the amusement archive for startups
After 30 some years, that standard indoor play structure is still the number one activity when it comes to driving traffic and party guests at the local children's entertainment center, or indoor party center business. Indoor playgrounds, soft play, climbing structure, jungle gym, soft modular play or simple playground equipment - whatever you call it, soft indoor playgrounds have really stood the test of time as a successful amusement attraction.
If you target young families with kids aged 2 to 12 years old, there are only a couple of activity options for 'active-gross-play' that have good through-put, low staffing requirements and minimal ongoing maintenance; soft indoor playgrounds and inflatable jumpers. There are other activities that have capacity for good through-put, like miniature golf, bowling, some carnival type rides and high ropes course. But all of these require either more build-out expense, some additional staffing and/or regular maintenance.
We all know inflatable bounce houses and jumpers are by far the cheapest way to get into and call yourself an "indoor party center" business. However, these inflatable bounce houses are a dime a dozen, often very noisy and are really a one-trick pony that mostly offers jumps and slides. In this writers opinion, your typical bounce house business could be a good business to start, in terms of capital required. However at the sign of your success others who are counting cars in your parking lot on a Saturday afternoon may be eager to get in on your action, and can do so by creating a better experience with the addition of a soft indoor playground structure.
Creating a successful, long term children's entertainment center business for ages 10-12 years and younger, is not just about how cheap can we do it, or how many inflatables we can stuff into an old warehouse. Nor is it about building the largest indoor soft contained playground you can afford and just watching the cash roll in. I would suggest, that the best formula for creating a successful indoor party center is to look at creating a purposeful design indoor playground climbing structure as the anchor attraction with an assortment of complimentary activities and a superior guest experience.
For the rest of this article, lets focus on the indoor play equipment.
Indoor playgrounds simply offer more play ability through a diversity of activities. Climbing, sliding, crawling, jumping, swinging, plus the added stimulation of a multi-level playground structure that encourages kids to think creatively as they explore a multi-dimension environment. I have nothing against inflatables jumpers or bounce houses, but I do see a lot of new amusement entrepreneurs who build their long term financial expectations on putting 5 or 6 blow-ups into a warehouse and waiting for the customers to pour in. There is a place for inflatables as part of well designed attraction mix for a children's party center, but I think (and the market has validated) the long term profitability of an inflatable only type business, is a difficult, low margin business to be in.
Try our FREE, no obligation telephone consultation service. Book some time with us and get your startup questions and concerns answered.
"I just wanted to say thanks for taking the time to chat with me. This was a very valuable conversation as it gave me a whole lot more to think about. Although I have done some research, our conversation opened my eyes to things I was unaware of. From lease negotiation and startup costs to a much better understanding of what and how our local community and area demographics play into our fun center planning. Time well spent and I would recommend others who are researching their startup, give your office a call. You were extremely selfless with information and provided an encouraging view based in Reality. Thank you."
"Thanks for taking the time to chat with us, we really appreciate your time and insight. We had some idea of project scope, but had no idea about all the minutia and details to consider for startup location and our funding. After speaking with you, we came to the realization that ultimately the project we were considering is more of our time than we can commit to, and would not have discovered this reality until much further along. Thanks for helping us determine our path forward."
"This was by far the best thing I have done for my fun center startup. You provided such great and unbiased information, some of which I did not want to hear, but so glad that I did. I now have the focus of mind to proceed with a lot more confidence and direction. I just want to say again, thank you for sharing these insights and your experience."
"I wanted to say thanks again for all of your time in answering my many questions, and helping to make me better understand the steps needed to see our dream of a family entertainment center business in reality. For the first time in this journey I understand how and why to prepare our plan for funders, and how to match my own abilities and financial resources to accomplish my goal. And yes, I would recommend others do take advantage of this service, I can’t imagine to find this much experience and honest at any price, none the less for free. Thank you."
Family Entertainment Center is part of the FEC Network.
Don't miss an issue - signup to our FEC Newsletter.
No worries, we are spam free and respect your privacy. You can unsubscribe safely at any time.
Office: 1+(604) 846-6572
Monday - Saturday 8am - 6pm
On the web since 1999, the FEC Network is the online amusement business resource for startups, owners, operators and suppliers.