December 2017

Elaut Top Quality Entertaining The World AMUSEMENT & GAMING

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Breaking News

Foundations University Welcomes New Sponsors to its Family of 40 Sponsors

  • Alpha-BET Entertainment – Revenue Share Partners to the FEC Industry (a partnership between Betson and Alpha-Omega Amusements)
  • Appsolute Applications (AppsApps) – Website Development (learn how to change your own content easily) and Marketing for FEC’s
  • Dynamic Designs – Top Rated Architect in FEC, Bowling & Restaurant Industry
  • Studio 41b – Designer & Manufacturer of Escape Rooms – Partner in Dynamic Designs
  • Tailormade Branded Solutions – Promotional Products & Logo Apparel for FEC’s
  • Creative Works – Moves Up from Gold to Platinum Sponsor

Foundations Entertainment University 2.0 Will Be At Amusement Expo 2018

February 25-26 (Sunday-Monday)


2018 will be the 16th consecutive year for Foundations Entertainment University, the industry’s #1 Ranked Educational Seminar Program.  With more than 1350 graduates and more than 250 FEC’s that got their start with Foundations, the NEW Deluxe Foundations University 2.0 is for new bees, FEC industry veterans, and service providers who want to learn how to be a part of the #3 growth industry in the U.S.

What’s New in 2.0
• More Topics
• More Networking
• More “What Works & What Doesn’t”
• More Site Visits
• Guest Speaker
• Social Media Marketing
• P&L’s for small, medium & large centers
• Webinars
• Interactive website
• …and so much more!!!!


A & A Global Banner



The 2018 Foundations Schedule for 3 additional sessions:

  • Big Thrill Factory (Minnetonka, Minnesota) June 5-7 Voted Best FEC in North America (Winner of IAAPA Brass Ring Award 2017)
  • Dallas or Houston Late Sept or Early October
  • The Funplex (Mt. Laurel, NJ) Late Fall/Winter

Read more about Big Thrill in ‘AEM/Alpha News’.

Alpha-Omega Amusements & Sales is Your One Stop Shop for Everything Related to Amusement Games

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Quotes from Foundations Entertainment University Class #43 Chicago 2017.

  • Yvonne Muhammad (Fun Town, Chicago, IL) – The love that you have for this industry was very well demonstrated over the course of these 3 days. Your level of energies went unwaived. From beginning to the very end and we’ve had some long days; yet, your days were even longer.The tools that you’ve left for us is a true testament to the words that I Each presentation – WOW! I am overwhelmed. Thank you. A thousand times more thank you. You’ve placed in our hands, invaluable information that if we follow correctly would make it next to impossible for us to fail. Another testament to that fact that you want us to be successful.The bond and the respect that you have amongst your team speaks volumes. The wealth of wisdom, information, and experience contained within each one of you; yet, all of you walk with great humility. I can’t wait until I grow up and become just like you. Don’t ever stop doing what you do.’
  • Maggie Kapinos (AMOA Staff, Elk Grove Village, IL) taking the full Foundations course – ‘I think you have an amazing thing going. So very enlightening and educational.  Appreciated the knowledge base. Fantastic work.  Keep the breakouts (those are great).  I was one person and I wanted to attend all of them!’
  • Dave Wilson (All Kids Play Designs, Whippany, NJ-industry veteran) – ‘Most outstanding educational seminar series in the industry – bar none!’
  • Marilyn Webber (Blane Entertainment Partners, Blane, MN) – ‘Everyone thinking about FEC/Bowling/Trampoline Park. should take this course. The amount of knowledge (tried & true) is second to none.  It is a must!  I wanted more time at Punch Bowl Social – Foosball was so fun!!’
  • George Green (Playground Surf, Lighthouse Point, FL) – Best seminar that I have ever attended in 35 years. Top quality speakers that were lively and knowledgeable.  What did I like least about Foundations?  Absolutely nothing; everything was great and worth all the money spent on travel, lodging & food.  Thank you so much!!!’
  • Tom Hamilton (Rush VR, London, UK) – ‘Thank you for an incredibly valuable and thought-provoking few days. I have re-assessed my business model and feel confident I have saved potentially TONS of money!!’



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IAAPA Roundup – as reported in Tourist Attractions & Parks ‘Buzz Boyz’ Dec. 2018

IAAPA – Still the major show of the year!

