I can never predict from month to month what articles will appear in this eNewsletter. What inspires me to write different articles depends on what news we run across or what topics are on my mind or prompted by projects we are working on. However, one article trend will be evident: more coverage of food and beverage. That's because from our experience and extensive research into successful entertainment concepts, it's our opinion that new community-based leisure businesses shouldn't even open if they're not interested in taking food seriously and making it a significant part of their business -- between 30% and 50% of revenues. Yes, that's right. Without quality food, you won't have the formula for success. You need quality food to drive frequency, often more so than the entertainment. And you need to benchmark the food (including level of décor and ambiance) to such consumer expectations as is seen in the booming fast-casual restaurant concepts. (See article elsewhere in this issue.) In this issue, we have three articles that address food and beverage. Continuing coverage will appear in future issues.
An interesting development in the entertainment industry that seems to be becoming a trend is the removal of violent games from family facilities. In August, we wrote a major article about research showing that playing violent games results in both children and adults developing aggressive behaviors and personalities and decreasing their pro-social behaviors. It appears we are not alone in that opinion. As you'll read in this issue, the country's largest movie theater chain is removing violent games from all its cinemas, based upon parental complaints. Think about it. If movie theaters now consider violent games as inappropriate at an entertainment destination that attracts families, what opinion will mom have of facilities that still include them?
Along those same lines, I was pleased to see at the recent AMOA show in Las Vegas that violent games seem to be present in smaller numbers. However, there are still some very graphic ones in which players shoot humans, such as The Last Bounty Hunter, where players shoot a hand-held gun at videos of real people.
My two seminars at Fun Expo, which ran simultaneously with the AMOA show, were very well received. One was on children's edutainment and the other on developing your brand. Sometime in the near future, I will be writing an article summarizing the brand seminar.
Our Leisure eNewsletter now appears to be the only free e-newsletter with article and content targeting the location-based entertainment industry. Eric Minton's The Loop has now gone to paid subscription. It's still a great buy for $22 a year, and we highly recommend it. Learn more in one of our articles.
And lastly, we are pleased that our company was selected by Old Sturbridge Village, one of the country's oldest and most respected living history museums, to assist in reinventing it for the consumer of the Millennium. We recently conducted a preliminary evaluation of the physical facility, interpretation and operations. We look forward to continuing to assist to redefine how a museum can become more relevant to the learning styles of contemporary families.