The April/May issue of Tourist Attractions and Parks Magazine contains a wide range of articles, including an extensive section covering the F2FEC and Amusement Expo shows, a special focus on food service, and coverage of how waterparks and amusement parks handle the buildup to a new season in improvements and maintenance.
In The Large Park Report, articles include “Dreaming It and Theming It – Eateries with a Story at Large Parks,” discussing the ways in which dining and entertainment meet at theme parks and resorts. The Sprucing Up for Spring section covers topics such as “What Waterparks Know About Spring – A Time for Ride Renewal,” and “Completing the Maintenance Tasks that Matter – Advice from Amusement Parks” on the best ways to maintain and enhance park environments. A bonus sidebar features “Top Quick Fixes for a Bright Outdoor Landscape.”
The Buzz Boyz topic for this issue was “Perspectives on Industry Optimism – A Look at Amusement Expo, Dallas, Texas, Foundations and F2FEC,” from industry experts Scott Borowsky and Frank Seninsky.
The Entertainment Center Report features articles such as “Ideas for Great Events – Party Advice for Bowling Centers” and an accompanying Bonus Sidebar on “Tips to Celebrate the Star of the Show.” In “An Old Favorite Gets a New Twist: The Honolulu Hotdog” is the topic, while “Maintenance Routines to Keep Courses Up to Par – Tips for the Best Practices at Mini-Golf Facilities” covers ways to keep courses well maintained. “Escaping from Dirt and Grime – Keeping Escape Rooms Clean and Bright” covers cleaning at escape attractions when time between guests is brief. “Perspectives on a Vendor: Swipe Cards for Solid Performance” covers the Sacoa Swipe Card System.
The Entertainment Report Roller Skating Extra included topics such as “Getting Guests Hungry for More – How Food Can Create Satisfied and Skating Customers” and improve profits at roller skating centers. A bonus sidebar discusses “Top Tips to Sell More Food at Roller Skating Rinks.” The article “Pies for Sky-High Sales – Making the Best Pizza” describes the process of pizza purveying. The Laser Tag section includes “When the Focus Is Fun – The Best Arcade Games for Laser Tag Centers.” Also presented: “The 2017 Laser Tag Convention Organizers Report an Industry Hit.” The convention drew global buyers for a successful trade show.
Also in The Entertainment Center Report – “F2FEC: Lessons from the Give and Take” covers the most recent F2FEC conference outside Atlanta, Ga. “F2FEC: Making a Difference in the Family Entertainment Industry” reviews this topic at the conference. “Andretti Indoor Karting and Games Continues Winning Ways in Orlando” discusses the history and future of the Andretti Indoor Karting and Games franchise, while “Rounding Out the Fun in Branson – Tracks Family Fun Park Offers a Famed Ferris Wheel and More” looks at reasons for visitor enjoyment at this fun park. Accompanying the Branson story is a bonus sidebar on “The Branson Ferris Wheel Story.”
In “Scenes, Springs and Sustenance – Where the Movies Mix with Trampolines and Treats,” the idea of movie theaters and trampoline parks as a winning combo – plus food – is discussed.
The Street Beat section features “Games People Play – The Top Trends for Games,” which offers a look at trends and new games at arcades, bars, restaurants, and street locations. “Quick Actions for the Best Coin-op Staff – Top Staff Training Tips” is also presented, along with a bonus sidebar concerning “The Toughest Training Challenges for Vending Operators.”
The AAMA FEC Corner includes stories such as “Sweet Deals – Best-Selling Desserts at FECs.” Under the category of Zoos, Aquariums and Museums, food subjects are also key. “Light Bites and Sit-Down Meals – What’s on the Menu at Animal and Art Attractions” is accompanied by a bonus sidebar about “Selling More Beverages – Four Tips to Get Guests Sipping.” In the Haunted Attractions section, dining details are also on hand in “When Guests Scare Up an Appetite – Food Service at Haunts.”
In Amusement Rental/Inflatable News a discussion on keeping “Sales on the Up and Up – Training Your Staff to Upsell When Booking Events” is offered, discussing how party companies keep customers informed about all their offerings.
An Original TAP eNewsletter Feature
Industry Perspectives: Top Tips for a Well-Maintained Center
Bowling centers and skating rinks both share a number of attributes: large crowds of customers, snack bars, and plenty of fun for families, teens, and couples. But they also have something else in common: the constant drive to keep their facilities neat and clean. Here’s how they do it.