Fact:  This was the largest, most attended, and highest energy IAAPA that we have attended in the past 30 years and was reported to be the highest attended and most booths EVER. The manufacturers & suppliers brought everything new that they had for family entertainment centers. [Tourist Attractions & Parks strongest section is the Family Entertainment Center Section].

Read more  The Redemption & Family Entertainment Center Report - October 2017 Section 1

The coin-op section has gotten much larger. We have never seen so many new games introduced.  It was a full 4 days for us to get to see them all.  Both of the Buzz Boyz were busy doing video interviews and learning from some of the legends in the industry. (we highly recommend viewing the informative interviews with industry icons Eugene Jarvis, CEO Raw Thrills; Malcolm Steinberg, Chairman of LAI, Time Zone, EMBED; Eric Verstraeten, Group CEO Elaut; and Jorge Mochkovsky, Founder CEO Sacoa.

Here is the playlist of all of the Frank ‘the Crank’ YouTube Videos, including an overall compilation:



The first 3 days were extremely busy.  A lot of business, a lot of leads.  The Industry is doing very well. The strength of redemption continues however, video saw some great new games.

Merchandise and Retail were also bigger this year as well.  There were more souvenir, gifts, and novelty vendors at IAAPA this year than in the past.  Licensed plush displayers were exciting to see even though almost all of the plush suppliers have private shows outside of the Expo in Las Vegas.

Foreign exhibitors are doing developing more hi-tech products.  Several companies from Great Britain marketing as a group had a section of virtual reality (VR).  The Chinese and Koreans were more aggressive than in the recent past, all looking to sell products into the U.S. market.  An increase in the number of foreign exhibitors indicates that these companies are getting more comfortable selling in the U.S.

One trend we noted was the number of company receptions that took place each evening, celebrating their special anniversaries – Bay-Tek, Sacoa, Fun Factory, Apple Photo. It seemed there were more parties than scheduled IAAPA events.

We found that the food area was not as promoted as we expected that section would be. In general, people are looking for better quality food and beverage choices—an example of this trend-bowling is offering better food and focusing on craft beers.




Tickets vs. Ticketless – Interesting New Research

Digital goods are, in many cases, substantive innovations relative to their physical counterparts. Yet, in five experiments, people ascribed less value to digital than to physical versions of the same good. Research participants paid more for, were willing to pay more for, and were more likely to purchase physical goods than equivalent digital goods, including souvenir photographs, books (fiction and nonfiction), and films.

Participants valued physical goods more than digital goods whether their value was elicited in an incentive compatible pay-what-you-want paradigm, with a willingness to pay, or purchase intention. Read More.



Tickets-Tickets-Tickets Ticket Crane – The Absolute #1 ROI Game!!!

This inexpensive small footprint crane, designed by Frank ‘the Crank’ and his Alpha/AEM Team is almost always ranked in the Top 5 in Revenue in redemption locations.  With a cost of only $1895 NEW and a footprint of less than 6 sq. ft., you can easily see why it is the #1 ROI Game in the industry now for more than 5 years. The ‘Secret’ to this game is in how many of each of the two ticket bundles are used, when the redeemed ticket bundles need to be added back, and of course, everything depends on what your actual ticket value is and what price/play you desire.

The Return on Investment (ROI) of this merchandiser is through the roof and therefore are our best profit centers. The ROI of our Ticket Candy Crane for 2015 was 5000% ($50,000 Net Rev/$1000). The ROI of our Knock It Off Rotary for 2015 was 3333% ($100,000 Net Rev/$3000). Both ROI’s are actually much higher, perhaps even double. I used $1000 as the value of the Ticket Candy Crane and it is much closer to $500 as it is a very old Smart Candy Crane that we made some adjustments to. I used $3000 as the value of our 10+-year-old Knock It Off Rotary and that value is more likely $1000 or less, but be assured that I have no intentions of ever selling it. Both games should go to the Amusement Game Hall of Fame!


Amusement Entertainment Management, LLC, we offer a full range of consulting services, including early-stage feasibility analysis, business plan development, funding assistance, and conceptual design and layout services.

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Coast to Coast/Elaut and Alpha-Omega Sales jointly manufactures ‘Tickets-Tickets-Tickets’ that is sold exclusively through Alpha-Omega Sales under the ‘Frank the Crank Approved’ label. Tickets-Tickets-Tickets has been on the market since June 2016 at the very reasonable price of $1895 FOB East Brunswick, NJ.

