News Flashes from Tourist Attractions & Parks Magazine

April 12, 2013 No Comments

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Namco Steals the Show

While only a few months have passed since November and the IAAPA show where NAMCO America recorded one of their most successful shows to-date, the

2013 Amusement Expo has provided the company with another outstanding show. Preliminary sales numbers look to rival the ones placed in November as domestic locations prepare for the upcoming season.

Buyers were in the booth in full force and in great spirits looking to stock their locations with the latest NAMCO products. Operators and location owners from all over the country were on hand to view the new games or see what ever they might have missed at IAAPA. NAMCO America has unveiled ten new titles in the past six months as they widen their range of games and make their lineup more versatile.

pacman

The “Pac-Man Zone” was a big hit with attendees at the NAMCO booth.

In addition to the new products that were released at IAAPA, two new titles were revealed at the Amusement Expo. The first, “Dead Heat Riders,”  is NAMCO’s newest driver. This new motorcycle racing game uses the exhilarating racing concept of Dead Heat and puts it all into a white-knuckle, heart pounding two wheel racer. The game’s 42-inch HD graphics pull riders into the race through four painstakingly detailed cities. NAMCOs newest driver will be available this summer! The company’s other new title was definitely one of the most popular attractions at the show. For years, operators have been asking for a version of the classic Pac-Man game that dispenses tickets. The wait is finally over. “Pac-Man Ticket Mania” uses the same classic game-play as Pac-Man and has increased the appeal of the game by adding the ability to win tickets. Points are accumulated with every pellet eaten, every ghost eliminated, and every fruit gobbled up. If a player can clear the maze, he or she has one shot at avoiding the ghosts and navigating their way into the ghost home and winning the PAC-POT! The bright, vivid LED display and cabinet will have players running over to the game to get a taste of this new Pac-Man game.

The buying season is right around the corner and locations should place their orders now before supplies run out. For additional information on NAMCO’s available games, please visit www.namcoamerica.com. Or contact a sales representative at (847) 264-5610, ext. 6.

2013 a Year of Growth for Frank Entertainment with the Opening of New Theaters and New Concept

Frank Entertainment Companies recently expanded its portfolio of theatre and entertainment complexes with the opening of two venues – Frank Theatres CineBowl & Grille in Delray Beach, Fla., and REVOLUTIONS in Saucon, Pa., a new concept for the company.

Over the course of the next four months, Frank anticipates the opening of two additional theatres – The Tilton 8 and IMAX in Northfield, N.J., and a 12-plex including a350-seat IMAX in Kingsport, Tenn. Three additional Revolutions locations will open over the summer in Syracuse, N.Y. (June), West Palm Beach, Fla. (July) and Rock Hill, S.C. (August).

“It has been a longtime vision to bring this concept to fruition and we anticipate continued expansion and success with new locations throughout the U.S.,” said Bruce Frank, president and CEO of Frank Entertainment, a company founded by his grandfather more than a century ago.

The Revolutions brand is a new concept in entertainment that offers patrons upscale casual dining, rock ‘n’ roll bowling lanes, bars, a sports amphitheatre, live music and DJs, billiards, an arcade and more.  Each facility is designed to cater to everyone from families to sports enthusiasts to nighttime club-goers.  In addition, Revolutions provides an alternative venue for corporate events, meetings, team building, social gatherings, birthday parties and fundraisers.

Located within each Revolutions and Frank Theatres CineBowl & Grille will be the company’s signature Red Brick Grille, providing a modern, upscale take on classic American dining. Offering a creative assortment of appetizers, barbeque, gourmet pizzas, pasta, burgers, handcrafted sandwiches, fresh salads and more, Red Brick Grille serves as a destination of its own for lunch, dinner and anyone seeking a late-night bite.

Exquisite food and boutique bowling are just the beginning of Revolutions’ entertainment options.  Each location will have two bars, featuring signature drinks, specialty martinis and microbrews, surrounding The Stadium, giving patrons the ultimate destination to root for their favorite sports team. A larger-than-life projection screen is complemented by dozens of HD televisions in a relaxed, VIP sports amphitheatre setting.

Gamers of all kinds also have a place at Revolutions with full-redemption arcades featuring more than 45 video and prize games.

