News Flashes from Tourist Attractions & Parks Magazine

October 24, 2013 No Comments

IAAPA.org

Party Center Software Announces the Online Waiver Center

Party Center Software is staged to release their next big module for their software suite:  the  Online Waiver Center.  This new feature, expected to be available by the IAAPA Attractions Expo next month, will provide facilities with the ability to have their customers sign liability waivers online and store waivers for future use.  Gone are the days of filing away thousands of papers in an archive cabinet, only to be impossible to find at a later date.  These new electronic waivers can also be sent via email along with birthday party invitations.  That way guests can fill out the waiver before they ever set foot in the facility, saving operators time and money during event check-in.

In addition, Party Center Software is completely redesigning the customer-facing online booking site.  This will allow customers to have a quick and easy booking process on any device with any screen resolution.  So whether a guest is using a laptop, desktop, phone, or tablet, the user interface will automatically adjust to the appropriate size and layout.  Almost 30 percent of all Internet traffic has come from mobile devices in 2013, and this number is expected to grow at a significant rate.  Mobile-friendly layouts are becoming more important in this new era of technology, and Party Center Software has taken the steps to capitalize on this shift.

These new features have been added to an already robust software suite that includes Online Event Booking, Event Management, POS, Customer Database and CRM, Online Storefront and more.

(For more information on the software and features, contact Danny Gruening at 888-804-1166 ext. 15, email danny@partycentersoftware.com or visit www.partycentersoftware.com.)

Bowlmor Parties

Funovation Debuts New Laser Maze Challenge® Unit

Funovation’s latest Laser Maze Challenge® is a custom trailer maze designed in partnership with Corkcicle to show off their Chillsner beer product.  The first stop for the Chillsner trailer was the Great American Beer Festival in Denver, Colo., Oct. 10-13, 2013, where attendees got to drink beer and challenge the Laser Maze. The Chillsner trailer will be rolling through other cities as well.

Funovation’s latest portable Laser Maze Challenge® also promotes the Chillsner beer product.

Funovation’s latest portable Laser Maze Challenge® also promotes the Chillsner beer product.

Kings Dominion Celebrates 40th Anniversary in 2014

kingsdominonKings Dominion has announced plans for a celebration four decades in the making. These once-in-a-lifetime events will include many surprises, the return of classic park icons and a chance for guests to create new traditions and memories. The celebration will begin next season to commemorate the opening of Kings Dominion and Lion Country Safari.

“As a native Richmond resident, I grew up not only visiting Kings Dominion, but also started my career here as a seasonal associate,” said Pat Jones, Kings Dominion’s vice president and general manager. “I have 40 years of fond memories and I am thrilled to share some of these exciting moments with our guests during our special 40th Celebration.”

The central piece of the 40th Celebration will be the introduction of “Ruby,” a custom-painted 40th Celebration horse. “Ruby” will be added to the park’s historic carousel, which dates back to 1917. The carousel has operated at Kings Dominion since the park opened in 1975.

Those who grew up with Kings Dominion will also notice the return of many original park icons next season, including:

  • The homecoming of the park’s classic blue ice cream, which was a hit with families for decades.
  • A complete restoration of the iconic International Street fountain, which will include a new LED lighting package and additional refurbishments.
  • Reintroduction of one of the park’s original classic midways, Candy Apple Grove. This re-themed area will include new ride lighting packages, return of the classic over-sized candy apples along the midway and other surprises.
  • The return of Safari Village (formerly the Congo area of the park) that will include exciting improvements to Volcano: The Blast Coaster and one of the park’s older roller coasters, Anaconda.

In the coming months, Kings Dominion will also make many more exciting announcements as part of this thrilling celebration. (For more information, follow the park on Facebook at www.facebook.com/kingsdominionva and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/kingsdominionva.)

Kings Dominion will open for its 40th season on Saturday, April 5, 2014.

Tourist Attractions & Parks Magazine eNewsletter Feature

Top Tips for Managing Employees: Part I

Regardless of their size and focus, proper management of staff has always been an important element of success at leisure entertainment facilities. But now, it has become more important than ever.

“Managing revenue and labor continue to be major challenges for the amusement industry,” said Marcus Mayer, director of operations, CenterEdge Software director of operations. “With the economy being down, tourism is hurting and people are being more discriminating about where they spend their entertainment dollars.”

Letting staff know exactly what is expected of them ranks among the most important keys to good staff management. This tenet applies to all employees, but is especially critical when it comes to teenagers, many of whom have never before held a job and do not comprehend the scope of their responsibilities and/or the importance of everything from treating guests as they would like to be treated to performing “menial” tasks like cleaning up at the end of the day.

The common practice of communicating expectations verbally constitutes only a piece of the puzzle; operators must also convey the specifics on paper and in minute detail.  At Sparians Bowling Boutique & Bistro in Raleigh, N.C., documents distributed to each new employee highlight every policy and expectation. These documents must be reviewed and signed before staff start work. Four-hour new employee orientation sessions that include role playing and team-building components complement, but do not replace, the “paper trail,” and the accountability it creates “puts a whole different spin on things,” said Alan Fluke, owner.

The same is true of Wheels Family Fun Park in Durham, N.C., and at X-Site Amusement and Recreation Center in Indianapolis.  At Wheels, documents created by Co-Owner Becky Olbrych include such information as breakdowns of each step employees must take in handling maintenance tasks. Expectations surrounding employee behavior and contact with customers, for example, what to say and what not to say to a visitor who is upset for one reason or another, are laid out in detail.

Kenja Fraley, X-Site’s co-owner, added that it is equally important for management not to manage by sitting on the sidelines. “Be involved,” she stated. “Set the tone for employees so they know and feel what is expected. And never ask them to do what you yourself wouldn’t do.”

(See the October 31, 2013 TAP eNewsletter for Part II.)

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