Based on testing two Tickets-Tickets-Tickets for 2 years in B+ ranked locations and the Ticket Candy Crane for 4 years in an A+ location, the 3 cranes have averaged approximately $1000/week gross with a ticket win% of 30%. The ROI on Tickets-Tickets-Tickets is estimated to be a net of 1650% (after prize costs have been deducted) or 17.5 times its purchase price (including shipping & sales tax). Not too bad of an investment! Even if you place Tickets-Tickets-Tickets in B locations and average $500/week gross, that is an ROI of 825%. If you are a revenue-share operator with a 50/50 split, then your ROI would only be 412%.

Read more  New Products & Technologies - The Redemption & Family Entertainment Center Report - Feb 2016

Call 732 616 5345 or email [email protected] Frank to learn more about Tickets-Tickets-Tickets Crane.




Kokomo’s FEC for Sale in Saginaw MI

Asking Price $2,900,000.

Sales Memorandum.  Kokomo’s Family Fun Center, Inc. Proprietor’s name(s) Harold A. Shilling, Jr. Contact details – Cell 989-714-5222, email [email protected]. Confidential Document ID: 11/03/2017 17:47:22.302

Introduction. Saginaw, Michigan.  Kokomo’s FEC is located on 27.86 acres (Driving Range is 16 acres of the total) and pays approximately $35,500 in property taxes. Kokomos provides an indoor/outdoor recreational setting that allows individuals, families, businesses, and organizations to have fun.

Our attractions include Go-Karts, Miniature Golf, Bumper Boats, Laser Tag, Euro Bungy, Roller Coaster, Batting Cages and an outdoor Golf Driving Range. We specialize in birthday parties and group outings.

Year established & ownership details. Business was built in 1996. Hal Shilling and Bud Umbach are the original creators and owners.

Improvement made in the last few years

  • New roadside sign
  • New metal roof for arcade building
  • New heating and air conditioning units
  • New go-karts
  • New Player Card system
  • New video games added yearly
  • Added Euro Bungy trampolines
  • Converted indoor dome to outdoor driving range
  • Obtained Tavern license to sell beer and wine
  • Complete redesign of the business website.





Why the business is an attractive proposition to a buyer. This business has operated successfully for 21 years. There is virtually no similar competition within a 50-mile radius. Local competition includes Chuck E Cheese, Sky Zone, a bowling alley and movie theaters, but nothing on the scale of our complete family entertainment center. The facility is clean and well maintained. Sales have exceeded $1 million per year since inception. We believe, in conjunction with AEM, that there is a lot of potential revenues to be realized with a minimum of investment.

The complex is housed mainly on 12 acres with the driving range adding an additional 16 acres. There is plenty of room for expansion. The business is accessed from a main arterial road that has approximately 25,000 cars per day. The foundation for a 34,600 square foot inflatable dome is in place, including blower system and furnace.

Reason for Selling:  I (Hal) have reached retirement age and am currently drawing social security. I would like to fully retire and relocate to Florida.

Brief business highlights – Products and Service. We offer many different attractions. Outside attractions include miniature golf, go-karts, bumper boats, Euro Bungy trampoline, batting cages, roller coaster and golf driving range. Indoors we have video arcade games, laser tag and birthday party rooms.

Main promotional methods.  Most of our promotional dollars are spent on radio advertising between May and September. Approximately $50,000 per year is spent on 5 different stations. Our website is essential to our success with over 10,000 visitors per month. We offer online booking of birthday parties and purchase of gift cards. We are active on Facebook with 5,000 likes. Our roadside digital display message sign is seen by 25,000 cars per day. We have offered Groupon discounts and other 2 for 1 coupon offers in various local marketing campaigns.

Customer profile.  Our core customers are from 8 years old to 21, but all age groups enjoy the facility. Most of the younger customers are brought by mom and dad or grandpa and grandma. Birthday parties are a big part of the business. We also get a ton of school groups, especially in May and June. Company outings are also very popular, especially since we added beer and wine two years ago.

Main advantages over nearest competitors.  We offer a wide variety of things to do. We are not one dimensional. The average stay time is between 1.5 to 2 hours. Our outdoor attractions are unmatched (or do not exist) in our marketing area. We offer a clean, safe environment that is often mentioned by our customers. Our theme has a tropical Caribbean flair which adds to a state of relaxation for our customers. Key market facts prioritizing market size, the trend direction, and market share There are approximately 150,000 people within a 10-mile radius of the business and a total of 350,000 within a 20-mile radius. The average household income in 2010 was $41,000. The population base declined in the previous decade but in the most recent decade has leveled out and has actually shown a slight uptick in the last couple of years.



