Funovation’s Laser Maze Challenge® with Beam Buster® is getting a little bit spookier! Customers have the ability to update their Laser Mazes with a Halloween theme pack that includes themed interior components, updated game play music and sound effects, and seasonal backgrounds for their external monitors. This is available throughout the month of October and is sure to ghoulishly delight players of all ages.
The Halloween theme pack is the first in a series of seasonal theme packs that Funovation plans to roll out to its customers in conjunction with various holidays and events. Follow the company on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, orLinkedIn to be the first to know what’s coming next!
Since breaking ground in 1995, Wilderness Resort in Wisconsin Dells has been exponentially growing. With an indoor ropes course, over 30 different lodging options, and 19 dining options – Wilderness Resort’s guests will never be bored! In this Customer Spotlight, Chris Ebben, Wilderness Resort’s Director of Attractions, provides some industry direction as well as talks about the resort’s newest, high-tech, attraction.
1) What is your favorite part about managing a resort with such a diverse number of attractions?
CE: From go-karts to mini golf, our indoor ropes course, laser tag and our new Virtual Reality arena part of what makes the Wilderness so amazing is that there is so much for our guests to do. They never get bored or run out of fun things to do with their families. As the Director of Attractions, it is really rewarding to watch our guests make a ton of great family memories and leave our resort with smiles on their faces. It makes my day every time I hear a guest refer to us as their family’s “Happy Place.”
2) In addition to the laser maze, what are some other unique attractions that you have looked into or installed at Wilderness Resort?
CE: In addition to the Laser Maze Challenge our resort offers its guests four indoor and four outdoor waterparks, zip lining, indoor and outdoor mini golf, indoor and outdoor go-karts, a two-story laser tag arena, three room escapes, paint your own pottery, bumper boats and more. A complete list of all of our resort’s attractions and amenities can be found at WildernessResort.com.
3) How do you balance retaining existing customers and bringing in new customers? Is one more important than the other to you?
CE: We love our loyal customers but we also know new customers are important. That is why we feel it is critical to make improvements annually at the resort. We want to be viewed as a resort that is constantly evolving and catering to our guests’ feedback and ideas.
If you look at our resort history you can see how much we have grown and changed in the last 20 years – it is pretty incredible.
4) With all the different options for fun, lodging, and dining – Wilderness Resort must attract a wide range of guests. How do you manage to keep their experiences fresh and exciting?
CE: We try to add a new attraction annually. Plus, we realize the importance of providing an amazing customer service experience along with great attractions. We make it a point to talk to our guests whenever we see opportunities arise be it asking them if they need assistance when they look lost in our hallways or telling them to have a safe trip home when we see them departing.
5) Do you have any news or upcoming events that you would like to share?
CE: In June, we opened a new CyVRspace Virtual Reality Arena which has the fastest tracking of any Virtual Reality game system ever produced. It is beyond cool because it mirrors a guest’s motions in under one 20 thousandth of a second, offering true zero latency and hyper accuracy. It is amazing to see someone who is unfamiliar with VR technology literally quick-stepping around the virtual environment within moments of entering the arena.
Thanks for working this interview into your schedule, Chris! You can find more information about Wilderness Resort online.
Spartanburg, South Carolina’s first trampoline park opened its doors in October 2016 and they have been busy bouncing (and mazing) away ever since! With multiple trampolines, a battle beam, and much more – visitors to Big Air Spartanburg have to have a wild amount of energy. In this Customer Spotlight, Dustin Pelletier, Big Air Spartanburg’s founder and owner, provides some industry direction as well as talks about the world’s first trampoline Laser Maze Challenge.
1) What is your favorite part about owning, operating, and managing a trampoline amusement park?
DP: I truly love walking around and seeing all of our guests smiling and having a great time. We always wanted to have a place that is family friendly and seeing that come to life has been extraordinary.
2) In addition to the laser maze, what are some other unique attractions that you have looked into or installed at Big Air Spartanburg?
DP: We have the state’s largest Ninja Warrior course, a double-sided rock climbing wall, mechanical bull, an inflatable wipeout course, a toddler only trampoline area, and a battle beam. We are always looking for other unique attractions to add to the park to make sure we continue to be in the next generation of Trampoline Parks.
3) How do you balance retaining repeat customers and bringing in new customers?
DP: One of the things that makes Big Air unique is that we offer monthly memberships. These memberships allow our customers to come back as much as they want throughout the month for the same price. This is important to us because it generates a very strong and loyal customer base. Additionally, we are a new park to the area, so attracting new customers is extremely important for our success. Along with traditional print, radio, billboards, and mailers we rely on social media and email marketing to promote our park.
