News Flashes from Tourist Attractions & Parks Magazine

Bavarian Inn Lodge Opens Two New Waterslides: $3 Million Phase VI Renovation is ‘Thank You’ to Guests

After 84 working days, 220 cubic yards of concrete, more than 12,000 gallons of water and 506 feet of twisting, twirling fun, the Phase VI expansion of the Bavarian Inn Lodge is complete.

The $3 million renovation of the Lodge’s indoor Family Fun Center features two four-story waterslides. Also underway is a facelift to its popular 18-hole, indoor mini-golf course.

“This latest phase is really a ‘Thank you’ to our guests for allowing us to serve them for 26 years,” said Judy Zehnder Keller, president and founder of Frankenmuth Bavarian Inn Lodge.  “The Family Fun Center celebrates the most important aspect of Bavarian Inn Restaurant and Lodge, family. Our family has been serving guests for four generations and we’re dedicated to providing a family entertainment experience second to none.”

In addition to the waterslides and mini-golf course, the Lodge’s 35,000-square-foot entertainment venue boasts more than 100 video and redemption games, food, refreshments and live entertainment. The Lodge is now equipped with four indoor pools, one with zero-depth entry and one for adults only. Overnight guests of the Lodge are invited to use the Family Fun Center as part of their stay.

“The Lodge is unique in that it offers entertainment for all ages and abilities,” said Zehnder Keller. “Some destinations are just for kids or young adults or seniors. Our facility provides a wide variety of activities that appeal to every interest, and that can be enjoyed together, as a family.”

The two waterslides promise fun to children of all ages, 42 inches and taller.  Participants walk up four flights inside the new water tower, which features eight glass-block windows salvaged from the Frankenmuth Brewing Co. From there, riders can select from one of two waterslides, an individual body slide and a multi-person tube slide. Both slides offer a thrilling ride.

Zehnder Keller has celebrated many milestones during the three-month construction, including a “Raise the Roof” event in October, where six multi-generational family businesses were honored for their more than 600 years of continuous service, and their contribution to the Phase VI expansion.

The renovation will add some 30 jobs to the Lodge, bringing employment to 300. Dozens of Michigan-based suppliers were used on the project including R.C. Hendrick & Son, Inc., which has built all six phases.

Space Shuttle Atlantis Is Welcomed to New Home

The Space Shuttle Atlantis recently arrived at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, along with the thousands of visitors and more than 30 former astronauts guiding its way.

The orbiter’s new home is part of a 10-year master plan created by St. Louis-based PGAV Destinations.  The project is being constructed by Whiting-Turner Contracting Company and managed by Delaware North Companies Parks & Resorts, which has operated the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex on behalf of NASA since 1995.

“Dave” Corriveau Joins BozoWorld of Entertainment As Co-Founder and CEO

BozoWorld LLC announced recently that Dave Corriveau, co-founder of Dave and Buster’s Inc, has been designated to conceptualize, launch and develop “BozoWorld of Entertainment,” an innovative 25,000-square-foot Restaurant/Entertainment complex with descriptive slogans that include “Fun for All Ages!” and “Funnest Place on Earth!”

The inaugural BozoWorld Restaurant/Entertainment venue is currently scheduled to open on New Years Eve 2013. Corriveau, 61, served Dave and Buster’s (est.1982) in various capacities during his 25-year tenure, including the former offices of President, Co-CEO and Co-Chairman before exiting in 2007 as part of a successful going private transaction with a New York City- based private equity firm taking place in early 2006. His passion and primary focus at D&B’s was in the areas of front-of-house, amusement operations, new store development and continued conceptual evolution.

“I’m more than excited about the opportunity to spearhead the creation of what I consider ‘something special’ as well as applying the wide spectrum of knowledge harvested during my 30-years of experience within the restaurant/entertainment industry” said Corriveau, “not to mention how much fun and what a helluva ride we’ll have doing it!”

BozoWorld LLC, owner of exclusive global identity rights to the “Bozo” brand for restaurant/entertainment concepts, was recently formed by two successful EdTech entrepreneurs who currently serve as CEO and COO (respectively) of an international online education company with home offices in Los Angeles, Calif.

“As seasoned entrepreneurs, we could not be more proud and honored to partner up with a true, proven and successful restaurant/entertainment pioneer in Dave and look forward to his leadership in developing the BozoWorld brand into a global enterprise.”