Staffing. We rely mostly on high school and college students, paying them minimum wage or just slightly higher. We may have as many as 60-70 people on staff from May through September, and only 30, or so, for the remainder of the year. From the ranks, we have developed four or five managers who assist in opening and closing procedures, as well as managing the remaining staff. We use the ‘WhenToWork’ online app to schedule employees. It is very effective and well received by the employees. We also have a maintenance person responsible for general repairs and lawn maintenance as well as a game-technician who is responsible for arcade game maintenance. We have an overall general manager who is responsible for scheduling and inventory purchasing.

Read more  Introduction to ‘Frank’s Ranks’ Spreadsheets

Number of employees: full time: 5; part-time: 50; Sales channels used Due to the service nature of our business all activity happens at our physical location. However, birthday parties and gift cards can be booked or purchased online. Document ID: 11/03/2017 17:47:22.302 Page 3.

Price and Terms:  Asking Price $2,900,000.

Type of business sale:  This sale is a sale of all business assets including land.

Required buyer qualifications:  Buyer must possess adequate financial means to finance the business purchase.

The transition of business ownership:  We are flexible on providing assistance on the business transition. Much of the operating procedures have been reduced to checklists or narratives that will assist the new owner in a quick transition, but we are willing to stay on as long as needed to ensure a successful transition.

Future developments:  The main business opportunities: The foundation for an inflatable dome is already in place. The previous dome wore out after 19 years and has not been replaced. The furnace and blower system are also in place. 16 acres of the property is currently being used as an outdoor driving range. This property could easily be converted to a higher use, such as a pitch and putt golf course, or perhaps an RV campground. The additional uses are only limited by your imagination.

The challenges and risks.  We cannot control competition, so this has always been one of our concerns. Over the years we have seen another golf dome come and go and a golf driving range comes and go. Two years ago, Sky Zone trampoline park came to town less than a mile from our facility. The nearest bowling alley has also tried to convert over to a fun center in the last 5 years by adding video games and now most recently laser tag. All of this has had minimal impact on our business probably because of our wide diversity. Another area of concern is keeping up with the latest trends. Who knows what the next one will be. For example, two years ago we converted to a player card system that essentially did away with tokens and tickets in the arcade and gave us greater accountability over our attractions. This modernized the facility at a cost of nearly $100,000. Technology is changing quickly and no one can say what the next big thing will be.

New or emerging competitors.  Nothing in the last 12 months.




Ask Frank the Crank 

How to Repair/Upgrade a Broken Plexiglass on a Bay-Tek Shoot n’ Hoops Basketball Game

Ray Dachik, Mid-West Regional Manager/Technician, Alpha-Omega Amusements

The plexiglass fractured on one of my two Shoot n’ Hoops basketball games the day before Thanksgiving.  Rather than ordering a rather expensive replacement plexiglass that has to be perpetually cleaned, because it blurs the shooter’s vision with smudges, scratches, and crack lines, I decided to use a little creativity and come up with a better mousetrap.  In the process, I also wanted to find a way to stop the basketballs that get outside the shooting zone.

I had some scrap metal pieces in the backyard:  a rod and garage door track –  and replaced the plexiglass on both sides with these metal pieces and constructed a net frame.

Below is a detailed drawing of what I now refer to as ‘Back at Ya!’ and three pictures showing the finished upgrade.


The total cost was $20 and it took me a few hours of labor on a very slow day.  I ended up saving my company some money and, even better yet, I save time each week not having to clean the plexiglasses and chase down basketballs that ended up behind the game.  And the playing customers like the basketball games more now and show this by putting more money into them!!!!!  Note that this Upgrade can work on any model of basketballs and other industry games that have plexiglass and/or escaping balls over the top of the game.



Industry Events January-March 2018

Dates Name/Link City/Country Frank ‘the Crank’ Attending/Speaking
16-18 EAG International Expo 2018 London, UK
25-27 AMOA State Council Meeting San Diego, CA  ➡ ATTENDING
28-30 IAAPA FEC Summit Laguna Beach, CA
31-1 Birthday University Orlando, FL
6-7 LaserTAG360 Indianapolis, IN
25-26 Foundations Entertainment University 2.0 Las Vegas, NV  ➡ ATTENDING & SPEAKING
27-1 Amusemnet Expo Las Vegas, NV  ➡ ATTENDING
1-3 RAAPA Expo Spring 2018 Moscow, Russia