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On-site strategies for added income revenue...
On-site activities can mean the make or break for keeping the punters spending, both indoors and outdoors. Whether it is a soft play zone or an under-cover sit ‘n ride track, parks and resorts that offer thoughtful on-site entertainment are sure to stand out from the crowd. We are approaching the centenary anniversary of the creation of amusement arcades. Having totally outgrown their ‘penny arcade’ nickname, coin-operated machines have matured into a valuable added income stream that only the foolish would ignore. While penny fall coin-pushers, fruit machines and crane claw cabinets have stood the test of time, others, such as pinball machines and air hockey tables have made way for video-based games that can offer everything from Formula One motor racing experiences to the adrenalin rush of combat zone warfare. First introduced in the 1980s, top performing video games like Donkey Kong were still crowd-pleasers at a recent Haven stay as youngsters queued to compete in the weekly resort tournament.
Arcades tend to be crowded spaces filled with the roar of engines, gunfire and dozens of surging music tracks. People gather around to watch the top players vie for leaderboard positions. Spot the health and safety elephant in the room. Covid has put arcades under intense compliance pressure in the face of the pandemic. Controlling visitor numbers, regular wipe-downs, hand sanitisers and masks, have all become a regular routine that for some, has failed to pass the risk-assessment test, with many simply putting up the temporarily closed barriers. May 17th is the date that should see the arcade curtains raised. Don’t be caught diary watching though. Use the time wisely to refresh your thinking on arcades by planning the layout of your offerings. Remember ‘change’ machines are essential to keep the coins flowing while a couple of strategically placed vending machines, offering soft drinks and snacks, all add to the return on investment potential. A redemption counter, with a wide range of prizes to be exchanged for tickets won on the games, could be a focal point although, in reality, is often shoved to the back of the arcade room.
Holiday Park operators can either buy the games, or can lease machines on a time-limited basis, to ensure the arcade’s appeal is frequently refreshed. Others go the whole hog by bringing in specialists to operate their games room as a complete turnkey solution, picking the games, putting them on site and managing the arcade on a profit-share basis.
BUY VS LEASE
Launched in 1985, B.R. Leisure is the UK’s longest established, leading suppliers of licensed coin-operated kiddie rides, vending and amusement machines. A family-run business based in East Sussex, the company prides itself on a wide range of quality interactive entertainment machines available on a profit share or buy basis. “Offering exceptional service, we oversee everything from installation to maintenance,” says BR’s Brian Riley. “All customers have to do is supply a power socket and then sit back and watch their turnover increase,” Brian adds. “We work with shopping centres, amusement parks, family attractions, play centres, property developments, holiday parks and resorts all over the UK.” Over the last few decades, coin- operated kiddie rides have been constantly evolving and new machines are being produced all the time to keep up with the latest child obsession. From Postman Pat to Bob The Builder.
Machines can be rotated and replaced regularly to maintain children’s engagement as well as appeal to different age groups. Alternatively, BR Leisure offer a range of new and used machines and equipment available to buy from carousels to kiddie rides and from vending to amusement machines. “There are many benefits that coin- operated kiddie rides can have to your business, including an additional avenue of revenue and over time an increase in your profit,” says Brian. “However, there is so much more that kiddie rides and entertainment platforms can offer to your venue, and more importantly your customer,” he points out. “Once customers have inserted a coin, they have ‘invested’ in the machine and want to get their money’s worth. “They will stay for the duration of the whole ride, from start to finish, all whilst keeping the customer in your venue for longer.” World of Rides, the UK’s longest established family-owned manufacturer and distributor of children’s rides celebrated their 50th Anniversary during 2019. In addition to their world-beating 72 model range of 12v and 24v battery rides, they are also long-established UK manufacturers and distributors for many other award-winning themed ranges of 240v static children’s rides and games too with six new models already in pre-production development, largely due to the high demand from holiday park operators.
World of Rides are also the UK’s leading source of turnkey themed battery ride attractions for holiday parks, such as pollution free ‘parent and child’ Bumper Boat Aqua-Ball Pools, Bumper Car Tracks and Bumper-Ball Pitches, Go-Kart Tracks and Outlander- Adventure Trails, as well as full Driving Schools and a complete children’s play park and custom rides design service… to ensure family fun For everyone’ after the pandemic. Further to the Government’s ‘road map’ post-pandemic, the UK’s leading holiday park and holiday resort operators have already been drawing up their plans for reopening. Andrew Robinson, World Of Rides Sales Manager comments: “Always thinking ahead, holiday parks have been placing their orders since last winter for pollution-free battery rides in their parks, knowing that however short the season turns out to be for 2021, their attractions will almost certainly still achieve pay-back plus a profit, based upon their past-experience ofWorld of Rides’ hugely popular and profitable attractions. “The days of putting only one or two old battery rides on a track are now thankfully long gone,” says Andrew. “Especially as visitors demand shorter queuing times and the excitement of an unforgettable, fully interactive and highly competitive experience.”
As a result, they have constantly remained high on the wish-lists of many of the leading holiday park operators with many of whom still claiming that their existing attractions fromWorld of Rides are still their top earners. “All UK holiday parks will need to be placing their orders in the coming weeks, not months,” advises Andrew. He adds: “Whilst our delivery timescales still-remain achievable at around five weeks, in order to beat the even longer delivery timescales, already being forecast throughout the whole of our industry, due to the unprecedented demand for high quality and environmentally friendly attractions to offer to their visitors.” Because of the enforced Lockdowns, The Bank of England have predicted the public have amassed savings of between £150 and £250 billion pounds. Much of that cash will be splashed on their leisure pursuits. Return on investment will be a rich reward for those who invest wisely in their weatherproof entertainment attractions.
World of Rides