January 2012


A Spot in the Shade — Sheltering Structures for the Traveling Entertainment Industry — State fairs are always looking to both natural and temporary shading structures to shield their visitors from the elements and to make it more probable that they will enjoy the fairs for longer periods of time.

Exclusive Interview— A Conversation with NICA’s New Executive Director, Barbara Hensinger — A question-and-answer session on the state of the industry between Tourist Attractions & Parks and Barbara Hensinger, the new executive director of NICA.

A Decade of Challenge and Change — Trends in the Traveling Amusement Company Industry — As part of an industry where multi-generations of families owning the same company is the norm, traveling fairs have undergone a great deal of change, especially in the past decade. While some changes have raised the bar of professionalism, other adjustments have made it more difficult for companies to operate.


The Dave Herbst Interview — An Analysis of Blogging, Social Media and Standards — Dave Herbst served as a publicist at the Walt Disney World resort for 30 years, and Contributor Chad Emerson interviewed this industry expert on the challenges to the industry posed by changes in how parks communicate with the media and the public.


Carts and Concessions — Trends in Amusement Park Temporary Food Service Outlets — Carts and concessions are critical parts of the food service picture at amusement parks around the country. This article explores how amusement parks are making the most of these convenient eateries.


The Important Lessons of Food — Indigenous Dishes Are Teaching Tools at American Indian Museums — Stimulating the sense of taste is another way to enrich the museum experience for visitors. And at several American Indian museums across the United States, such as the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C., the menus rise to the occasion, favoring locally grown foods, seasonal produce or traditional ingredients.


Rental Trends — Despite Consumers’ Cautious Spending, Companies Continue to Invest in the Future — From changing economic conditions and the need for new product awareness to addressing risk management issues, developing strategies for building the right staff and creating the right business image, amusement rental companies are rising to the challenge in a new economy.


The 2012 Outlook for Games — Popularity and Profitability Predictions for the New Year — A projection of the gaming industry for 2012 would be incomplete without a look at the competing home video game market. Citing a report published by the Entertainment Software Association and the Pew internet and American Life Project, grabStats.com posted that 190 million households will have next generation video game consoles and 80 percent of them will connect to the internet, which 75 percent of them will use at least a couple times a week. On the bright side, that leaves five days free to venture out for some play time on the street.

Cranes — A Popular Favorite Continues to Snag Business for Operators and Locations — Crane machines remain a profitable addition to coin-op routes at a time when some other machines are not grabbing the interest of customers.


Evergreen Wings & Waves Waterpark – A Holistic Approach to Family Fun Takes Flight in Oregon — A unique combination of museum and waterpark, The Evergreen Air and Space Museum in McMinnville, Ore., with its Evergreen Wings & Waves Waterpark, is fulfilling an educational and entertainment mission for the whole family.


Zoo Exhibit Redesign and Elephant Conservation — Elephants are the largest living land animal on Earth and one of the most intelligent animals. Sadly, they are also one of the most endangered species.  However, a resurgence among zoos to help stabilize the population has helped their cause. Many zoos are seeking to educate the public about how important these animals are and what can be done to help.


BPAA — The Surfaces and the Scores – A Roll Down Bowling’s Memory Lane — A look at bowling surfaces, from the 1930s to the present, and how the changes have impacted among the country’s most popular leisure activities.

Mini-Golf & Go-Kart Report — Redemption Counters and Prizes Create a Compelling Reason to Play — With competition for consumers’ leisure dollar remaining fierce, family entertainment centers with mini-golf and go-karts are paying as much attention to maximizing the appeal of their redemption counters as they are to making their attractions as compelling as possible.

Buried Treasure — Top Tips for Finding New Redemption Prizes

ILTA — Offering an Integrated Experience – How Planning and Thoughtful Facility Design Create Repeat Visitors — Laser tag attractions that look patched together detract from the appeal of the facility and can cost owners money. This article explores creating the right setting out of the gate.


New Customer Service Strategies for a New Economy — Industry Owls and experts Frank Price and Peter Starkel explore new ways of looking at customer service and care.


Popular Themes and Actors — Haunted Attractions Tailor the Experience to the Times — Every Halloween season, thrill-seekers gather at haunted attractions, with the desire to be in the presence of terror. The owners of these haunts work with skilled actors and makeup artists in order to deliver the creepiest, most sinister characters and provide the best fright nights imaginable, all within the context of what customers are expected to find entertaining.


Amusement Expo 2012 Will Offer Premier Educational Opportunities and Awards — A look at educational opportunities at Amusement Expo 2012, which will take place March 14-16, and include Foundations Entertainment University (FEU) on March 12-13 along with an industry awards program from Tourist Attractions & Parks magazine and FEU.

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