News Flashes from Tourist Attractions & Parks Magazine

November 12, 2013 No Comments

IAAPA.org

Jonesville, Mich., Bowling Center Add the Laser Maze Challenge®

Jonesville Lanes (L & J Lanes) in Jonesville, Mich., is the latest bowling center to add a Laser Maze Challenge® to their amusement offerings.  Opened on October 11, L & J Lanes’ Laser Maze features Funovation’s Time Portal graphics, lighted door entry and the newest innovation – Video Capture.  While a small footprint attraction, The Laser Maze Challenge® offers just the right mix of brain and brawn and narrative and innovation, making it a bright and complementary addition to any center.  For more information on L & J Lanes, please visit http://www.ljlanes.com/

The Laser Maze Challenge® at L & J Lanes.

The Laser Maze Challenge® at L & J Lanes.

Bowlmor Parties

A Letter from Ben Jones, Senior Lender and FEC Domain Expert, Live Oak Bank

I am very excited writing this as the newest member of the executive team at Live Oak Bank,  where I am part of a small group of specialized lenders who are starting a new niche lending division that will focus specifically on providing financing for FECs, small parks and attractions.

As Senior Lender/FEC Domain Expert of Live Oak Bank’s FEC vertical, my role is to facilitate loan opportunities by assisting manufactures, suppliers, distributors and operators to identify needs and then working in concert with clients to formulate the financing avenues to meet those needs. As an industry peer and former operator, I am uniquely positioned and bring practitioner experience to the financing solutions we will offer FECs and related industries. The programs we have established encompass refinancing, acquisitions, new development, remodeling, equipment purchases and succession financing. With loan amounts of up to $5 million, our terms and rates are competitive with fully amortizing maturities of up to 25 years without balloons, calls or crazy covenants. We are a cash flow lender with a focus on our client’s long-term health, prosperity and growth. If you have financing needs such as lowering existing loan payments to improve cash flow, making an equipment purchase, or if you want to grow your business, we should connect.

Live Oak Bank started in 2008 with a singular goal to provide loans to small independent businesses whose markets and industries had been overlooked by traditional banks and institutions. Being overlooked or even mistreated by a vast majority of the banking world is a familiar cry to almost every FEC operator or professional. In the 27 years I have been involved in the amusement and FEC business, we have never had a national lender remotely interested, let alone committed to learning about the nuances of our business or lending money to our industry. Live Oak Bank’s approach and business model is working, as Live Oak is already the nation’s second largest originator of small business loans with clients all across the country.

It is inspiring to be part of an amazing company with great vision, a willingness to learn and where the opportunities to make a difference within an industry I love are endless. In the coming weeks and months, I will be reaching out to the FEC community with more details. In the interim, let me know how I can help you, your business or our industry. I invite your inquiry and feedback. Looking forward to seeing you at the IAAPA Expo in Orlando.

Onward,
Ben Jones
(For more information, visit www.liveoakbank.com.)


Tourist Attractions & Parks eNewsletter Feature

Top Tips for Selecting Outdoor Furniture (Part I of Two Parts)

Not long ago, the owner of a small amusement park took a look at the aluminum benches that  dotted the grounds of his establishment and was less than pleased with what he saw. Although they were only a few years old, they were cracking and, he said, looked awful. As it turned out, the problem stemmed from the fact that the benches were manufactured from aluminum that had not been properly reinforced. “We really weren’t all that careful when we were shopping around, and because of that, we spent several thousand dollars on replacements,” the operator said. “We’ll never make that mistake again.”

As this anecdote shows, selecting outdoor furniture is not a task to be approached casually. Rather, it requires due diligence on many fronts. “It may take time and effort,” observed Marilee Gray, marketing manager for outdoor furniture manufacturer Kay Park Recreation. “However, it will be worth it in the long run.”

Start by limiting choices to products that have been produced especially for commercial installations, rather than for residential ones. “Even if it’s of very high quality, outdoor furniture designed for homes just won’t withstand the heavy use it will get at a theme park, family entertainment center or” similar venue, Gray observed.

Look for outdoor furniture that not only stands up to use (and abuse), but is also as impervious as possible to the elements, from the blazing-hot sun in the summertime, to snow and salt air. In choosing metal furniture, remember that the lower the gauge, the sturdier the product. Sources recommended avoiding pieces manufactured from cast aluminum because the latter comprises only 60 percent real aluminum. The balance of its composition is junk metals, rendering it especially susceptible to cracking and breaking. Outdoor furniture made entirely of wood, too, should be avoided based on the tendency of the material to rot and chip, sources said.

Plastisol (PVC)-coated expanded metal and laser-cut steel rank among popular materials from which commercial outdoor furniture is manufactured; both Kay Park Recreation and Premier Polysteel have PVC-coated metal products in their commercial outdoor furniture collections. Plastisol coatings are said to provide a strong layer of protection against the elements, and to afford UV as well as mold resistance. According to Premier Polysteel, PVC-coated products whose surface has been oven-cured for an extended period of time at high temperatures fare better than those whose surface has not undergone oven-curing. An oven-cured surface, the company claims, is smoother and more resistant to bacterial and fungal growth than a non-cured surface. Uniform curing also enables the PVC coating to better adhere to the metal beneath it, enhancing wear resistance and eliminating any openings that may attract bees and other insects.