At Les & Jim’s Lincoln Lanes in Merrill, Wis., Owner Jim Arndt keeps checklists that he and his team are constantly addressing to make sure his bowling center is in top shape. “Our employees are constantly on the move and looking for things that need to be cleaned. We provide guidance in the form of a checklist of things that need to be done, for example when we assign a lane and when a lane checks out or leaves, our staff has a checklist to make sure the tables are wiped, the seats are wiped, the floor beneath the seats is swept up, that type of thing. We also have a system in place for clean-up right before a league begins and ends, and for our pin chasers as well.”
To keep restrooms at their best, Arndt suggests training employees, as well as using a professional clean-up service. “Clean restrooms are really super important. We have a clean-up staff that comes in first thing in the morning to make sure everything is prepped and ready to go. One of the things we really hammer on when we train our employees, is to always be on the lookout for anything that isn’t right, for anything that impacts our safety standards. So when our employees go into the bathroom they are looking for things like water on the floor, for paper towels that haven’t been tossed into the garbage. They take the time to make sure things are safe, picked-up, orderly, and neat in appearance in the bathrooms.”
Arndt also makes a strong effort to make sure his counter area is clean and neat, in order to create the best first impression he can on his guests. “We try to minimize stuff that is behind or around the counters. We try to keep any extra items out of sight and orderly. We make sure there is a minimalist approach to things,” he explains. “If employees are drinking soda, we tell them to keep it hidden behind the counter, and not around customers or visible.” Arndt says he has a place for everything, and that one of the ideas he stresses with employees is to keep everything in its proper place. “It’s part of the way in which we train our employees, to be aware and not have a whole lot of clutter around the counter areas. We don’t want the area to become a problem that looks cluttered or dirty.”
In Hilliard, Ohio, Eric John Whyard, general manager of Ten Pin Alley, says his best advice for maintaining a spotless center is a “combination of delegation, and making sure our staff knows you have to clean; no one stands around waiting for something to happen. We also keep lists, and then I always do a walk-through every day to make sure that there is nothing that needs to be addressed.”
Whyard notes that when it comes to cleaning restrooms, constant attention is key. “We check them every half hour,” he says.To create a stellar first impression at the counter, Whyard makes sure that clutter is eliminated. “We don’t display anything that doesn’t belong there. Everything we have going on at the center, that information is on a display wall. The countertop is clean and neat, and the only thing on there is our business cards.”
Lori Kottwitz, owner of The Bozeman Bowl in Bozeman, Mont., says the best way to keep a spotless center is have a cleaning company in daily along with well-trained staff. “We have a company come in at 3 a.m. every day, and then our lanes are mopped every morning by our own staff. The cleaning company takes care of restrooms as well. We also keep a to-do list for staff. That way they know they have to do certain things like wiping down tables and chairs, and making sure the balls are put away, the shoes are put away, and things like that. It’s really kind of a combination of a good outside cleaning service and having our staff follow a checklist,” she asserts.
For Kottwitz, it’s fairly easy to keep her counter area neat and clean. “We just don’t put much on it, other than handing the shoes out, taking them back, spraying them, and putting them away. We keep it pretty much clean of everything.”
In Roseville, Calif., David Jacques, owner of Roller King Skating & Blading, agrees with other center owners and managers that having a system in place to make sure cleaning tasks are handled is key. “You have to have a system in place if you are doing your cleaning in-house, and we do. You have to have things broken down daily, weekly, and monthly. And it’s important to have a checklist on top of that, so things won’t slip through the cracks. That’s the number one tool you can have, a system and a checklist.”
As to restrooms, Jacques notes “We keep restrooms as a part of our checklist of course, but we also use an outside vendor once a week. They come in to touch the restrooms up thoroughly.”
Jacques finds his counter the most challenging part of keeping his center neat and orderly. “We use the area behind it to store birthday cakes for parties, so it can be difficult. We do a hand-stamp system so kids are also always putting their hands down on the counter. We have a lot of glass around, so keeping that cleaned regularly, and keeping the counter space free of advertising and other clutter is key,” he reports.
