Mature adults are an untapped and emerging market. Most businesses are coming to realize they can no longer ignore mature adults. Why? The primary reason is a tremendous reversal of fortune. Older adults have gone from being the poorest segment of society to the richest. People over 50 represent over 50 percent of all discretionary spending. Family attractions can tap some of this with the grandparent market.

The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) conducted a nationwide survey of 1,500 grandparents in November 2001. Some of the findings clearly indicate revenue potential for family leisure facilities. Some of the relevant findings were:

  1. The average respondent became a grandparent at age 48.
  2. 68% of grandparents see their grandchildren every one or two weeks.
  3. Grandparents spend an average $500 annually on their grandchildren; 33% spend between $500 and $2,500.
  4. 90% said the reason they made purchases for their grandchildren was to entertain or have fun with them.
  5. 35% of grandparents took their grandchildren to an amusement park, 32% to a movie and 84% out to dinner during the previous six months. They were not asked about other community-based leisure facilities such as FECs, but from this it can easily be interpolated they also took them to those.
  6. Overall survey results suggested that grandparents are more likely to attend a function where they can eat/dine with their grandchildren.
  7. 60% said they would like to participate in events with their grandchildren that are organized specifically for grandchildren and grandparents.

In many countries there are more extended families and a larger percentage of grandparents live close to their grandchildren compared to the US (in the survey, 45% of grandparents said "living too far away" was the major reason for not being able to see their grandchildren). There, the potential grandparent market could be even larger.