November 2012

COVER STORY

Prime Time for Themed Locations -
Company Adds Larger-than-Life Prop Creation to Roster of Services

Prime Time Amusements (PTA), one of the premier global operators, sellers and event renters of video arcade machines and simulators since 1992, recently launched a new division, called Prop Creations. This article tells the story of the thinking behind the expansion.

THE LARGE PARK REPORT

The Return of The Family Dark Ride    
New rides in the amusement industry often seem to follow a cyclical pattern.  Over the years, a wide variety of ride types have ebbed and flowed in popularity, including times when simulators or 3D or raft rides were the latest hot option.  Through it all though, two ride types have seemed to endure longer than others, the roller coaster and the dark ride. And like roller coasters, the subcategories of dark rides have evolved in many different directions.

WAVES

Waterpark Insurance – Negotiating a Narrow Market for Best Results  
Unlike most business, waterparks have few options when it comes to selecting insurance companies. That generally means high premiums due to lack of competitive pricing. However, waterpark owners and managers believe the insurance companies they must deal with are excellent to work with and meet their needs quite well.

The Relationship Factor – For Parks, the Link to Agents and Brokers is Critical   

THE MAGIC OF HIGH TECHNOLOGY

Faster, Louder and More Daring – Amusement Park Technology Trends  
From thrill rides to systems implemented behind the scenes, amusement parks continue on a trajectory of technological innovation. In rides, faster, louder and more daring than ever appear to be the watchwords.

TOURIST ATTRACTIONS AND PARKS TURNS 40

Celebrating Four Decades of Service to the Industry
Tourist Attractions & Parks’ readers and advertisers honor the publication with congratulatory letters.

FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT CENTER REPORT

FEC Location Spotlight – Expanding Yesterday’s Stand-Alone
Entertainment Venues to Appeal to Today’s Fun-Seeking Families
Bowling, Roller Skating, Laser Tag, Arcades. Not that long ago, you would have needed to visit four different venues in order to enjoy these various entertainment attractions. Now, as many entertainment center owners are finding out, in order to stay competitive and, in some cases, stay open, one source of entertainment in no longer enough.

Bowling Report
Where the Menu Fits the Mood – Bowling Centers Offer Fun with Food
Bowling centers around the nation are no longer offering snack bars as pure amenities. They are using them to draw business by adding creative items or expanding them into full-service restaurants in the hopes of attracting more customers, even those that might not want to bowl.

Mini-Golf and Go-Kart Report
Meeting an Operational Challenge – The Care of Flooring, Carpet and Turf
While the recession continues, for lack of a better word, to recede, owners and operators of facilities with mini-golf and go-kart components continue to believe that when it comes to carpet, turf and flooring, diligent cleaning and maintenance, coupled with preventive measures, beat frequent replacement. They also find that no single type of surface is more difficult to keep clean than another, and are addressing this accordingly.

Bumper Car Report
Powered Up for Fun – How Bumper Cars Enhance the Guest Experience
Bumper cars are classic family fun, and while once relegated to amusement parks, they are now finding homes in bowling centers, family entertainment centers and even flea markets, where they play a major role in enhancing customer experience.

International Laser Tag Report
A Message from The Executive Director – Focusing on Development
With the holiday season upon us we are, as always, looking at centers across the nation gearing up to be prepared for the busy season that is fast approaching. While many centers will already be grinding through full birthday party days, the walk-in traffic will only be getting stronger. Are you ready?

Laser Tag Feature
How to Approach Your Laser Tag Project or Renovation for Maximum Impact
When approaching a new laser tag project or an upgrade to an existing one, which direction should you take? Are you focused on the right things or on what the salesmen may be trying to sell you? This article examines some of the major players you will need to examine and discuss how to properly evaluate your path.

New Facility Spotlight
Media Vision Inc. Spotlights Award-winning Products in a New Facility
The September, 2012, opening of Media Vision Inc.’s Fun² family entertainment center location in Whitby, Canada, comes on the heels of 15 years of combat arena manufacturing and theming experience of the company’s Tom and Andy Appleton. The pair has successfully set up fun centers worldwide, and at Fun², all of the company’s great products are under the same roof in a space-saving, 4,500-square-foot facility.

ANNUAL RECOGNITION AWARDS

Nominations Are Being Accepted for the  2013 Excellence in Family Entertainment Center Awards
Tourist Attractions & Parks Magazine and Foundations Entertainment University will once again recognize those entertainment centers that continue to raise the bar for our industry and exemplify excellence in family entertainment. Nominations are being accepted for the 2013 Excellence in Family Entertainment Center Awards.

STREET BEAT

An Eye on the Prize – Seizing Crane Machine Success
Crane machines are straightforward in what they require in player skill, plus they’ve been around for some time and offer something tangible. So what keeps them fresh and with customers headed in their direction?

Ready for a Close-up – Profitable Photos Booths Capture the Fun
At one time, photo booths required operators to add chemicals and perform other time-consuming tasks to get the booth ready for customers. With so much needed preparation, the diversions fell out of favor with amusement operators. However, that downward trend turned when digital technology transformed photo booths from lackluster moneymakers into sought-after attractions.

FOOD SERVICE SPOTLIGHT

The Zoo and Aquarium Kitchen – Top Tips for Food Safety and Sanitation Practices
Besides the many food preparation duties, zoo and aquarium kitchen employees are constantly on the go adhering to the standard restaurant safety and sanitation guidelines put forth by the health department and others.

Tips for Keeping Refrigerators and Walk-in Coolers Neat and Clean

Truckin’ Toward Guest Satisfaction –
Food Strategies for Railroad and Transport Museums
Children and adults alike enjoy a visit to a railway or transportation museum, the former, most likely based on their youthful fascination with transportation itself, and the latter, often because of the historical aspect. No matter the demographic they serve, such venues must and do offer food and snacks to suit their clientele

Three Tips for Upselling Food at Railroad and Transportation Museums

AMUSEMENT RENTAL AND INFLATABLE NEWS

Kids’ Choice – Why the Youngest Customers Can Determine a Bouncer’s Success
Inflatables and bounces have become staples at both small backyard parties and large community and corporate events.  While some bounces are still as popular as they were a decade ago, bounce rental companies are always looking for a new inflatable that will become the next “must have” at their clients’ events.

Post-show Report: The Philadelphia, Pa., AIR Show

HAUNTED ATTRACTIONS

An Investment in New Scares – The Year Ends on a High Note for Haunted Attractions
Is gore “out” and startle “in” at haunted attractions, or are both still very much the trend? It depends whom you ask, but one thing is certain: introducing different elements and features annually is a “must” if operators are to maximize the appeal of their venues. So, too, is maintaining year-round contact with customers through a variety of vehicles.

SPECIAL SUPPLEMENT

Tourist Attractions & Parks Advertisers at the 2012 IAAPA Attractions Expo
A listing of the IAAPA Attractions Expo booth numbers for the advertisers in this issue that are attending the show.

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