, sources said, owners and operators of leisure entertainment facilities might consider re-arranging game layouts. While neither HeyDay nor the Coast to Coast Facilities move their games around on a regular schedule, they do engage in this practice periodically. According to Burks and Balaban, it does have an effect; customers have been known to exclaim over “new” games that have arrived and are positioned in a prominent spot rather than in a less obtrusive one.

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Six Flags Great Adventure Announces New Attractions for 2012

Six Flags Great Adventure, America’s largest regional theme park, has unveiled plans to add both extreme and family thrills to its current lineup for 2012. SkyScreamer, an extreme swing ride, will transform the Fantasy Forest skyline while three additional family rides are introduced to the whimsically themed section below, bumper cars, scrambler and flying elephants.

“Although we are best known for our record-breaking thrills, families have told us they would like more attractions they can enjoy together. So this season we are introducing four rides sure to deliver fun for all ages,” said park President John Fitzgerald.

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Prime Play Supports Port Aventura in its Largest Expansion with SesamoAventura, a Playground Specially Designs for Children Up to Age 8

Prime Play continues to grow its presence in the European marketplace with projects like Port Aventura Park, the most visited theme park in Spain and the sixth most visited in Europe. Port Aventura Park recently completed its sixth expansion within its theme park with SesamoAventura late this spring and enlisted the experts at Prime Play to assist in this endeavour. 

Featuring two of Prime Play’s best-known industry products 1, 2, 3, Go!, this attraction caters to children 8 years old and younger, offers a capacity of up to 300 and is accessible to people with disabilities.

Since the experience that toddlers need is very different from the challenge that older kids need, two playgrounds were specially designed to integrate into one overall attraction. Sitting side-by-side, one playground caters to ages 3-8 years old and the other to ages 0-3 years old. 

For the older children, the Soft Contained Play system offers a variety of age-appropriate slides, net climbs and entertaining activities. The 1, 2, 3 Go! system offers similar features but also provides age-appropriate safe, soft foam activities for entertaining and stimulating imagination in toddlers.

Fitting in with SesamoAventura’s Sesame Street theme, Prime Play’s in-house team of experts distinctly designed and manufactured custom-themed, eye-catching, larger-than-life characters to enhance the attraction’s environment.

Prime Play has the most diverse line of playground attractions in the industry, tailored to meet the needs of various age levels and skill sets. The company’s in-house team of experts can design indoor and outdoor playground environments utilizing products that engage the whole family in the fun. For more information on Prime Play and the company’s suite of innovative new products, please visit the company online.

Industry News

Matt Greenwald Joins Betson Enterprises as Manager of Business Development for Specialty Coffee/OCS & Vending

Betson Enterprises, the largest worldwide distributor of coin-operated equipment and a division of H. Betti Industries Inc., has announced that Matt Greenwald has accepted an offer to join the organization as their Business Development Manager of specialty coffee/OCS and vending.

Greenwald has joined Betson to spearhead the continued development of service, parts distribution, and sales within the company’s rapidly growing OCS, specialty coffee and vending segment of the marketplace.

“We are very excited to have Mr. Greenwald on our team. His industry knowledge and experience will be a great asset to our organization. We have a lot of exciting new projects that we plan to introduce soon with his involvement,” said Steven Betti, president of Betson Imperial Parts & Service.

Greenwald is a 20-year veteran of the commercial coffee equipment industry. His focus has been working closely with coffee roasters and distributors as well as manufacturers of both single cup brewing and traditional coffee/espresso brewing systems, conducting some of the largest single-cup brewer roll-outs and service projects in the country.

Prior to joining Betson, Greenwald was the vice president of a national service organization providing installations and repair services to some of the world’s largest retailers, equipment manufacturers and coffee companies.

Industry News

Buy 10 Cases, Get One Case Free on Coast to Coast Entertainment Halloween Mix – Free Shipping to Anywhere in the United States

Coast to Coast Entertainment, LLC, is running a spectacular deal on Halloween Plush Mix. Buy 10 cases and get one case free on web orders only. And this deal includes free shipping within the continental United States.

Coast to Coast has one of the best prices on great quality Halloween Mix this year. The company’s 7-11-inch Halloween Mix is going out the door at $1.09 per piece. All items are in stock and ready for shipping. Place your orders now because this deal is available until stock runs out.

As always, the company’s plush mixes come with your satisfaction guaranteed and free freight is included on all plush orders. For more information, visit the company online or call.

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KeyLime Cove Promotes Sabrina Roddy to Spa Director

KeyLime Cove®, the popular Chicagoland indoor waterpark resort, has named Sabrina Roddy spa director for its  Paradise Mist Spa and The Enchanted Lagoon Kids Spa.

Roddy is eager to take the reigns as spa director. Her focus will be on health and well-being for the clients of Paradise Mist Spa and The Enchanted Lagoon Kids Spa, which has become a popular tween destination due to its vast array of services and affordable prices since opening earlier this year. Both spas are open to the public. Prior to her promotion, Roddy was the spa manager. Before joining KeyLime Cove, she was the retreat director at Massage Heights in Henderson, Nev.

Roddy attended the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee and received her licensing from the Euphoria Institute for Esthetics in Las Vegas. She brings more than 10 years of experience in the spa industry to her new role.

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