In 1998 Australian Ardent Leisure Group brought the Main Event FEC to the U.S., opening the first unit in Lewiston, Texas. Since then, the chain has grown to 50 units. On April 6, 2022, Ardent Leisure announced the sale of the chain to Dave & Busters for $835 million.
Now, another Australian firm, Funlab, is bringing one of its location-based entertainment (LBE) concepts to the U.S. Funlab has been very successful in Australia, where it operates 42 LBEs under nine unique brands ranging from bowling, augmented darts, karaoke, mini-golf, escape rooms, and arcade games. They have ambitious plans for expansion in the U.S., starting with several signed letters of intent for their Holey Moley Golf Club LBE. Funlab is hoping to take advantage of shopping center owners who are repositioning their centers as community hubs by adding apartments, offices, and other uses, including experiential tenants such as Holey Moley. We first wrote about Holey Moley in our eNewsletter in September 2018 (link to article).
Holey Moley Golf Club is an indoor competitive socializing LBE centered around highly themed golf holes. It differs from some of the other new indoor mini-golf concepts, such as Puttshack, as it doesn't rely on technology to make the gaming aspect of mini-golf entertaining. A Holey Moley venue consists of 18 to 27 mini-golf holes, each with a different theme influenced by pop culture and nostalgia. Holey Moley currently has 206 uniquely themed mini-golf holes that it rotates to keep its venues fresh. And they are continually developing new ones. They make sure the themed holes are not only fun and engaging, but also Instagrammable.
Funlab's Holey Moley targets ages 18 to 35. A little over half of its revenue comes from activities and little less than half from the food and beverage. The F&B revenues breakdown with beverages just north of 40% and food for the balance. Holey Moley prefers spaces of approximately 15,000 square feet.