The list goes on…..
The above title is one of the most difficult and volatile questions that can be asked in the industry. The industry is full of sales reps, consultants (like myself), and operators that claim “blank is the only feature I would use in a park.” Or “The model we use works everywhere and I would never think of changing it.” These ideas are both wrong and dangerous.
25 years ago, a new product hit the market like a wild storm. LASER TAG. Anyone and everyone who opened an arena began making money. Location, training, management all played a small role in whether an arena was successful. The shear fact of their existence was what generated the cash. In 4 to 5 years later the market was oversaturated with facilities and subpar operational standards. The collapse of the market was felt worldwide. Many operators just closed their doors, several manufacturers appeared to disappear overnight. Laser Tag is not the only one, Bowling, climbing gyms, and now escape rooms and trampoline parks are beginning to feel the competition. This is very common when a new and exciting product comes to the market. Today we fight the same battle with single attraction facilities. Eventually your patrons will lose interest and move on to the new and shiny park down the street.
We fight this battle by innovating and bringing new and profitable features to the park. What should you add? That is a very complex question one cannot answer at a bar with a sales rep, or walking thru a trade show. Research must be done to pick the right feature. Price, market demographics, saturation, and product quality all play a huge roll in a features ROI. A park can spend large sums of money on a product that will never pay for itself or add to the facilities number of guests. Diversity is key to bringing large population into a park. One must spend the time and figure out who am I leaving out of the family when they come to play? Am I limiting myself with my marketing and age restrictions?
All the features above have been proven to increase revenue………but that is a misleading statement. Each time you hear this you must understand that your park is not their park. Each park, even in the same company. Has different needs and demographics. One must take into account all of the following questions when picking a new feature.
- Cost of the feature and its ROI?
- Continual maintenance costs of said activity?
- Training to keep it operational?
- How much does it cost to run?
- How much does it generate per square foot?
- Will it bring in more customers?
- Will it invite current customers to spend more money?
- What are its demographics
- Do I already hit this demographic?
- Is it inclusive or limit the clients I bring in?
- Area competition