Are You Selling the Juice?

April 30, 2012 No Comments

Blog Editor Allen F. Weitzel has been a trailblazer in the recreation field for 45 seasons, most recently leading the safety and training department at a California amusement park for 25 seasons.

By Allen F. Weitzel

 

Recently, an industry friend from a notable amusement facility asked me to comment on the subject of providing electrical recharging services to park guests. I answered his question and then realized that this subject might be of interest to our TAP readers. Feel free to join in with your comments.

The Juice Suckers

In our technology-based world, everyone is trying to do more in less time. Cell phones are here to stay, and now there is a flurry of personal mobility devices to help folks move around, Segways being one of the most popular. With such a variety of electronically assisted tools to use, there is an opportunity to provide a recharging service to your guests. Please understand that there are three types of devices to address: small hand-held products (laptops, smart phones, Ipads, etc.), wheeled personal mobility devices and electric automobiles (EVs).

 

The Big Picture

 

It is safe to assume that most guests that visit your facility have cell phones. Airports, community colleges and shopping malls are already providing charging stations for all types of electronic devices. No doubt that people-on-the-go often forget to charge their electronic devices, and are willing to pay for the convenience of charging their equipment away from home. Your facility needs to decide if providing the recharging of electronic devices is a wise investment. Currently, you may not lose too many customers if your facility does not offer charging stations. However, within the very near future, customers may become disenchanted with recreational facilities that fail to offer recharging services. Short stay venues like restaurants and grocery stores may escape the customer requirement of providing a recharging service, but venues that offer a lengthy stay may be expected to provide for recharging.

 

The Second Part

 

The next consideration is space. If you do provide recharging services, be sure you have a sufficient number charging stations, and room to grow if the service increases in popularity. Profitable recreational facilities try to increase the guest’s length of stay. Recharging services could assist with that goal. Provide for areas near the charging stations where guests can sit and keep an eye on their cell phone or laptop while it is charging; a lounge environment so-to-speak. You could provide entertainment for those who are waiting. Cell phone charging stations are compact, but laptop charging locations will need to be larger in both charging and waiting space. Also, consider the visitors who drive their EV to your facility and return to the parking lot at the end of the day to realize that their EV lacks enough charge to get them home. You will need to have sufficient charging stations and car-size waiting areas for multiple cars to be recharged in your parking lots.

 

More Expense

 

Be sure to budget for the cost of additional staff to maintain the charging units in tip-top condition, oversee the charging stations, and referee guest behavior. At the end of the day, you will need employees stationed nearby, while those EVs in the parking lot suck up enough juice to get your patrons home.

 

Help Yourself

 

What happens if you ignore the recharging issue? At a park where I worked, guests would use one of the many plugs we had throughout the facility for charging their electronic devices. There are downsides to this unauthorized activity: guests using your electricity for free, complaints that dirty power from your outlet damaged their laptop, or guests using circuits that are unknowingly already overloaded – possibly causing tripped breaker switches. There is goodwill created, however, if you allow for recharging and do not charge a fee, whether you look the other way to unauthorized recharging, or provide the proper equipment. If you do offer recharging services, be sure you provide ample, clean, proper energy sources.

 

What Others Are Doing

 

Recreational facilities are beginning to understand that recharging is an issue for their guests. Many facilities are merely allowing guests to use existing outlets and not assess a fee, and in the background making plans to create a more permanent solution.

 

Sources

 

There are plenty of recharging station sources out there to access. Smart Carte and Siemens are two. I am sure you can locate suppliers that can fill you needs.

 

Choice

 

The choice is yours. You need to think before you take action, and then exercise your power. It is a growing guest need.

 

Links:

 

Smart Carte: http://www.smartecarte.com
Siemens: http://www.sea.siemens.com
Dirty Power: http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/09/dirty.html
or http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/dirty+power

Back

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Sponsors

Store on Wheels

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

Kay Park Recreations Corp.

Picnic tables, grills, park benches, planters, trash containers and more.

Quik N\’ Crispy (QNC)

Quik n’ Crispy greaseless fryer.

Wisdom Industries, Ltd.

Amusement ride manufacturer, new and used rides.

Comstock – Castle Stove

Commercial cooking equipment.

Art Attack

Theming, miniature golf, parade floats, 3D props, air-brushed murals, signage and art panels.

Funovation

Laser maze challenge

Harris Miniature Golf Course

Design and construction of miniature golf courses and water rides.

Penny Press

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

Master Pitching Machine

Batting cages and pitching machines.

Brunswick Bowling

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

Knight Equipment

Drive cables for ferris wheels, Tilt-A-Whirls, Rock-O-Planes and many others.

Cost of Wisconson

Creators of simulated environments, duplicate structures, sculpted figures, exhibits, water features, mini-golf and more.

Tokens Direct

A wide variety of tokens.

Empex Water Toys

Aquatons Water Toys

Qubica

Sells capital equipment to bowling centers.

Muncie Novelty Co., Inc.

Admissions, financial equipment, printing and tickets.

GloCones

Flashing cotton candy cones.

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.

Weldon, Williams & Lick

Admission systems and wristband ticketing.

Adventure Golf

Miniature golf courses, consultants, architecture and design.

Chestnut Identity Apparel

Uniform supply, embroidered apparel and flag manufacturing.

Amusement Entertainment Management (AEM)

Premier entertainment consultants.

Ride Development Corp.

Electric floor, gas and battery-powered bumper cars.

Northeast Insurance (NIC)

Insurance programs.

Coast to Coast

Coin-operated entertainment, crane machines.

Thomco Insurance (Fun Pro)

Fun Pro is an insurance program especially designed for party planners and party rental businesses.

Klopp International, Inc. (Playmeter)

Quality coin counters and sorters.

Wells Fargo

Commercial insurance for inflatables and event planners.

Castle Golf, Inc.

Planning, design and construction of miniature golf courses and family fun parks.

Sureshot Redemption

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

Subway

Fresh food and sandwich options.

See Coast Manufacturing Co., Inc.

Coin-operated binoculars and telescopes.

Flagship Carpet

Custom carpets and rugs.

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.

Sacoa

Designed and manufactures PlayCard, the rechargeable debit card system.

A’maze Ventures, Inc.

Mazes for every location, new and used.

Water Wars (T&D Enterprises of Brainerd)

Water Wars water balloon game, portable or startionary.

Lazer Runner

Laser Tag Systems

Laser Star

Laser shooting galleries, laser tag, dark ride target systems, overhead target ranges.

Family Fun Corp.

Waterpark walls for rivers, bumper boat and splash down pools.

Extreme Engineering

Industry leader in zip lines, climbing walls, jumper systems and adventure products.

Omega Carpets

Printed carpeting for all your facility needs.

Friedman Group Ins.

Insurance for amusement devices.

Poly Products

Tables, benches and related products. Green products for a green world.

Adventure Glass

Unique paddleboats.

Embed

Provides innovative IT products and services with a primary focus on card-based solutions and database applications for the leisure and retail industries.

Spectrum
Extreme Engineering
Funovation
Premier Polysteel
Rebound Unlimted, Inc.
American Conference