Editor's corner

It has been three months since our last eNewsletter issue. Fortunately for us, but unfortunately for our readers, our workload became extremely heavy during that time, delaying the writing and publication of this issue. It looks like our publication frequency will remain less than monthly for the near term, as we will be very busy into at the least the spring.

The opening of our Doha, Qatar, office in the Middle East has brought us a number of exciting projects. Our newest project is the development of a children's edutainment center in the country of Bahrain. The center will include both an outdoor adventure play garden and a rooftop children's sprayground (zero-depth water playground), perhaps a world's first. We are also assisting a client in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, with the design and operation of a children's edutainment/enrichment center. The center is located in a mall and has a large number of walk-in enrichment workshops, as well as a children's pretend village. The current staff of 24 is all Saudi women. Saudi Arabia is slowly liberalizing. and Saudi women now have the right to work.

Rendering of the new Fun Time Early Childhood Academy in Naples, Florida, designed by the White Hutchinson Leisure & Learning Group.

Our children's learning division recently completed the full design of a two-story, 25,000-square-foot child care center in Naples, Florida, that will serve 147 children and also house community organizations. One of its unique features will be a 8,300-square-foot landscaped playground on the rooftop. Fun Time is a replication site and a national model for several different types of programs including two literacy projects and an arts in preschool collaboration with the Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning.

While you are reading this, we will be conducting our 8th Foundations Entertainment University in Houston, Texas. Our next three-day workshop will take place in Chicago April 25-27. Registration information should be posted at www.foundationsuniversity.com by mid-February, as soon as we finalize the hotel arrangements. This will be the second Foundations to be held in Chicago. As we did at the first event, we will be visiting two FECs - the world famous indoor Enchanted Castle and the outdoor Sugar Grove Family Fun Center.

In this issue, we offer over a dozen interesting articles, including the début of our new guest author series, this one by Frank Price, the world's guru on birthday parties and the founder/owner of Birthday University. Being as busy as we are, it sure helps to get some writing assistance from industry experts. And as always, we are balancing our coverage with articles about both entertainment/edutainment and food. The articles about GameWorks and Who are fast-casual customers? both demonstrate the importance of food to the success of LBEs in today's culture. One possible reason why food has become such an essential component of entertainment destinations can be found in this month's article, How we spend our winter time eating. The article explains how eating has become defined as a leisure activity by many Americans and in other cultures.

We hope you enjoy this issue and find it informative. Don't hesitate to contact us with any comments. Just click here to send us an e-mail.

Randy White