From the Editor

The New Year has arrived and offers us all an opportunity for optimism and a future of good fortune.

The holidays gave us more time to expand this newsletter to eight articles. We hope you will find them of interest.

We couldn't resist letting you know about this accolade we received last month from a reader in Australia.

"Thanks for newsletter; they are true EDUtainment,
right at top with MOTLEY FOOL advice."

Of course, we don't always please everyone. We received an e-mail from one of the developers of a new interactive game for soft-containment-play equipment accusing us of panning their product. In last month's issue we commented that we "have serious reservations that it will prove to have the repeat appeal to merit inclusion in community-based facilities like FECs, where success is dependent on high repeat business." That wasn't a pan, only our opinion that we don't think it has a place in the FEC industry. We know of one installation in a tourist-type attraction where the product is performing well. Too often the location-based entertainment industry fails to recognize the significant difference between tourist and regional attractions like theme parks where annual repeat frequency is very low and community-based facilities that live or die on high repeat business. They are two different animals. Unfortunately, many community-based facilities have tried to model themselves with attractions found in tourist attractions and theme parks and joined the cemetery of industry road kill.

This eNewsletter is predominately targeted to neighborhood- and community-based family and children's facilities. We will continue to say things that no other publication does, probably because they are all too obligated to suppliers for their advertising to say anything controversial or negative. So you can love us or hate us, but at least read on.