The 3 Biggest Mistakes of Opening a New Attraction

New attractions can be extremely profitable for your business, especially when you operate them the right way. But in our 20+ of experience, we continue to see operators make the same mistakes that cost them time, money, and profitability.

Learn how to avoid these mistakes and set yourself up for continued long-term success.

Mistake 1 – Failing to Plan for Operational Success

Opening an attraction isn’t enough to drive consistent results. You have to create an operational plan of action, and this plan starts with staffing.

To many operators will eliminate staff from attractions like virtual reality. Instead, they use floaters or expect the employee working the redemption counter to hop over and help guests as needed. This is a big mistake.

Customers are less likely to play an attraction if there isn’t an employee there to help them. A “see us at the front counter to play” sign doesn’t fix this. Sure, labor can be expensive. But if you eliminate labor for attractions that actually need it, you’re throwing money away.

If you staff these attractions, and you have really great training that allows your employees to engage customers and bring them in, your revenue will increase dramatically. In fact, Andretti Indoor Karting and Games gets 15-20% of their sales by having an employee answer questions.

Mistake 2 – Underutilizing Game Variety and Features

For this example, let’s use laser tag. During busy weekends, you’ll likely only use one or two basic game modes. This makes it easier to explain the games to new players and young birthday parties, and it prevents your staff from getting behind schedule.

But the slower weekdays provide the perfect opportunity to showcase different games. You’re investing in amazing equipment. “Rev the engine” of this system during slower weeknights to encourage traffic. Create recurring weekly promotions during which you can play new game modes. These promoted events will boost profitability on weeknights that would otherwise be slow.

It’s easy to fall into doing the basics. It’s easy. It’s familiar. But today’s guests have increasingly high standards for entertainment. Make sure you’re maximizing all your attractions to create the best experience possible.

Mistake 3 – Ignoring the Future

What happens when the “honeymoon phase” ends? With a little bit of planning up front, you can keep your guests excited and avoid hitting the 1 year wall.

Use what we call the 1/3/5 Plan. Plan for a small update 1 year in, a slightly larger update 3 years in, and a fairly big overhaul or addition 5 years in. This will show your customers that you’re reinvesting in their experience.

Plus, it will help you spread out the costs of the attraction, as you can make these investments over several years instead of going all-out at the beginning.

Set Yourself up for Success

These are all common mistakes, but they are easy to avoid. If you keep these recommendations in mind, you’ll have more success any time you add a new attraction to your facility.