News Flashes from Tourist Attractions & Parks Magazine

April 25, 2012 No Comments

Laserforce Opens its Fifth Site with Australia’s Largest Boutique Bowling Chain

Laserforce recently opened its fifth state-of-the-art Laserforce facility with Australia’s largest privately owned bowling chain – Strike Bowling. Strike currently owns 12 boutique bowling bars throughout Australia that provide customers with a high-end bowling experience in a sophisticated bar-type atmosphere. Strike has integrated Laserforce into the entertainment mix of their last five venues, which has made a dramatic positive impact on the company.
Sam Milionis, infrastructure and development manager of the Strike Bowling chain, was delighted with the results. “The equipment has been put under significant demand and has shone through.”

Shown above, the newest Strike venue, Strike Wintergarden, features a laser tag facility that has a 30-player capacity.  Laserforce installed a 30-suit Gen6 Supernova system featuring the latest version of software, TAMI, a members’ kiosk and three in-field targets. The arena built by Creative Works Australia is themed as Brisbane airport, which features a flight bridge, airport lounge, control tower, fire engine and even a plane. Laserforce will be supplying Strike with another Laserforce system later, this time opening in Melbourne Central. The arena will be themed as an underground train station and operate with 24 battlesuits.

Darien Lake Adds Upgrades of More Than $5 Million in New Rides, Entertainment and Lodging

Darien Lake recently announced the addition of more than $5 million in new attractions and significant park upgrades, as well as a new lower price on four-pack Season Passes.
When the park opens for the season on May 12, guests will have more to see and do than ever before, with the addition of three new family rides, internationally acclaimed live entertainment, new cabins, and upgrades to RV sites and the lodge.
New family rides. The new “Rowdy’s Ridge” family area will open this season featuring three, brand-new, fun-for-the-whole-family rides. Moose on the Loose is a fun backwoods adventure on a “runaway moose” with funny encounters along the way. On Heave Ho!, riders pull themselves up to the top of a three-story tower by rope and then gently descend. Riders on the Hornet’s Nest can do exciting flying on a tall swing, controlling flight angle and height.
A fresh approach to in-park entertainment. Seven new live shows will make their New York state debuts, including live comedy acts, performing dogs, a renowned magician, a mesmerizing hypnotist and a modern rhythm and stomp group. The shows will rotate during the season, bringing a constant stream of all-ages comedy and amazing thrills to the park. More details are available online.
New and expanded lodging offerings. Guests can take advantage of numerous improvements to the park’s on-site lodging options, including 15 brand-new cabins equipped with free Wi-Fi and flat screen TVs; seven new pull-through RV campsites that accommodate larger vehicles with more power requirements; and a larger game room, a new fitness room and an expanded café menu at the Lodge on the Lake Hotel. All lodging offerings include free admission to Darien Lake’s rides, in-park shows and waterpark.
“Darien Lake no longer is just an amusement park, it truly is a destination experience offering unlimited fun and unbeatable value,” said Bob Montgomery, general manager, Darien Lake. “This coming season will be better than ever, as we have added millions of dollars in upgrades to vastly improve the overall experience for guests, with new attractions, lodging and entertainment they can’t get anywhere else.”
Season Passes offer unlimited admission to rides, the waterpark and live shows throughout the 2012 season. Beginning in April, Season-Pass buyers can save $40 by purchasing four or more passes for only $59.99 each (a single Season Pass is $69.99 each).
In addition to unlimited admissions during the park’s more than 100 operating days, Season Passholders who visit the park before Memorial Day will receive a free “bring a friend” ticket for any day during the season. They also receive a free ticket for a friend for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, savings on purchases at in-park restaurants and retail locations, and lower rates and special booking privileges on resort and campground accommodations. Passes do not include parking, but season-long parking passes can be purchased for $20.
Darien Lake is located 45 minutes from Niagara Falls between Buffalo and Rochester, N.Y., and the park boasts more than 45 rides, including six world-class roller coasters; dozens of family rides; several world-class entertainment shows right in the park; the region’s largest waterpark complete with wave pool; and a 20,000-seat performing arts center, operated by Live Nation. The park is open May to October, and welcomes overnight guests in a wide range of accommodations, from a full-service hotel and modern cabins to rental RVs, and RV and tent campsites.