“In addition to a ‘can-do attitude,’ Dave brings a wealth of industry expertise and known management talent that will serve to the benefit of future BozoWorld customers, staff members and equity investors,” stated the partners, who will also serve as Co-Chairs on the BozoWorld Board of Directors.

BozoWorld is a new venture that will own and operate as well as partner with well-qualified food and beverage operators to open its locations worldwide.

Special Tourist Attractions & Parks Newsletter Feature Story
Business Strategies: Improving Appearance and Operations at Leisure Entertainment Facilities

Like all establishments these days, leisure entertainment facilities cannot rest on their laurels or previous reputation to cultivate a return clientele. These days, ongoing improvements in facilities and operations are a must.

Written checklists and/or other documentation dictating specific procedures that must be performed, and with what frequency, is critical. Otherwise, some important step will be forgotten and small improvement projects may become big ones.  At Swings-N-Things Family Fun Park in Olmstead Township, Ohio, a formal policy outlines maintenance-related steps that are to be followed daily prior to opening, according to Owner and President Tim Sorge. For example, one directive mandates that the entire rail line on the go-kart track gets a thorough going-over (and, if necessary, a “tweaking”), and the attraction is not to open to guests until any necessary maintenance has been performed.

Similarly, a checklist created by Becky Olbrych, co-owner of Wheels Family Fun Park in Durham, N.C., contains guidelines for such procedures as daily examinations of arcade games and weekly walk-throughs along the miniature golf course to look for tears in the carpet that may need repair. At Jungle Rapids in Wilmington, N.C., tires on go-karts are scheduled for monthly replacement. And for 49’er Family Fun Park in Grass Valley, Calif., the maintenance checklist for the four-and-a-half acre facility includes going over every piece of equipment, and every inch of the grounds every day. Daily maintenance on all components comprises about four hours per day on go-karts, two hours on games and the miniature golf course, and the remainder, other areas and overseeing the general areas of the park.

Steps for maintenance of any kind, no matter what the schedule, should be as specific as possible. For instance, Jane Farrell Turf & Carpets suggests that leisure entertainment facilities with a mini-golf component break documented maintenance procedures into daily and weekly/bi-monthly categories, as well as lay out procedures for handling specific problems.

The same is true for operational practices. Notably, Harris Miniature Golf recommends that procedures for everything from cash handling at the front desk and in the concessions, to opening and closing facilities daily, be written down and made available to employees for reference. Suggestions for improvements should be solicited from staff members, as well as from guests.

As for improvements to the physical plant of leisure entertainment facilities, these need not be major in nature. Allen Marsa, owner of Holiday Bowling Center & Lounge in Hallandale, Fla., has found that re-painting and re-carpeting his establishment is a cost-effective way to upgrade without breaking the bank.  Holiday Bowling Center & Lounge recently completed a refurbishment that included new carpet and new interior and exterior paint.

Vendors offer a range of affordable carpet and paint options. Flagship Industries touts commercial-grade carpet manufactured from 28-ounce pile. It is available in several different bright colors, some of them neon, and in intricate patterns. Omega Carpet Works’ collection  features “themed” carpets in motifs geared toward specific types of leisure entertainment facilities. Several options depict bowling pins, strikes and similar bowling alley motifs; a design for children’s facilities is decorated with brightly hued crayons. In a somewhat different vein, Art Attack services a broad range of leisure entertainment facilities with two- and three-dimensional airbrushing as well as the creation of custom murals and backdrops.

Refurbishing or upgrading individual attractions and other components of leisure entertainment facilities can also make a world of difference, again at a less-than-exorbitant price. Castaway Cove Waterpark in Wichita Falls, Texas, recently renovated its waterslides, all of which were repainted. A refurnishing of the water network and pools was also undertaken.

Caribbean-themed props have been added at Ocean Breeze Waterpark in Virginia Beach, Va., while Cordova Bowling Center in Cordova, Tenn., has replaced multiple bulbs and projectors that rotated in different directions with 28 programmable colored fixtures that are linked together to present a coordinated light show in tandem with the facility’s smoke machines. Harley’s Simi Bowl in Simi Valley, Calif., last year installed a high-tech fully, programmable control system with eight standard programs, chase, race and pulse modes, and Terrace Lanes Bowling Center in Frederick, Md., completed a modernization project that added LED lighting to the fluorescent component, along with three 180-inch projection screens.

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