February 2018

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Breaking News

Foundations Entertainment University 2.0 at Amusement Expo Breaks 15-Year Attendance Record

More than 100 attended Foundations Entertainment University Class #44, held pre-Amusement Expo, May 25-26 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.  Now entering its 16th year as the #1 Ranked Education Program in our industry, more than a dozen traveled long distances from Russia, Ukraine, UK, and Canada.


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Nineteen of the more than 2 dozen sponsors also attended and gave presentations, also the highest participation rate in Foundation’s history.

Foundations owner, Frank Seninsky commented:  ‘The new 2.0 Foundations added several new topics that were well received in addition to the popular standards:

  • Testing Market Feasibility & Developing Your Business Case – Jerry Merola – AEM
  • What is an Experience Destination & How Do I Get There? – Frank Price – BU
  • Taking the Guesswork Out of Project Financing – Jerry Merola – AEM
  • The Design Process – Doug Wilkerson – Dynamic Designs
  • 7 Keys to Great FEC Design – Doug Wilkerson – Dynamic Designs
  • Contractor Selection – Peter Olesen – Entertainment Concepts
  • Modern Audience Trends – Kevin Williams – KWP Ltd
  • Virtual, Augmented and Mixed Reality – Kevin Williams – KWP Ltd
  • How to Market Your FEC – Frank Seninsky – AEM
  • Building Your Perfect Team – Frank Price – Birthday University
  • Mastering Food Service Operations One Meal at A Time – Jerry Merola – AEM




Doug McMurrain, El Passeo Colorado – ‘Invested two days and will make and save millions!!  Great people and great course!  Thank you.  P.S.  Food was really good!’

Brittany Critchfield, Lehi UT – ‘We got more actionable knowledge here in 8 hours than we did in the entire time we spent at other conferences.’

Mark Scheff, Jacksonville Ice & Sportsplex – ‘If this was easy anyone could do it.  FEU is the best collection of FEC authorities in the world.  Follow their lead and you will exceed your wildest expectations!’

Sandy Gregson, Moonwalkers Play Planet, Oliver, BC Canada – ‘Invaluable information that I would never have known otherwise. Great, fun & approachable speakers.  Super networking opportunities.’

Ben Rodriguez, El Paseo Colorado – ‘Thorough step by step course that explains the true foundations of the FEC business.’

Robyn Warner, UT – ‘Foundations gave me a great set of skills, tips, and networks to successfully get my FEC running.  I feel like I have eliminated potential mistakes I would make if I hadn’t attended.’

Mica Segui, Segui Enterprises, Tampa FL – ‘FEU has been an invaluable experience.  The topics are contemporary and have the potential to be game changing for both rookies as well as experienced operators.  Best education series attended to date.  Thank you!’


What I Learned at the Amusement Expo & Laser Tag Convention

But first, check out the Amusement Expo Compilation Video.

You all know by now, that if I am not presenting seminars, I am attending as many as I can to learn as much as I can.  That is also why I enjoy doing the YouTube Video interviews.  Here are some of my takeaways from the Amusement Expo Tuesday 25 Seminars, Laser Tag Convention Seminars, and walking the trade show floor:

  • There are 1200 laser tags in the U.S. Future looks great for laser tag as trampoline parks and theaters are two major sectors that will be adding laser tag to their mix.
  • Escape Rooms – revenue figures are starting to come in from A and B locations and some of the escape rooms are grossing $2000/week ($100,000/year) which is more than they cost, so that is a good thing.
  • Virtual Reality – was the ‘buzz’ and more than 50% of the attendees wanted to learn more about VR. There were six new companies showing VR systems.  The one I liked best was Hologate 4 Player by Creative Works.  They have more than 2 dozen systems out already and the average revenue is coming in and projected at $100,000/year.  This is also more than the system sells for so a 1:1 ratio is acceptable.
  • VR space requirements range from as small as half a party room to 300-400 sq. ft.
  • All VR systems seem to have the same dilemma – new software is required. Where is the software going to come from?  Another dilemma is low throughput.  I love attractions that have a capacity of 80 people per hour.  Always check out throughput/hour.
  • Tactical Laser Tag – there are about 50 indoor in North America and that is about 5% of the laser tag industry. Hybrid LT centers (tactical outdoor and laser tag indoor) are being tried and with some success.
  • Calories Count – Laser Tag is now counting calories. Laser Fit opened in downtown Los Angeles (3000 sq. ft.).  The customers are adults, not many kids are interested in this.  Too bad.  It could be a good thing for all children and teens.
  • 80,000 people per year visit the Laser Tag Museum at 4121 Shelbyville Road Louisville, KY.
  • March 28 is International Laser Tag Day. Free posters are available.  Contact Erik Guthrie at [email protected].
  • From Jerry Merola’s Seminar – The Retail Apocalypse – There are 1000 big box stores and 4000 medium size box stores currently available for the FEC industry at great prices as retailers close and continue to close stores across the US.
  • Millennials – Megan Johnson gave a fantastic seminar.
Read more  What’s Hot…And What’s Not –– Part Three


90% of millennials are very close to their parents.  40% of baby boomers (1974) felt they would be better off without their parents.

