News Flashes from Tourist Attractions & Parks Magazine

March 18, 2013 No Comments

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Redemption Plus Is Exclusive Supplier for XBowling, Two Innovative Companies Join Forces

xbowling copyRedemption Plus, a leading provider of toys, tools and training for the amusement, educational, fundraising, and retail markets, has finalized an agreement with Sports Challenge Network to be the exclusive merchandise supplier for xbowling. xbowling brings unique features and innovations to bowling with the industry’s first social mobile application from the Sports Challenge Network. Now, bowlers and fans can access real time scoring, player stats, enter challenges and see leaderboards on their smart devices – from anywhere in the world.

Available free from the Apple App Store and Google Play, the app allows bowlers to set up competitions and go head-to-head against other bowlers in xbowling-enabled centers around the world.  As an added bonus, bowlers receive rewards for entering and winning challenges, as well as points that will be redeemable with bowling centers and the Sports Challenge Network Zone.

redemptionplus

Redemption Plus prides itself on being a technology leader. Moreover, xbowling takes one of the most popular recreational activities in the world to a new level by intersecting technology and traditional bowling.

“We feel honored to have been selected to partner with such an innovative company,” said Ron Hill, President and CEO of Redemption Plus.

“We are very happy to be working with Redemption Plus, an industry leader in redemption and one with deep knowledge and a proven track record in the bowling industry,” said Bruce Cox, President and COO of the Sports Challenge Network. “As SCN launches our xbowling app this Spring, our key partners, such as Redemption Plus, will help us deliver a new and exciting play and rewards and loyalty experience through xbowling.”

Special Tourist Attractions & Parks Newsletter Feature

Top Considerations When Adding Attractions to Leisure Entertainment Facilities

Adding a new attraction to a leisure entertainment facility can be a boon to business, but it can also be detrimental. Several factors must be considered to achieve best results in terms of guest satisfaction and profitability alike.

One of the first issues to be addressed is whether the proposed attraction will truly appeal to the target audience of the facility in question, according to Randy White, CEO of White Hutchinson Leisure & Learning Group. This necessitates figuring out who existing guests are, by conducting guest surveys and, if one exists, mining the customer database. In many cases, there is a discrepancy between management’s guest profile, and the true guest profile. “Even if part of the strategy is to also attract new guests, it is still important to focus on existing guests,” White said. He cited the example of one bowling center project completed by his company, which involved the incorporation of a grill, lounge and game room as part of an expansion. Rather than opting for games that would appeal to teenagers, who are not a part of the center’s target market,  the proprietor was persuaded to outfit the lounge with upscale billiards, electronic darts, shuffle board, and sports-oriented games to appeal to the facility’s young adult clientele. The lounge was also designed to convert into a small night club during the evening hours. Moreover, the games area was configured unlike a typical pool hall, so that couples and small groups can sit at bar-height tables and chairs and eat, drink and socialize while they play.

The potential of an attraction to make an entity stand out from the pack and, consequently, bolster its appeal to a new and/or more diverse cadre of visitors constitutes another question that bears examination by owners and managers of leisure entertainment facilities. This was the rationale for the recent introduction of an Angry Birds Space (ABS) exhibit at Space Center Houston in Houston, Texas, reported spokesperson Doug Mattice. Installed in the Kids Space Place area of the museum, the exhibit is the first of its kind to be built around ABS, the second incarnation of the Angry Birds game.

General Attractions, LLC applied the same line of self-questioning in determining whether to invest in a water maze known as the Aqua Maze at its Splash Adventure Waterpark in Bessemer, Ala. “The Aqua Maze is the perfect new attraction for Alabama’s Splash Adventure Waterpark because the business strategy for growing our parks is to create unique water experiences and adventures that are marketable attractions,” explained Kent Lemasters, COO of General Attractions LLC, owners of Alabama’s Splash Adventure Waterpark. “This first-of-its-kind maze meets that criteria as well as having the advantage of being unique, high capacity and physically attractive.”

Greg Gallavan, founder and president of Amaze’n Mazes, noted that although miniature golf courses and family fun centers continue to add mazes, other categories of leisure entertainment facilities, including museums and agri-tainment farms, are expressing equally strong interest in doing the same to further sharpen their distinctive edge. An identical trend is emerging in the case of zip lines, stated Philip Wilson, director of marketing, Extreme Engineering.  Wilson said ski areas and private resorts have also been acquiring ziplines as a way to offer shoulder-season attractions and other options for guests who do not participate in typical winter sports. Devil’s Thumb Ranch in Tabernash, Colo., which has long been known for horseback riding and cross-country skiing, recently added a series of ziplines, including one that runs 1,600 feet and hits speeds up to 40 mph. “The owner, Bob Fanch, really had a passion to put one in,” said Sean Damery, the ranch’s vice president and general manager. “He felt that there was a lot of demand for them right now, and it turns out he was absolutely right. We’re sold out a week in advance.”

On the other hand, leisure facility owners and operators must ensure that the attraction under consideration will not unduly divert visitors’ attention from, and decrease the appeal of, existing rides, games or the like, noted a spokesperson for Ride Development Company (RDC). Admittedly, he said, it is not entirely possible to predict whether or not this will be the case. However, the more different the attraction from others already in place at the facility, the less likely decreased demand for the existing attraction will prove to be a problem—especially if the attraction caters to individuals who might not otherwise frequent the facility.

Chad Cook, owner of Freedom Station Entertainment Center in Prescott Valley, Ariz., thought about the erosion of interest in existing attractions when deciding whether or not to add bumper cars to the operation’s mix in the midst of a facility-wide renovation several years ago. No similar attraction was on the premises, so he opted to make the purchase. The attraction has contributed to a 45 percent increase in revenues since the expansion. In a related vein, Six Flags Hurricane Harbor, the waterpark component of Six Flags Great Adventure, will unveil Big Wave Racer, its eighth waterslide complex, this summer. The attraction will send riders barreling head-first down multiple lanes on an aerodynamically-designed water toboggan.  After climbing four stories, they will rocket down several steep drops stretching 1,800 feet before crossing the finish line. Management decided that despite the existence of the seven other waterslide attractions, Big Wave Racer was sufficiently different from the other complexes that it would not compromise interest in the existing slides.

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