News Flashes: Tourist Attractions & Parks Magazine eNewsletter Part II

August 7, 2013 No Comments

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Kings Dominion Set to Hire Hundreds for Halloween Haunt: Nearly 650 Positions Available

Kings Dominion is hiring for the largest scare force in the region for the 13th season of Halloween Haunt at Kings Dominion. In all, Kings Dominion is looking to fill 644 positions, which is a 6 percent increase from 2012.

Kings Dominion will introduce two mazes for the 13th season of Halloween Haunt – “Miners Revenge” and “Zombie High.” “Miner’s Revenge” is based around the darkness of a coal mine where dead miners are seeking their revenge on unsuspecting guests. Plus, guests may not want to attend the tragic high school prom where the dead are no longer dead at “Zombie High.”

In total, Halloween Haunt at Kings Dominion features 10 mazes, six scare zones, five live shows and more than 450 monsters roaming the midways.

Frank Entertainment Companies Taps Brunswick for Bowling Options at Five New Centers

The Frank Entertainment Companies, developers of the Frank Theatres CineBowl & Grille and REVOLUTIONS cinema and entertainment complexes has named Brunswick Bowling as its bowling provider of choice. The company’s latest center openings, REVOLUTIONS at Saucon Valley, Pa., and CineBowl & Grille in Delray Beach, Fla., illustrate the entertainment group’s fast-paced 2013 strategy for growth in the family entertainment, food and beverage and cinema business industries.

Tourist Attractions & Parks Magazine Newsletter Feature

Following Theming Trends at Leisure Entertainment Facilities: Part II*

Many vendors, among them Art Attack, Cost of Wisconsin, Castle Golf and Qubica AMF, have creative staff who will assist with and make suggestions regarding distinctive themes for leisure entertainment venues. Christopher Foster, vice president, sales and marketing, Cost of Wisconsin, said some operators have been successful in this regard by picking a theme that ties in with their facilities’ location. White Bear Falls, an indoor waterpark in Gatlinburg, Tenn., lies within the Great Smoky Mountains National Park; hence, its theme is “Experience the Great Indoors,” noted Roseann Graham-Tate, activities director. Reproductions of black bears that are native to the national park, along with hand-carved cement trees Graham deemed “so natural, people go up to them and don’t realize they are not real,” are the key themed elements of the facility. A 30-foot carved cement oak tree serves as the centerpiece of the waterpark. All décor is brown and/or green, taking the natural bent one step farther. Additionally, the roof over the park, which at one time could be retracted only partially, has been reconfigured so that it opens in its entirety.  This gives guests a better view of their surroundings, while simultaneously reinforcing the waterpark’s theme.

For his part, Doug Godley, an owner of Frankies Fun Parks in Raleigh, N.C. and Columbia, Greenville and North Charleston, S.C., gravitated towards a historical theme for the miniature golf course and peripheral areas of his Columbia location. Many of the props used on the golf course and in decorative vignette-type scenes reflect South Carolina’s coastal location and/or history.

Yet another trend, Foster reports, is extending the theme of leisure entertainment facilities by using them as a jumping-off point for storytelling.  Wilderness Falls Mini-Golf in Bolingbrook, Ill., does this on its Bear Course. Props are used to convey the legend of Bigfoot, into whose cave guests pass as they play.

In a related vein, leisure entertainment facilities are leveraging even the smallest decorative and auxiliary elements to tie themes together. Fort Rapids, an indoor waterpark and resort in Columbus, Ohio, touts a Wild West theme.  Augmenting the cowboy, bull, horse and wagon wheel props in the water area are Western-themed murals and old West signs, such as saloon signs, along with Western-motif paint and wallpaper used throughout the facility. Guests can relax on wagon wheel benches found all around the building or gather near an oversized open fireplace in the lobby. Western music plays in the water area as well as in all other sections of the facility, and the restaurant, too, is decorated in Western motifs while also serving fare with Western names, such as the Cowboy Burger.

At White Bear Falls, the snack bar is named after one of the trails in the national park itself. Its physical plant, as well as that of the gift shop, displays log siding that melds with the theme of the water attractions and lodge.

(*Continued from the August 6, 2013 Tourist Attractions & Parks eNewsletter.)

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