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

Richie's Italian Ice

Italian Ice Kiosks and Carts

U.S. Bowling

Award-winning independent company brings bowling to your venue.

Action Lighting Co.

Lighting supplies.

Money Tree - ATM

ATM machines.

Muncie Novelty Co., Inc.

Admissions, financial equipment, printing and tickets.

Perfect Fry

Innovative and simple-to-operate countertop deep fryer Perfect Fryers.

Belson Manufacturing Co.

Park and recreation outdoor furniture and equipment.

Knight Equipment

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

Davis & Davis, Inc.

Planning consultants for wet/dry attractions, mini-golf, go-kart tracks and laser arenas.

Safari Ltd.

Leading manufacturer of innovative educational toys.

Weldon, Williams & Lick

Admission systems and wristband ticketing.

Funovation

Laser maze challenge

Aquaventronics

Research and development of interactive water games for use in the commercial amusement industry.

Embed

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

Extreme Engineering

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

Coast to Coast

Coin-operated entertainment, crane machines.

Sacoa

Designed and manufactures PlayCard, the rechargeable debit card system.

GloCones

Flashing cotton candy cones.

Master Pitching Machine

Batting cages and pitching machines.

Poly Products

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

Broaster Co., The

Food programs and food service equipment.

Xtreme Inflatables

Repair and service for all inflatable products.

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.

Nieco Corp

Nieco automatic broilers.

Adventure Golf

Miniature golf courses, consultants, architecture and design.

Wapello Fabrications

Inflatables and portable amusements.

Precision Dynamics (PDC)

Wristbands with no hidden costs, Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Wristband System.

S&S Worldwide

Large Park amusement rides.

National Rock & Sculpture

Dedicated to the conceptual design and development of themed environments.

Enchanted Castle Studios

Fiberglass statuary and figures for restaurants, mini-golf, theme parks and other attractions.

Omega Carpets

Printed carpeting for all your facility needs.

American Changer

Bill and coin dispensers and counters, ticket machines and more.

Tarobots

Boxerjocks robotic boxing amusement ride game attraction.

See Coast Manufacturing Co., Inc.

Coin-operated binoculars and telescopes.

Subway

Fresh food and sandwich options.

Friedman Group Ins.

Insurance for amusement devices.

Chestnut Identity Apparel

Uniform supply, embroidered apparel and flag manufacturing.

Castle Golf, Inc.

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

Martin Professionals

A lighting supplier of choice for the entertainment industry.

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.

European Body Arts

Airbrushed temporary tattoo products and systems.

Tube Pro

Waterpark tubes.

Look Solutions

Fog machines.

Ride Development Corp.

Electric floor, gas and battery-powered bumper cars.

Brunswick Bowling

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

Amusement Entertainment Management (AEM)

Premier entertainment consultants.

R&R Creative Amusement Design

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

Stoelting
LMap Powered by Silvercrest
Premier Polysteel
Spectrum Sports
Cannonball Blaster
Funovation
Empex Water Toys