The Fun Factor
For many holidaymakers, the lure of an arcade is an essential item on the wish list, providing hours of entertainment for the whole family.
For the park operator, selecting the right balance of amusements, games and gaming machines can be a precarious balancing act between customer satisfaction and maximum return on investment while still delivering the fun factor that keeps the visitors coming back time and time again. Historically, the first popular arcade attractions were early games such as shooting galleries, ball toss games and early coin-operated machines, such as fortune tellers and strength testers. More modern gaming has been led by the popularity of online games and casino games. Penny fall coin pushers have been Crown Direct’s bestselling lines in recent years and 2015 was no exception with The Simpsons-themed Donut Daze machine, which was the company’s the most popular product of the year.
“It’s not a case of games having a fixed shelf life, but you should always have something new every season for holiday makers to play, advises Dean Harding, managing director at Crown Direct. Many come back to the park every year, so you need to keep the offer fresh.”
Crown Direct is a leading UK supplier of all types of coin operated equipment, as well as operating third party arcades and owning a number of their own. The Wigan-based company supplies equipment to holiday parks and family amusement arcades across the UK and Eire. Supply can be by way of outright purchase, rental or they can operate your arcade for you on an income share basis.
“There is merit in both rental and purchase and it really comes down to the holiday parks view on capital expenditure and appetite,” explains Dean. “We have large and small holiday park customers that are complete opposites in their approach to their amusement requirements. Some buy, some hire, and some lease the arcade space to an operator. Also, if customers thinking of buying there are some good second hand games available offering great value for money.”
Dean stresses the importance of keeping all arcade equipment in full working order and advises his customers to consult their suppliers if anything goes wrong: “Arcade games can go wrong and break down - coins get into all sort of places in a machine. Seeking technical expertise is essential as maintenance and repairs are a skill.”
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