News Flashes from Tourist Attractions & Parks Magazine

April 30, 2013 No Comments

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Triple Turn Now Ready for Shipping

NAMCO’s new redemption game, Triple Turn, is now ready for shipping. The flashy, multi-tiered ticket dispensing game was first shown at the 2012 IAAPA Attractions Expo to positive response, with show attendees lining up to see what the buzz was about at the NAMCO booth.

The concept of Triple Turn is very straightforward: simply push the lever down, watch as the ball falls through as many as three rotating gears and cheer as the tickets come pouring out. Suspense grows as the gears turn and the ball spirals around to find the perfect hole to fall through. The name Triple Turn comes from the three different ways a player can win the jackpot as well as the three rotating gears on the playfield.

For additional information on NAMCO games, please visit www.namcoamerica.com. Or contact a sales representative at (847) 264-5610, extension 6.
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Space Shuttle Atlantis Emerges from Protective Shrink Wrap as Work Continues on New Attraction at Kennedy Space Center

NASA’s Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex recently began a two-day process of unwrapping the Atlantis orbiter from the protective shrink wrap that has encased the priceless artifact during construction of the $100 million Space Shuttle AtlantisSM attraction, set to open June 29.

Atlantis has been enclosed in 16,000 square feet of protective plastic shrink wrap since its Nov. 2 move from Kennedy Space Center to the Visitor Complex and into the 90,000-square-foot attraction, which has been under construction for 15 months.

Atlantis is raised 30 feet off the ground and rotated at a 43.21 angle as if orbiting Earth. When the attraction opens June 29, guests will have an up-close, 360-degree view of Atlantis from several different levels — the wear and tear of its 33 missions apparent on its protective external tiles.

Space Shuttle Atlantis will tell the incredible story of NASA’s 30-year Space Shuttle Program through a host of multimedia presentations and more than 60 interactive exhibits and high-tech simulators that will bring to life the complex components and systems behind this incredible feat of engineering.

Entertainment Facility Solutions Provider Remains Active in Industry Events

Entertainment facility solutions provider CenterEdge Software will be sharing best practices for successfully managing revenue and labor as the 8-year-old company participates in the 76th Annual RSA (Roller Skating Association) Convention & Trade Show in Reno, Nev.

The event will be held May 5-8 in conjunction with the Laser Tag Convention at the Silver Legacy Resort Casino, drawing decision-makers from roller skating facilities and family fun centers from across the country.

“We are looking forward to listening to attendees about their specific needs to better manage their facilities while increasing sales and customer satisfaction,” Marcus Mayer, CenterEdge Software director of operations, said, adding, “We strive to keep up with face-to-face networking and educational opportunities at events like RSA’s in order to keep our solutions geared toward addressing new and emerging problems in the amusements industry.”

With its integrated suite of products installed at about 300 entertainment facilities across the United States and Canada, CenterEdge recently unveiled a new mobile app for use in attractions access control, allowing employees to scan barcodes on tickets, customer cards or wristbands to enhance the customer experience and remove non-paying individuals.

Dutch Wonderland Celebrates 50 years of Family Fun

Dutch Wonderland will celebrate five decades of bringing families together in 2013. While the Park will be celebrating this milestone all year long, June 1 will designate as the special day where guests will enjoy a fireworks display at park close, as well as some additional surprises.

Dutch Wonderland officially opened on May 20, 1963 on just 14 acres and four rides: The Wonderland Express Train, Lady Gay Riverboat, The Turnpike featuring Antique Cars, and the Whale Boats. All of these rides are still operational in some form at Dutch Wonderland today. Founder, Earl Clark had virtually no experience in the amusement park industry, just a dream of creating a place where families with small children could play together. That dream has since grown into the Dutch Wonderland that exists today; a recognized and celebrated children’s amusement park with over 30 rides on 43 acres including Duke’s Lagoon Water Play Area.

“We are very proud to be celebrating our 50th Anniversary this year and look forward to welcoming generations of guests back to Dutch Wonderland,” said Rick Stammel, General Manager. “Dutch Wonderland is such a special place and it’s meant so much to so many people over these five decades. We are so proud to have remained true to Mr. Clark’s vision and aim to continue to live up to our moniker, A Kingdom for Kids!”

Dutch Wonderland is part of the Palace Entertainment family of parks.