4) What is your favorite feature of the trampoline maze?
DP: Having the laser maze challenge on trampolines is absolutely my favorite part about the maze. There are a lot of laser mazes out there but we have the very first laser maze on a trampoline. It’s fun to watch our guests use them to jump over the lasers – this is something that they can only do at Big Air.
5) Do you have any news or upcoming events that you would like to share?
DP: We are excited to deepen our relationships with the community by sponsoring all types of local sports teams, giving generously to local schools, participating in local festivals and providing for needs for families as they come up. We believe that Big Air can have a tremendous impact on the community, more than just being a fun and safe place for families to jump on trampolines.
Thanks for working this interview into your schedule, Dustin! You can find more information about Big Air Spartanburg online.
What exactly is an Odditorium? Well there is only one way to find out – visit Ripley’s Believe It or Not! in Williamsburg, Virginia! After checking out the Odditorium, be sure to catch a 4D movie and race your way through the LaseRace! In this Customer Spotlight, Bill Thompson, Ripley’s General Manager, dishes out some awesome insight on the success of Ripley’s Williamsburg as well as their LaseRace.
1) Can you tell us a little about Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Williamsburg and the attractions that you offer?
BT: Ripley’s Williamsburg is open year round and with over 350 exhibits in 11 galleries. Our Odditorium contains interactive exhibits, optical illusions, an impossible LaseRace, Atomic Rush candy shop, videos, and one of a kind genuine artifacts – many of which were collected by Robert Ripley himself during his travels around the world! Our 4D theater will immerse you in a truly unique movie experience; it is accompanied by leg ticklers, water misters, scent machines, and a host of other sensory encounters. Next door is our Catfish Cove mini golf with 18 holes of fun! Ripley’s Williamsburg truly is great family fun for all ages.
2) Your LaseRace has been installed since 2009! How have you kept players interested in it year after year?
BT: Yes, our LaseRace has been here since 2009. It has been such a big hit that we added it to our admission ticket for the Odditorium so everyone can play – this keeps players interested in the attraction.
3) You recently updated the LaseRace to include Beam Buster. Have you noticed that players enjoy one game over another or are the LaseRace and Beam Buster equally popular?
BT: We have noticed that our customers still prefer speeding through LaseRace rather than breaking through Beam Buster. Once new players figure out how different of a game Beam Buster is they immediately love it!
4) How did you get into the amusement/attractions industry?
BT: Before managing Ripley’s here in Williamsburg, I managed a Blockbuster video store for several years. Managing Ripley’s is hands down the best job I have ever had! I love the day to day challenges and the varying crowds of people we get to see throughout the seasons.
5) What is your favorite part about your job?
BT: My favorite part about this job is coming up with new ways to improve our Odditorium. Attending IAAPA each year helps with this task, though I’m hoping that Funovation will reveal something new soon!
6) Are there any new and exciting things coming up at Ripley’s that you’d like to share with us?
BT: We recently had a very successful sword swallowing event! We are about to announce our new 4D show, “Angry Birds”, and we just installed a new Vortex Tunnel. Additionally, we have a top secret project that we are about to unleash 😊
Find more information about Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Williamsburg online. Thanks for working this interview into your schedule, Bill!
Do you want to splash around at a water park? Go bowling with your family? Race Go Karts with your friends? Throw an unforgettable birthday party? You can do it all at Wild Island Family Adventure Park! Wild Island is the biggest, locally-owned and operating water park and family entertainment center in the western United States. In this Customer Spotlight, Craig Buster, Wild Island General Manager, provides some key advice on running a successful family entertainment center.
1) What is your favorite part about managing a FEC?
CB: Dealing with the constant change in our industry and the operational unknown from day to day makes this business exciting and constantly new for me. But really, it’s a FUN business to be involved in AND you can work with great people! People come to your work to have fun so that makes it easy to go to work. An added perk is that my last name is Buster, just like Funovation’s Beam Buster! How cool is that!?
2) How did you get into the amusement and attractions industry? Do you have any advice for those starting out?
CB: I actually got into the entertainment industry by luck or accident. I had been close friends with the owners of Wild Island and they needed some help with the 3 new go kart tracks they opened. At the time, Wild Island had a two hour wait on the weekends and they needed help with some operational leadership; I was in my early 20’s and I thought that running a Go Kart track would be really cool, so I jumped at the opportunity! Fast forward 24 years and I am the General Manager and we now have over 100 employees.
