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Encourage New and Repeat Visitors with Silvercrest Advertising’s LMAP
First introduced in the food and beverage arena to give franchisees a cost-effective way to offer personalized promotions to area residents, Silvercrest Advertising’s Localized Media Automation Platform’s (LMap) state-of-the-art technology now extends the same benefits to operators of local amusement parks, zoos, waterparks, ice/roller skating rinks, laser tag facilities, go-kart tracks, miniature golf courses and other popular family attractions.
The system helps local tourist parks and attractions increase visitor traffic, save money on media buying, and better analyze the results of their marketing efforts.
Tourist attraction operators are provided with a login to an online tool that allows them to access advertising tactics that include – but are not limited to – print ads, door hangers, e-mail marketing, workplace media, free-standing inserts and solo mail pieces. After they select the tactics they’d like to use, they customize the pieces with their street address, the offer(s) they’d like to extend to their customer base and the offer expiration dates, and identify geo-targeted zip codes based on their desired demographic reach. The approved pieces are then submitted for production, and distributed utilizing Silvercrest’s media buying expertise and relationships with thousands of outlets across the country.
LMap was designed to accommodate varying marketing budgets, and data analytics represent another critical system benefit. Tourist attraction operators can scan visitors’ coupons to determine the number of pieces redeemed and which offers appealed most to individual demographic sectors. They can then determine the ROI on each marketing effort, and tweak their messaging for future consumer promotions.
Tourist Attractions & Parks Magazine eNewsletter Feature: Top Tips For Adding New Activities
Adding new activities is a great way for family entertainment centers, theme parks and waterparks to attract new business and sharpen their competitive edge. However, careful attention to selection and promotion is key to return on investment.
Evaluating potential activity acquisitions against a list of parameters and absolute “must-have” features constitutes a step in the right direction and heads off future disappointment on the part of operators and guests alike. This has become increasingly important given the current pace of technology innovation, according to Jeff Schilling, chief architect of experiences, Creative Works.
Spiros Anastasiadis, owner of Kids Fun City in Toronto, Canada, made such a list recently, when he decided to augment his facility’s selection of activities and bolster the earnings potential of an under-performing dance area. Criteria on the list of imperatives for the new activity encompassed a small footprint, the ability to accommodate multiple players at the same time (to boost appeal and profits) and an “auto-attendant” feature so a staff member would not be needed to run it. AtomicRUSH from Creative Works, an arcade-style game with LED lighting, touch screens and interactive play, fulfilled all three requirements, according to the operator, and is performing better than had initially been anticipated. The basic concept behind each game format revolves around colors and reaction time. Players choose a color, and the objective is to quickly tap the LED panels as their colors light up. The pace speeds up throughout the game, and in certain formats, players must move around to follow their color to different panels.
Vendors and operators alike suggested that often, resisting the temptation to bring in a new activity whose features don’t quite fit the mold pays off in the end because, as one source put it, “there’s hope for an upgrade or other twist that will turn out to be a better investment.” Such was the case for Miner’s Maze Adventureland at Heritage Square in Golden, Colo. Management had long wanted to roll out some type of laser attraction, but resisted based on the belief that space constraints would put a damper on the experience for visitors—making any investment not entirely worthwhile. This past summer, however, Funovation unveiled a line of Laser Maze Challenge™ Trailer Maze units that are in essence mobile versions of its Laser Maze Challenge™ game. The design of its Lazer Maze Challenge Trailer Maze unit yields Adventureland “flexibility for placement that allows us to maximize visibility and attract new customers,” despite tight space parameters,” said Miner’s Maze Adventureland Managing Partner Jared Vasold. Vasold cited “thousands of plays” within the first week of operation, a scenario that would not have been possible had a non-portable laser maze been shoehorned into the facility.
Assessing the flexibility of activity features as a whole usually bodes well for leisure entertainment facilities of all kinds, sources noted. “You can’t have a maze that’s too easy, or it’s not fun,” said Funovation CEO John Bonvallet. “You can’t have a maze that’s impossible, or that’s not fun.” Funovation’s mazes are designed with an “in-maze configuration” capability that permits staff themselves can adjust the number of beams and buttons to be used for a particular level of the game.
In many instances, breaking out of the mold by choosing an activity guests might not expect to find in a particular type of facility, or opting for one that paves the way for attracting an entirely different cadre of customers, is also a positive step. For instance, while a laser maze, NASCAR simulator an 5-D interactive shooting game were among recent additions to the indoor theme park at Kalahari Resort in Wisconsin Dells, Wis., a children’s rope course was also added to specifically to balance out the menu of new offerings, according to Spokesperson Samantha Flynn. Julian Cajina and Joe Roberto, owners of the Wonderland Castle family entertainment center in Richland, Pa., said they are attracting more of an adolescent crowd with the Art Attack (Phantom, Inc.) Time Freak attraction, which challenges players to race around a control room, attempting to beat the clock as they push buttons as quickly as possible to earn points. The addition of paintball and a zip line to heighten that appeal even more is now under consideration.
Once an activity or suite of activities has been implemented, it’s important to make as much of an effort as possible to play up its presence so as to maximize the attention—and profits—it generates. Packaging new introductions with other available options comprises one way to effectively get the job done. Wahooz Family Fun Zone in Meridian, Idaho, has long offered an Unlimited Fun Pass. When the MaxFlight flight simulator from the company of the same name was rolled out at the family fun center, management opted to put it within reach of more guests by including it on the roster of options available to pass-holders. Along with unlimited mini-golf, go-kart rides, laser tag, bowling and fun in the Kiddie Cove area plus a $5 game card, a one-time fee of $28.99 now buys as many MaxFlight rides as guests desire.