Last month our company completed a national survey of over 4,000 adults on their participation in major attractions at family entertainment centers. According to the results, bowling continues to be the most popular attraction for community-based entertainment venues, with over 60 million adults having bowled at least once during the past twelve months.
As far as we know, this is the first national participation survey that has been conducted about the family entertainment center industry in the last decade.
Our survey found that bowling 18- to 24-year-olds showed the highest participation rate. Over three-quarters of participants were occasionally bowlers, having bowled four or less times during the previous past year.
These results are clearly attributable to the fast changing nature of bowling. At one time, league bowlers dominated bowling. Today, the primary customer base is the casual social bowler. Their numbers are growing as old run down alleys are either closing or being renovated and/or replaced by new upscale hybrid entertainment centers with multiple attractions.”
One of the survey’s surprise results was that miniature golf came in second as the attraction adults participated in at least once during the past year. We believe that the majority of miniature golf play takes place on vacations rather than at local FECs near people’s homes. Billiards came in third as the most popular attraction, followed by go-karts and laser tag.
For all the attractions, there was a strong positive correlation between income and participation, with affluent adults in households generally earning $100,000+ annually having the highest participation rates.
Bowling is popular just not in the U.S., but throughout the world, especially due to its group social dynamic. Our company currently has bowling projects under design in the greater Seattle area and in Amman, Jordan and one nearing completion of construction in Da Nang, Vietnam.