My advice for someone getting into this industry would be for them to be very open minded, be progressive, and listen to your staff and guests. Lastly, anyone new to this industry should become very involved in the industry associations, seminars, and trade shows.
3) Can you tell us a little bit about the history of Wild Island?
CB: Wild Island began as a water park back in the late 80’s and then built three Go Kart tracks, and two 18-hole miniature golf courses in the early 90’s. We opened our year-round FEC (Coconut Bowl) back in 2003 and added 20 more lanes in 2007. In 2017 we still operate our water park (seasonally) and Coconut Bowl (which is now 72,000 square feet), additionally we have two Go Kart tracks and two miniature golf courses for outdoor attractions with plans to add more attractions in the near future – stay tuned!
4) What are some of the promotions, competitions, or holiday specials that you offer to attract customers?
CB: We offer family-friendly promotions for New Year’s Eve, season passes for our FEC and specials for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Veterans Day.
5) How do you balance retaining repeat customers and bringing in new customers?
CB: We serve many different demographics and types of customers but like most in the industry we cater to families. We believe by creating a great guest experience for families it will, in turn, bring us new customers for birthdays, bowling leagues, season passes, and general or open play customers by word of mouth.
6) How do you manage to keep guest experiences fresh and exciting?
CB: In addition to keeping our current attractions in tip-top shape, we try to add a new attraction to our FEC every three years. Whether its upgrades or routine maintenance we want ALL of our attractions to seem “like new” at all times.
7) How big of a role does theming and diversity of themes play in this industry?
CB: I believe theming plays a significant role in our industry depending on the business model that you are after. Our theming is very basic for most of our attractions but we want guests to feel completely engulfed in whatever attraction they are in so that they enjoy their time together.
8) How do you market your center? Which mediums do you find are most effective?
CB: We have found that social media gives us the most bang for our buck when it comes to advertising although we still utilize radio and TV as a percentage of our advertising budget. We started using digital billboards over the past couple years and have had decent results with that as well.
9) How important is it to cater to groups, retreats, and birthday parties? How do you specifically market to that segment of your customers?
CB: Kids groups, holiday parties, birthday parties, and corporate parties are a huge part of our business. We market to those guests in many ways – word of mouth usually works the best for us but being a part of the local Chamber of Commerce has also been very successful for these kinds of events. We will invite them out for a free Chamber of Commerce mixer so we can showcase our events capabilities and then we let our Group Sales staff take it from there.
10) How do you mandate and monitor safety at your FEC?
CB: Safety is one of our core principals at Wild Island. We have monthly safety meetings with our Management Team and we also have a Safety Committee that is a group made up of Supervisors from each department. They meet monthly and make recommendations to the Management Team, we implement those changes when possible. We also have daily inspections of all our attractions and we have “guest inspectors” visit twice a month. The guest inspector is someone from a different department that doesn’t do the daily safety inspection but can help our maintenance staff and give them a different perspective on daily safety inspections.
11) When deciding on new attractions or games, what factors are most important to you?
CB: Revenue per square foot that the attraction can produce, cost of the attraction, and return on investment are the key factors on determining a new attraction for our FEC. We need to make sure that the attraction fits a specific need that we are lacking as a business and that the ROI fits into our projected timeline.
Thanks for working this interview into your schedule, Craig! Visit the Wild Island website for more information.
Funovation Partners with Fun Spot to Put the Laser Maze Challenge on Trampolines
Funovation is delighted to announce its latest distribution agreement with Fun Spot® to bring its Laser Maze Challenge® featuring Beam Buster® to trampoline parks across the globe.
Whether players are dodging and weaving their way through a field of lasers in the Laser Maze Challenge or breaking as many beams as possible in Beam Buster, the addition of a trampoline floor brings the excitement and difficulty levels to new heights.
Funovation and Fun Spot’s offerings can be adapted to fit into a wide range of footprints. Each Maze is custom designed, built, and beamed, so no two mazes are exactly alike.
Ryan Borton, CEO at Funovation added: “Fun Spot’s caliber of expertise and industry experience combined with our technology makes this the perfect partnership for further expanding the Laser Maze Challenge to the trampoline industry.”
Arch Adams, CEO and President of Fun Spot added: “Fun Spot’s mission has always been to create quality products and pioneer innovation within the trampoline park industry. We know now more than ever how important it is to create a unique trampoline park with a variety of attractions. When we had the opportunity to partner with the leader in Laser Mazes it was an easy decision for us. Funovation not only shared our mission, but has helped us create a product that will soon sweep the trampoline park industry.”