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One-of-a-Kind Survey on National FEC Attraction Preferences

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.

 

About Randy White

Randy White is CEO and co-founder of the White Hutchinson Leisure & Learning Group. The 30-year-old company, with offices in Kansas City, Missouri , has worked for over 550 clients in 36 countries in North and Latin America, Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. Projects the company has produced have won seventeen 1st place awards. Randy is considered to be one of the world’s foremost authorities on feasibility, brand development, design and production of experience destinations including entertainment, eatertainment, edutainment, agritainment, play and leisure facilities. Randy was featured on the Food Network’s Unwrapped television show as an eatertainment expert, quoted as an entertainment/edutainment center expert in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, New York Times and Time magazine and received recognition for family-friendly designs by Pizza Today magazine. One of the company’s projects was featured as an example of an edutainment project in the book The Experience Economy. Numerous national newspapers have interviewed him as an expert on shopping center and mall entertainment and retail-tainment. Randy is a graduate of New York University. Prior to repositioning the company in 1989 to work exclusively in the leisure and learning industry, White Hutchinson was active in the retail/commercial real estate industry as a real estate consultancy specializing in workouts/turnarounds of commercial projects. In the late 1960s to early 1980s, Randy managed a diversified real estate development company that developed, owned and managed over 2.0 million square feet of shopping centers and mixed-use projects and 2,000 acres of residential subdivisions. Randy has held the designations of CSM (Certified Shopping Center Manager) and Certified Retail Property Executive (CRX) from the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC). He has authored over 100 articles that have been published in leading entertainment/leisure and early childhood education industry magazines and journals and has been a featured speaker at conventions of over 20 different leisure trade groups. Randy is the editor of his company's Leisure eNewsletter, has a blog and posts on Twitter - https://twitter.com/whitehutchinson
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