Special Tourist Attractions & Parks eNewsletter Feature

Engaging Adults at Leisure Entertainment Facilities

While some leisure entertainment facilities cater only to adults, those whose focus is children and families might consider taking initiatives aimed more squarely at catering to adult guests. Such a tactic bolsters overall profitability because the more adult-oriented options some parents see at a family entertainment center or other entity, the more time and money they will be willing to spend there.  In certain cases, going the extra mile in this regard also helps  operations garner the business of customers they might not otherwise attract—those who do not have children and, as a result, would not typically think of frequenting such facilities. And for those facilities that already have a significant adult bent, there is a chance to take things to the next level.

For some operators, engaging adults means adding more adult-oriented attractions to the mix. Alan Phillips, co-owner of Sports Center of Connecticut in Shelton, Conn., noted that adults are interested in redemption games whose design allows them to be filled with more valuable prizes, like electronics and accessories. Units with oversized claws, or those that require players to “capture” prizes by maneuvering a pair of scissors to cut a string, fit the bill at Sports Center of Connecticut in Shelton. Conn., reported Phillips.

David Goldfarb, CEO of Prime Time Amusements, corroborated Phillips’ comments. PrimeTime is among companies that are currently engaged in creating a “mini Dave & Busters”-like offering that will include about 80 arcade games, many targeted toward adults.  (The company also recently launched Prop Creations, which offers theming, props, set design and more).

Some operators are introducing thrill-type attractions which, while they do draw younger guests, also help to build a higher degree of excitement and engagement among adults. Six Flags Hurricane Harbor in Bowie, Md. and Six Flags Hurricane Harbor in Springfield, Mass., are introducing the DownUnderTM attraction from SplashTacular for the 2013 season. Guests approach the attraction by climbing a 70-foot tower. They then board one of six individual ‘DrenalineDropTM launch modules arranged around the perimeter of a launch platform. Once a launch button is hit, the floor beneath each rider drops out and a plunge down nearly vertical enclosed body slides into 50 feet of translucent fiberglass begins. Riders twist and turn for more than 255 feet, eventually coming to a gradual stop in the runouts below. The six slides each take a different path to the bottom.

Similarly, Bay View Mini-Putt, in Kaneohe, Hawaii, has become Bay View Mini-Putt and Zip Line with the addition of the first and only zip line on the Hawaiian island of Oahu. The dual-track, 400-foot-long zip line system allows riders to move at up to 25 miles per hour.

A little out-of-the-box thinking may be applicable here, according to Digital Centre, a provider of photo booths. Contrary to popular belief, a spokesperson said, photo booths appeal not only to teenagers and young adults, but also to more mature adults, and even in venues where one would not expect to find them. The Seattle Art Museum in Seattle, Wash. garners grown-ups’ attention with a photo booth positioned within an exhibit dedicated to artist and filmmaker Andy Warhol. To bolster their interest in using the photo booth, visitors are invited to post a snapshot from their strip of photos on an “Andy Warhol Wall of Fame” board that flanks the exhibit.

Whether branching out to attract adults, or attempting to engage them further, leisure entertainment facilities can also use adult events as a “hook.” At Shenanigans Entertainment Center in La Crosse, Wis., parties and packages aren’t just for kids. The center touts adult birthday party packages, which according to Owner Debbie Hosch have become extremely popular among the adult crowd. Parties range in price from $114.99 to $689.99, depending on the number of guests and attractions selected; the latter include laser tag, a ropes course, a rock wall, bumper cars and inflatables. Four-hour VIP parties for up to 25 guests can be held in the facility’s VIP lounge, which features black leather couches, high-top tables and chairs and private flat-screen TV sets.

Special adult deals may do the trick as well. Pastime Lanes in Hastings, Neb., holds a weekly “Buddy Bowling-Date Night” at which guests can purchase two games for the price of one, four games for the price of two, and six games for the price of three. Bryant Lake Bowl, a combination bowling alley, theater, bar and restaurant in Minneapolis, features Cheap Date Night every Monday from 6 p.m. to midnight. A total of $28 per couple buys one round of bowling and dinner; the latter includes two entrees and either two beers apiece or a bottle of wine to share. In addition to periodic “date nights” complete with gourmet fare and music, the National Aquarium in Baltimore, Md., touts an annual one-year couples’ membership. A fee of $109 buys unlimited daily admission to the aquarium as well as to the affiliated National Aquarium in Washington D.C., plus discounts on programs and events and overnight packages at Washington, D.C.’s Hotel Monaco. Additionally, at the National Aquarium, Washington D.C., couples had the option to avail themselves of a day at the venue for $16 during the month of February, 2013.

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