Special Tourist Attractions & Parks eNewsletter Feature

Top Tips for Benefitting From Debit Card and Ticketing Systems Trends

Debit card systems that replace cash and tokens—especially those that can be used not only for attractions and game play, but to cover food, beverage, merchandise, separate-admission attractions and other miscellaneous expenditures incurred during visits, have become popular among operators and guests of leisure and entertainment facility in recent years. So, too, have automated ticketing systems—and operators are discovering new ways to benefit from these trends.

Operators like the added control and security afforded by debit technology, as well as the flexibility and ease with which they can charge whatever they wish for individual games and attractions (e.g., 50 cents for one arcade game and 55 cents for another) without being constrained by equipment and cash acceptance technology configurations. The fact that many people spend more money per visit when using “plastic” than they do when paying cash also appeals to operators, and many guests appreciate the “convenience factor.”

But garnering even more profits from a debit card system is possible when a loyalty component is built in, according to Sacoa Director Sebastian Mochkovsky. For example, the company’s Qubica-AMF Conqueror Pro Management System has a terminal component that can activate, load money onto and check the balances on playcards in real time. Playcards can be tied to loyalty programs, so that facilities may utilize loyalty cards to recognize specific customers, grant them special pricing to reward them for attaining a particular number of visits or reaching a pre-set spending level and/or offer specific promotions to targeted customer groups.

Strikerz Entertainment Center, in Lees Summit, Mo., has done this with its Embed debit card and point of sale system from Embed USA—a move that underscores a growing trend in the industry, according to Embed USA Sales Manager Merrik Keller. Strikerz features bowling, an arcade, laser tag and a full-service bar and restaurant. A card bonus structure wherein guests earn a variety of rewards for hitting certain spending targets is driving sales and repeat visits alike, reported David Edwards, owner.

As for ticketing systems, one major trend is a move toward solutions that enable guests to purchase admission online—an option many individuals favor because of the convenience it affords them. According to Grey Burnett, marketing specialist, CenterEdge Software, maximizing profits from online ticketing solutions necessitates that it be as easy as possible for potential guests to find the link to buy tickets on family entertainment centers’ websites. The link should be accessible from the homepage or, even better, from every page. “If you just have a text link buried within your website, no one will buy tickets online, even if that’s why they came to your site,” stated Burnett in a recent blog on his company’s website.  “Instead, make it jump out at them. You could even include a ‘Buy Tickets!’ link in your site navigation. If no one can find the link, no one will use it.”

Mike and Vicky Carpenter, who with a third partner own Defy Gravity, an indoor trampoline park in Durham, N.C., followed such advice when they opened their facility last summer. Defy Gravity’s homepage features a prominently displayed link to the ticket purchasing page at the top; large white letters, set against a dark background, spell out the word, “tickets.”

Moreover, consumers are more likely to take advantage of online ticketing if the process of completing a purchase is simple and straightforward. Accordingly, bear in mind that with online ticketing software, the default appearance and “feel” of the ticket store will differ from facilities’ main websites. Potential guests may therefore believe they have been sent to a separate website—and become so overwhelmed that they abandon their ticket “shopping cart.” A number of online ticketing software vendors have configured their solutions so that it is possible to “theme” the online store to match the look and feel of leisure entertainment facilities’ websites. Keeping online ticket purchasing simple also means ensuring that selecting from among different options is easy—which in turn may require that choices be limited to the most popular ticket and/or package types.

Despite the need for simplicity, online ticketing systems should accommodate special situations, such as group sales and discounts. Funtown Splashtown USA in Saco, Maine, is currently implementing Gateway Ticketing Systems’ automated ticketing solution, which will allow not only individuals, but groups, to buy tickets from its online ticket store. “Our corporate customers want to be able to go online, enter a discount code and batch-order tickets,” noted Ed Hodgdon, the facility’s marketing manager.

Moreover, just as leisure entertainment facilities have begun to integrate debit card systems with loyalty, an increasing number of entities are integrating automated on-site ticketing systems with online ticket purchasing modules, as well as with point of sale and food and beverage control systems. The Crayola ExperienceTM in Easton, Pa., is rolling out such a system as part of a major enhancement, The fully integrated web, retail and admissions point of sale solution is expected to improve the guest experience, as well as to enable more actionable decision-making (and hence, up the profitability ante) by yielding management access to a single source of information pertaining to customer trends, said Shawn Kramer, manager of revenue and attractions.

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