Recycled plastic, too, has been garnering increased favor as a component of furniture for outdoor use in theme parks, waterparks and family entertainment centers. Furniture marketed as being made from recycled plastic contains at least 96 percent post-consumer/industrial materials, like milk jugs, pop bottles and plastic bags, plus other stabilizing agents and UV stabilizers to protect against noticeable sun fading and to enhance color. Major benefits afforded by recycled plastic encompass resistance to chipping and fading and less flammability than wood.

Yet a third material frequently used to manufacture tables and benches is concrete. Concrete pieces comprise a metal skeleton covered with concrete, which gets its rigidity from an aggregate of pebbles or small particles of glass. This rigidity, coupled with the material’s weight, make concrete products difficult to vandalize and almost impossible to steal. Many manufacturers use inorganic pigments to permanently color the concrete used to fashion furniture, and some add surfaces that are made to look like natural materials.

(See the Nov. 18, 2013 eNewsletter for Part II)

 

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Sponsors

Water Wars (T&D Enterprises of Brainerd)

Water Wars water balloon game, portable or startionary.

Zebec Water Sports

Large variety of waterpark needs

Comstock - Castle Stove

Commercial cooking equipment.

Chestnut Identity Apparel

Uniform supply, embroidered apparel and flag manufacturing.

Quik N' Crispy (QNC)

Quik n’ Crispy greaseless fryer.

Master Pitching Machine

Batting cages and pitching machines.

Castle Golf, Inc.

Planning, design and construction of miniature golf courses and family fun parks.

National Rock & Sculpture

Dedicated to the conceptual design and development of themed environments.

Sacoa

Designed and manufactures PlayCard, the rechargeable debit card system.

International Special Events (ISERA)

Risk purchasing group, a better way to purchase liability insurance, specializing in inflatables and much more.

Aquaventronics

Research and development of interactive water games for use in the commercial amusement industry.

CFX Composite & Effects

Special effects make-up and prosthetics

Friedman Group Ins.

Insurance for amusement devices.

Perfect Fry

Innovative and simple-to-operate countertop deep fryer Perfect Fryers.

Gould Manufacturing, Ltd.

Concession trailers and Antique, Jeep and Grand Prix auto rides.

Omega Carpets

Printed carpeting for all your facility needs.

Lazer Runner

Laser Tag Systems

Soft Play

Leader in designing, manufacturing and installing soft contained playground equipment.

Funovation

Laser maze challenge

Subway

Fresh food and sandwich options.

American Changer

Bill and coin dispensers and counters, ticket machines and more.

Wisdom Industries, Ltd.

Amusement ride manufacturer, new and used rides.

Hamilton Manufacturing Corp.

Manufacturer of unattended entry systems and change machines.

Look Solutions

Fog machines.

Deltronic Labs Inc.

Ticket dispensers.

Thomco Insurance (Fun Pro)

Fun Pro is an insurance program especially designed for party planners and party rental businesses.

Richie's Italian Ice

Italian Ice Kiosks and Carts

Tokens Direct

A wide variety of tokens.

Precision Dynamics (PDC)

Wristbands with no hidden costs, Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Wristband System.

West Coast Netting, Inc.

Experienced netting manufacturer on the leading edge of innovation.

Challenger Industries

Sports surfaces, carpets and mini-golf surfaces.

Adventure Glass

Unique paddleboats.

Tarobots

Boxerjocks robotic boxing amusement ride game attraction.

GloCones

Flashing cotton candy cones.

Brunswick Bowling

Entertainment bowling center developer and manufacturer of bowling equipment and entertainment products.

Barron Games

Redemption air hockey games.

Kay Park Recreations Corp.

Picnic tables, grills, park benches, planters, trash containers and more.

Nieco Corp

Nieco automatic broilers.

Laser Star

Laser shooting galleries, laser tag, dark ride target systems, overhead target ranges.

Mahoning Valley Mfg.

A complete line of Imperial strollers, wagons and safari utility vehicles.

Muncie Novelty Co., Inc.

Admissions, financial equipment, printing and tickets.

Bulbtronics

A premier source for lamps, LEDs, batteries and lighting-related and electrical products.

Broaster Co., The

Food programs and food service equipment.

Coast to Coast

Coin-operated entertainment, crane machines.

Price Chopper, Inc. Wristbands

Admission, financial equipment and wristbands.

Playsmart

Patented soft play design, soft playgrounds.

Center Edge Software

Facility Management Software Solutions

Embed

Provides innovative IT products and services with a primary focus on card-based solutions and database applications for the leisure and retail industries.

Johnny Rockets
LMap Powered by Silvercrest
Premier Polysteel
Spectrum Sports
Cannonball Blaster
Funovation
Empex Water Toys