Chuck E. Cheese's $30-million remodel

Our poor bloggers only wish they could escape the Mouse House of Terror. Just like with death and taxes, there is no escape. In fact, the "land of the lactose tolerant mouse" (Chuck E. Cheese's) is not only increasing in numbers (now at the 500 milestone and climbing), but is also out to attract more kids dragging their parents along. A $30-million capital investment program is planned for 160 of its stores, including 60 to 70 major remodels, with $250,000 to $300,000 invested in each remodel. Many will feature Chuck E. Cheese's new exterior and interior identifies and also expanded game room areas. Some of the remodels will include expanded square footage for larger game areas.

Over the past four years, CEC Entertainment Inc., the operator and franchisor of Chuck E. Cheese's, has remodeled 40 stores, which led to 8-10% sales increases per location.

In addition to continuing to add U.S. stores in 2005, CEC is planning to expand its presence in Canada, where it currently has five stores.