And in Gresham, Ore., Josh Bird, assistant manager at Gresham Skate World Inc., calls his top tip for a spotless center “day in and day out maintenance.” Like other managers and owners, Bird keeps those all-important checklists for employees to follow. “They’re daily, weekly, and monthly. Just following that schedule is key. You can never let anything slip. You have to deal with things right away, as soon as a mess is created.”
When it comes to restrooms, Bird uses an outside company to do deep, thorough cleaning several times a year. “Other than that, it’s our staff mopping, scrubbing, and disinfecting after every session.” To present a good first impression with guests, Bird says keeping the counter organized is more important than anything else. “Make sure it is not overly cluttered, and around the counter area, make sure there are clear walkways, which is always important for the look of the center and for safety. If there are popcorn spills or people leaving skates randomly on the ground, we need to make sure we pick things up immediately. There can be an number of things left out like drinks on tables and we have to take care of that quickly, too.”
Keeping Signs from Looking Dated
How do bowling centers and skating rinks keep their signage from looking dated? Staff members share their tips.
At Les & Jim’s Lincoln Lanes in Merrill, Wis., Owner Jim Arndt has a system in place to prevent outdated signage. “On Monday mornings someone goes through the center, and looks at posters and signs. If there is anything that’s outdated they tear them down. Additionally, if someone brings in a poster they need to have hung, the manager on duty puts it on my desk to approve. We have one specific area of the building where we allow posters to be put up, and they all need my approval. It makes it easier when they are in one area and not scattered outside the building. Our in-house promos we do have throughout the building, but it’s on our checklist to go through and tear down any outdated posters.
In Hilliard, Ohio, Eric John Whyard, general manager of Ten Pin Alley, says the key to keeping signs from looking dated is to change them out a lot. “We’re always looking for different ways to brand our product. We have events throughout the year, and a marketing calendar lets us know when we need to change things out when it comes to the posters within our store.”
Lori Kottwitz, owner of The Bozeman Bowl in Bozeman, Mont. says she keeps her outdoor signage fresh with fresh paint when appropriate. “Inside, with posters and things like that, we really don’t have anything with our name on it. We have a bulletin board with other information on it, everything people want to post goes there.” She stresses , “There’s no other placement throughout the center. Having everything in one place makes it easy to keep information current and updated.”
In Roseville, Calif., David Jacques, owner of Roller King Skating & Blading says keeping signage fresh involves a regular rotation of sign information. “We have limited signage outside except for one large one that we repaint every few years. Inside, it’s all about that rotation, getting new items to put up, removing old ones. We have a couple of competitive teams, and they put signage up about competitions as well as hanging photographs of their champions. As the competitions end we take down the old signs, and put up new ones. It’s the same with the photographs.”
And in Gresham, Ore., Josh Bird, assistant manager at Gresham Skate World Inc., says his facility keeps some signs with an antique look on purpose. “We have wooden signs that deliberately have an antique look to keep them from seeming outdated. With posters, our vendor sends out advertising materials every couple of months and we make sure we replace them when they are outdated. It’s part of our general checklist to replace them, and to find spots to display new ones as soon as they are sent to us.”
News from Around the Industry
Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort and Spa Includes the SurfStream® Wave Machine
American Wave Machines, Inc., recently announced that the Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort and Spa, adjacent to TPC® Sawgrass, one of the PGA Tour’s most venerable courses, is the first resort in the United States to include the SurfStream® wave machine. The newly renovated resort featured former ASP World Tour Surfers Lauren and Todd Holland, owners of School of Surf – Cocoa Beach, Fla., providing surfing demonstrations and instruction on SurfStream® during opening weekend.
“The Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort and Spa has incredible potential to provide locals with tools for surf education never seen anywhere else,” said Todd Holland, former ASP Pro Surfer and owner of School of Surf, Cocoa Beach, FL. “People of all abilities will be able to get the fundamentals down and develop their skills in a cool setting at a beautiful resort. I’m stoked to be part of this.”
SurfStream® technology creates a deep cushion of water so riders can use real surfboards with fins to carve on an endless wave. With multiple wave types in one machine allowing for body boarding and surfing, SurfStream® is appropriate for riders of all skill levels.
“SurfStream® fits well with the Marriott innovative approach to delivering service and amenities to their guests,” said Bruce McFarland, president of AWM. “We’re looking forward to introducing surfing to the active families at the Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort and Spa.”