Editor's corner

We're taking on some interesting projects, including working with one of the largest high-speed indoor go-kart chains to modify their new projects to include more attractions and become a social destination with a destination restaurant and bar. In October I will be heading down to St. Kitts in the Caribbean for a new eatertainment project.

In September I will be giving a major presentation to the Minnesota Shopping Center Association titled ‘Can Entertainment Help Save Shopping Centers and Malls?' Then in February I am giving a two-hour workshop at the annual NAFDMA (North American Farmers Direct Marketing Association) Agritourism Business Conference on ‘Mega Trends You Need to Know to Future-Proof Your Business.' NAFDMA represents the agritourism/agritainment industry including farm markets, corn mazes and pumpkin patches, u-picks and many other farm-based attractions.

I am pleased that I was an advisor and some of our company's out-of-home entertainment research is being featured in a soon to be released Industry Insights report by the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), “Expanding Entertainment Tenants Add Experiences to Shopping Centers.”

We have a content rich issue for you with 14 different articles on a wide range of topics, including continuing coverage of the evolution of the consumer and out-of-home entertainment venues.

We've been told by one of the industry's leading consultants that we are too negative in our coverage of the out-of-home entertainment/leisure industry by discussing how competitive it has become and the much higher bar for success. We really don't understand how entrepreneurs as well as existing operators can ever expect to be successful if they don't fully understand the growing competition, which is just not other venues, but literally every option people have for their limited discretionary leisure time. It is also critical to understand the trends of changing consumer socio-demographics and culture. Unlike said consultant and others who are always painting a rosy picture about the industry, I guess in hopes of attracting clients, we believe in telling it like it is, which means it might not be a good fit for some entrepreneurs. We consider it our duty to help our clients make good business decisions. Sometimes the best advice is to do something completely different than they originally thought or to just not do it at all. Yes, we often tell clients their project is not feasibility, unlike some suppliers and consultants who are always positive in order to get to sell their equipment or get more work.

This may be our longest eNewsetter ever, great for your late summer reading. We are especially pleased to have Kevin Williams as a guest author who gives great comprehensive coverage to the rapid expansion of digital immersive venues and virtual reality attractions. And Linda Beckring in our office has written a great article on a unique form of multispecies social eatertainment she visited. And I share with you some of my travel trips to help you keep travel as stress free and healthy as possible.

We're also excited to have included our first animated GIF in one our articles to illustrate the trend shortening cycle.

Also, don't forget to follow me on Twitter or Linkedin where I post news and articles relevant to the community leisure venue industry.