June 2012

The Large Park Report

Public Relations at Large Parks – Strategies to Manage Real Time Reporters and Professional Fans
The exciting opportunity that real time coverage offers in quickly spreading news about your facility must be balanced with the fact that not every real time blogger has an audience worth seeking out.  The trick is to figure out which of these social media reporters warrant your time and attention and which ones are just hobbyists hoping for a new form of access.

Food Service Spotlight

Insights on Bowling Food Service – Best Operating Tips from the Nation’s Centers   

Food and beverages typically account for a full one-third of bowling center revenues. Regardless if they are snack bars and luncheonettes or full service restaurants and lounges, all bowling centers face the challenge of serving customers engaged in bowling across many lanes. From menu selection to service models, here is how some in the industry are making sure that they deliver what customers want.

Six Top Tips for Hiring and Training Great Order Takers and Servers

Food Heating and Cooling Tools – How the Right Kitchen Equipment Keeps FEC Kitchens Cooking 

Critical to the satisfaction of hungry customers at family entertainment centers is the right kitchen equipment, properly maintained, so servers can concentrate on maintaining quality customer service fast.

Amusement Rental and Inflatable News

Inflatables Safety: Taking Hold of Solid Practices  
Requiring customers to undergo training prior to rental is just one example of how the industry is striving harder to minimize or prevent accidents involving inflatables.  Here is a look at what some operators in New Jersey, which sets some of the most stringent rules pertaining to the operation of such attractions, are doing on this front.

Extra Precautions for Keeping the Youngest Guests Safe on Inflatables

Street Beat

Keeping FEC Arcades Profitable – Top Strategies from Coin-Op Machine Operators

Coin-operated machine operators who handle family entertainment center arcades are there for more than just servicing the machines. They can also offer advice to help keep FECs profitable in today’s world.

A Study in Profits – Examining the Audience to Succeed with Redemption Games

For operators to be profitable with redemption games, they have to know the market they serve.  Games and prizes that work well in taverns and bars might not bring a sufficient return on investment in a venue that targets younger families. Operators, who understand their demographic, experience success, which is the true prize.

AZA Focus on Exhibits

Big Cat Fever – Zoo Exhibits Educate While Promoting Visitation

Mysterious and powerful, lions, tigers and other big cats are always top attractions at zoos.  While zoo visitors love to see the wild animals, few understand the work it takes to ensure the well-being and safety of both the cats and their human guests.

AAM ∙ Spotlight on Exhibitry

Where Creativity Meets Community – How Interactive Exhibits and a Local Focus Are Transforming Children’s Museums

Children’s museums are a growing industry.  According to Association of Children’s Museums, in the mid-1970s, there were 38 children’s museums across the nation.  That number grew to 118 between 1976 and 1990, and, since 1990, an additional 125 children’s museums have opened in the United States. Beyond this growth, there have been dramatic developments in the focus of exhibits at these museums in the past decade, thanks to a proliferation of technology and interactive play.


Safety First  – There’s No Watering Down Guidelines at Parks Around the Country 

Summer sun usually requires a trip to the pool, beach or waterpark to stay cool when school’s out. But for waterparks across the country, entertainment is only one part of the experience. Behind the scenes – it’s all about making sure guests of all ages are safe.

Family Entertainment Center Report

Industry Owls – Finding the Money – Tips on Securing Financing  

As the country begins to pull out of one of the darkest recessions in nearly 100 years, both entertainment developers and existing operators are beginning to take the project plunge once again.  There probably couldn’t be a better time to do so, as the three metrics, real estate, interest rates and construction costs, are all aligned in the developer’s favor.

Mini-Golf & Go-Kart Report – Special Events Strategies – Creating the Perfect Children’s Birthday Party

Kids are a major driver of the popularity of mini-golf and go-kart parks. And when it comes to celebrating birthdays, parents want to give their children a memorable event. But creating the perfect celebration at these locations can be challenging. After all, there are a myriad of factors, ranging from accommodating multiple age groups and affordability to keeping it unique and meeting the often different requests from both parents and kids.

Mini-Golf & Go-Kart Report – Ten Tips for Creating the Perfect Kids’ Birthday Party

ILTA – A Message from the Executive Director

Thoughts on the season from ILTA’s Ryan McQuillen

ILTA – Laser Tag and FECs – An Attraction Takes Hold in a Changing Market 

Laser Tag has been a part of the family entertainment center experience for a number of years, but especially in the last five years that experience has changed dramatically.  Typically considered to be simply a “flavor” attraction, laser tag has proven its strength to FEC owners and has become an expected attraction in centers today.

BPAA  – Bowling Is Better Together – How Technology Is Reinventing the Game

Bowling is arguably one of America’s most popular pastimes with almost 70 million people bowling at least one game a year over the past 10 years. League play has shown some declines in recent years as a segment of former league bowlers opt to bowl alone rather than in organized groups.  This does not mean that bowling has declined as a sport, however.

Bowling Report – When It’s Time to Remodel – Bowling Center Renovations Bring New Amenities and a Modern Vibe

A group of college students walks into a bowling center near campus, but rather than leaving after playing a few games as in the past, they kick back in a separate lounge area, eating snacks and watching a baseball game on a flat-screen TV set. At another facility, a group of women enjoy a friend’s baby shower in a spacious, well-appointed lounge while their husbands bowl and watch their scores flash on overhead flat-screen monitors. Such scenarios are playing out throughout the United States, as bowling centers undergo extensive renovations that bring them into the 21st century.

Bowling Report – Top Tips for Choosing Color for Bowling Centers

Haunted Attractions

Wait Line Entertainment – Strategies to Build Anticipation for Big Scares

The mind inside the head of a haunted house proprietor can be a delightfully scary place, and devising new ways to scare the living daylights out of patrons in preparation for the Halloween season can be a blast. But some of the most important parts of the entertainment experience occurs in an unexpected place, in the line waiting to get into the main attraction.

Tips for Cutting Down on Wait Time

2012 Entertainment Center and Location-Based Entertainment Suppliers’ Guide

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