Special Newsletter Feature Story

Learning from The Best to Be The Best

Choosing and Maintaining Uniforms at Leisure Entertainment Facilities

Employee uniforms serve several important purposes for most leisure entertainment facilities. For one thing, they significantly decrease or eliminate the potential for employees to show up wearing clothing that they think is appropriate or in compliance, but really is not. Uniforms can also help to support a leisure entertainment facility’s overall identity and distinctive brand. But unless such apparel is carefully selected and maintained, its benefits can clearly be compromised.
Several practical considerations come into play when choosing apparel, whether for a theme park, aquarium, zoo, miniature golf course, family entertainment center or other category of venue, pointed out Jerry Combs of Chestnut Identity Apparel. The first such consideration is whether the pieces being considered will flatter the physique of, and be comfortable for, the majority of employees. “Employees aren’t going to be happy if they’re constrained by a uniform or it isn’t flattering, and if employees aren’t happy, guests won’t be as happy as they could be,” noted Kathie Nirschl, vice president of human resources at Aquarium of the Pacific, in Long Beach, Calif. Nirschl said navy blue was chosen as the color of the facility-issued polo shirts worn by many aquarium employees because most people look well in that particular basic shade. A more offbeat color, such as lime green or chartreuse, would not have been as flattering to all staff members. For the same reason, men’s and women’s shirts have different “cuts” to suit the body type of each gender.
Because choosing universally flattering, comfortable uniform “bottoms” is more difficult than selecting “tops” that fit such criteria, owners and operators of leisure entertainment facilities may want to allow employees to supply the former, providing they adhere to a few set guidelines for the sake of overall consistency. They may also consider making certain uniform components, for example, hats, optional, but require, again to ensure consistency, that these be purchased from their venue. Such a strategy works for Morey’s Piers & Beachfront Waterparks, in Wildwood, N.J., where personnel who hold non-waterpark positions are issued shirts, but must supply, on their own, at least two pairs of tan-colored, cotton shorts or pants, a belt and close-toe, flat athletic shoes, stated Spokesperson Tim Samson. They may wear a hat, but “it must be the official Morey’s Piers hat, bought at cost,” he added. Similarly, aquatic staff are provided with an official bathing suit, tank top, long-sleeve shirt and visor, but must purchase from the venue a windbreaker, sweatshirt or hat if they opt to wear one.
Employees of Aquarium of the Pacific, meanwhile, may wear their own bottoms, but these must be stone-colored bottoms and fall into the skirt, slacks, trousers, longer “walking shorts” or  Capri pants categories. One exception to the “stone-colored rule”: Individuals who work in the “life support” area can wear darker bottoms in a related shade which, unlike the lighter stone color, conceals stains.
Also on the comfort front, it is important, sources said, to take into account, as one source called it, “the cold and sweat factor.” For example, noted Alan Schwartz, president of Superior Uniform Group, depending on the garments being worn and their fit, fabric and thickness,  perspiration can become very uncomfortable, becoming trapped between wearers’ bodies and their clothing. In cold weather, as this perspiration cools down, the body becomes cold.  Conversely, in hot weather, this perspiration can become heated by the air and the body, and create a very uncomfortable, sticky and humid atmosphere against the skin.” Consequently, operators must assess, in deciding on uniforms, the ability of the material to wick perspiration away from the skin.
The question of whether particular garments best reflect the “personality” and brand of a given leisure entertainment facility must be addressed during the uniform selection process as well. At Aquarium of the Pacific, short skirts and shorts are not permitted, as they are not consistent with the professional image the aquarium wishes to project, Nirschl said. Employees of the Toronto Zoo in Toronto, Ontario, are outfitted with beige pants and olive-colored polo and long-sleeved shirts, plus three-in-one jackets in the darker color. Combined with work boots, these pieces lend the clothing “a ‘safari’ feel that supports the zoo’s safari-oriented brand identity, noted Chief Operating Officer Robin Hale. At the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in Columbus, Ohio, employees are, when needed, issued foul-weather gear that features the same graphics as their polo shirts.
On the maintenance side, employees are, for the most part, responsible for caring for their own uniforms. Uniform-related rules in force at the Columbus Zoo mandate not only that apparel be clean, but also pressed; individuals who neglect such uniform maintenance are sent home to change or rectify the situation on their own time. And Morey’s Piers’ requirement that employees supply multiple bottoms was instituted to minimize the incidence of slip-ups in this regard.

See Next Week’s Newsletter for More Industry News Flashes and the Latest Installment of the Special Newsletter Feature Story ∙ Learning from The Best to Be The Best

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