January 3, 2013
Branchburg Sports Complex, Branchburg, N.J.
Opened in November of 2010, Branchburg Sports Complex (BSC) in Branchburg, N.J., is a rare kind of entertainment center. Part Family Entertainment, part Sports Complex and part Fitness Center, you won’t find many other facilities anywhere quite like this 78,000-square-foot monster! We recently spent some time speaking with owner Mark Lauber about his facility and what makes it tick.
BSC is a success story we wish we heard with every FEC: first year revenues exceeded expectations, no expense was spared to do everything right and the community is absolutely in love with this facility.
“We have been especially pleased with the FEC portion of the center,” said Lauber. “It provides the year-round capital we need to make this whole complex possible.” He added that “the cross marketing between the spaces also gives us phenomenal opportunities to grab the public again and again.”
Lauber’s passion for his facility extends to his staff. “A first-class facility requires a first-class staff,” he said. Classroom training, on-shift training and team building prepares his staff for their time face to face with the public.
Lauber believes strongly in thorough training. “New and old staff alike spend time in team-building exercises (created for his corporate programs) learning to work together and gaining the understanding that everyone works together in order for the facility to operate smoothly.”
Current staff is occasionally brought back in for new team building and some retraining. “What is important to me is that staff knows that every moment contains an opportunity to train and for our team to improve.”
As the facility offers laser tag, we could not resist the opportunity to “talk a little tag.” Lauber did not go cheap in this area either, and the tag area features 54 vests and 9,000 square feet spread over four levels. “In every area of this facility I made sure to speak to the experts. I brought in consultants and made sure that we did everything above and beyond the norm.” This included an incredible hybrid and unique theme as well as a few bells, buttons and whistles you don’t find in every facility!
Laser tag is a tremendously important piece of what makes the FEC so popular. “Ninety-five percent of our corporate events utilize laser tag and 75 percent of our birthday parties include some time spent in the arena.” Even the observation area is a selling point. “When we first opened the observation area for laser tag, everyone wanted to watch or utilize the klinks (coin-op phasors that interact with the laser tag players.) We decided to make it a pass entry area only manned with a staff person who teaches you how to use the klinks. Our VIPs love it!”
Word-of-mouth advertising has ensured that this attraction, like all the rest, have stayed busy for the past 20 months. What else does BSC offer? Check out the location’s website for more information. –Back