Creating a Fresh Look to Draw New Business
The refurbishment of an existing facility or attraction can sometimes be more challenging than designing a brand new project. These upgrades can be as simple as fresh paint and landscaping to renew the facility all the way up to a complete re-theme to create a totally new experience for your guests.
When approaching a renovation project, initial meetings between the designers and owners to establish a realistic budget is critical. The client has probably already determined how much he would like to spend and there is no sense in producing concepts and designs that he cannot afford. This is also important to assist in creating a realistic plan and design to spend every dollar where it will have a maximum impact on the guests.
A good design begins with a complete analysis of all existing elements and how they can be incorporated into the new look. With a little imagination, even the most ugly or plain building can be turned into an important themed element. Every existing fence, shack, bridge or wall can present the opportunity to create a themed set or a new adventure for the park visitors.
Conceptual designs and development plans can now be created in a realistic manner. These plans can include all renovation elements including signage, architectural details, audio and lighting systems, new attractions and all other theme and prop details.
New custom signage can dramatically change the look of a facility. The styles, colors, letter fonts, framing and details can all reinforce the theme, or if incorrectly used, confuse the desired look. Signs with bright oranges, purples, turquoise and pinks can be great in a Caribbean theme while completely out of place in an Old West setting. Spending a little more money to design and purchase major signs with dimensional cutout letters and multi- layers will pay off in the long run to the overall look of the facility.
Architectural details, props and new paint can change the look of about any structure to help enhance the upgraded look. Paint colors are critical to the look of a facility. The hues, shades and color mixes are important to carry through a theme or establish a mood. The psychology of color and how it affects people can be used effectively to add to your guests experience, or even encourage them to eat more. Each historical era, time or place has a color palette that will sell the theme or the new look. The use of bright, primary colors may attract attention but the overuse of mismatching hues and glaring colors can make the attraction uncomfortable and cheap looking.
Music and sound effects are the most inexpensive way to create a theme or set a mood. Rather than just throwing on an uncontrolled local radio station, themed music and effects can add greatly to creating the mood and ambience of the park. Background music matching the theme of an attraction will greatly enhance the guest experience, even with sparse sets or theming. The use of special effect audio background tracks such as seagulls, forest or jungle birds or a storm and blowing wind are the special touches that can help make your attraction unique. Watch visitor mood and enjoyment levels when upbeat themed music is being played versus a silent background.
Animatronics or special effects are other elements that can bring extra attention to a facility. Fog banks wafting across a lake with hidden blue lighting can add special magic to a miniature golf course or other attraction. Strobe light explosions from a mine shaft, water cannon effects from a castle cannon or an animated parrot welcoming your visitors all can add to the fun that brings them back for more.
Sometimes a smaller detail such as an audio track of frogs and crickets under a bridge or a character who speaks to them will be remembered by your guests more than a larger element. Children often will discover these details before their parents, who are sometimes preoccupied.
A re-theme or refurbishment of your park or facility can bring dramatic results if properly planned and designed. Even within limited budgets, you can give new life to your attraction or park and enhance the guest’s experience, encouraging them to get out of the house and return for another adventure. -