In 5 years 40% of the global workforce will be millennials.  In 10 years 75% of the global workforce will be millennials.

Millennials have a spending power of over $200 Billion/year.

80% want to work for a company that cares about its environmental impact.

80% view themselves as ‘leaders’.

90% check their texts, emails, and social media before getting out of bed each morning.

Each generation addresses a letter, email, text differently (see slide).

Click Here to see the Amusement Expo Videos that have been completed.  Other videos will be posted as soon as they are edited.



Technology Trends Seen at Amusement Expo

(Kevin Williams, KWP Ltd.)

Publisher of sister publication The Stinger Report, and friend of The Redemption & FEC Report charts some of the interesting trends and developments spotted at Amusement Expo 2018.

The Amusement Expo in Las Vegas proved a great proving ground for some of the trends we can expect to see grow in the amusement scene – one being the evolution of the prize and redemption sector.

Many of those that have read The Singer Report know my focus on the digital aspects and that of Video Redemption (Videmption). Amusement Expo had several of the latest Videmption titles on display, seen for the first time by many that had not managed to attend last November’s IAAPA.

On the Team Play booth, an innovation was the video bowler with a redemption heart, ‘Family Guy Bowling’ offers cartoon pin action based on the popular property and also includes the addition of a thermal printer.  This allows the operator to customize the redemption coupon printed from the machine.

The ticket and payment process for amusement machines also played a part in the Amusement Expo line-up with numerous developers of card systems showing their latest smart card platforms. The marriage between a “frictionless” platform and totally customizable infrastructure, even saw new “Wearable” payment platforms, such as the Embed RFID wristband system, and social media support.

Beyond unique customization, new technology in the Videmption scene saw the appearance of a production prototype of the new game ‘Mystery Island’. Developed and manufactured by Touch Magix, the system employs 3-D projection mapping – with the images overlaid over a physical model (in this case a rotating mountain path). The player controls the superimposed character collecting coins while avoiding skeletons and obstacles, on their route to the summit and big-ticket pay-out. A great mix of a fun game and technology – a final production version to be launched later in the year.

Another new Videmption technology presented was the latest transparent display game system from Jennison Entertainment Technologies, showing their new release ‘Gum Drop’ – incorporating the familiar ball dropping (pachinko-style) arrangement with a colorful video screen supporting the action.

Overall, the level of originality in the Videmption category on the show floor was matched by an interest in new technology to draw the emerging audience back to the FEC locations. Even traditional video amusement was focusing on a younger audience with the game ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ by Raw Thrills, offering not only a great three player brawler side-scroller but also promoted a strong Intellectual property. This was also seen with their two-player ‘Injustice Arcade’ fighting game, that also includes a card collection element popular with younger players.

Younger players were also targeted with new VR releases such as ‘Virtual Rabbids: Wild Ride’ – from LAI Games. This two-rider virtual reality ride experience uses the latest headsets and motion-platform technology. The system has also been specially developed to require minimum attendance support or no attendance, the players will show other players.

The first of a slew of VR products hoping to catch operator interest, the next few months will see a major increase in new releases, and we hope to bring the latest developments direct to you.

Editor’s Comments:  The AEM/Alpha Team will soon be testing Team Play’s ‘Family Guy Bowling’, are already testing Jennison’s ‘Gum Drop’, and looking forward to testing Adrenaline’s ‘Tomb Raider’ 4 Pl & ‘Rabbids Hollywood’ 4 Pl as well as LAI’s ‘Virtual Rabbids’ in a major amusement park this summer season.  We were overly impressed with Touch Magix’s ‘Mystery Island’ prototype, as it was the first time (Frank) has actually seen 3-D mapping technology applied to a redemption game.  This opens up a whole new world for our industry and looking forward to working closely with Touch Magix.

Click Here in the next few weeks to view video interviews with Touch Magix on ‘Mystery Island’, Team Play’s ‘Family Guy Bowling’, Adrenaline’s ‘Tomb Raider’ 4 Pl & ‘Rabbids Hollywood’ 4 Pl, Creative Works ‘Hologate’ VR, Modal’s ‘Ping’ VR, as well as other VR systems that are already posted on Frank ‘the Crank’s YouTube Video Channel.

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

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.


New Products & Technologies

LAI Wins AMOA Innovator Award – ‘Virtual Rabbids’

‘Virtual Rabbids’ – The Big Ride (LAI) was one of the 3 winners at the Amusement Expo of the prestigious AMOA 2018 Innovator Award.  With all of the buzz about virtual reality, The Big Ride is a 2 player sit down amusement ride attraction that does not require an attendant.

“We are greatly humbled and honored to have received such an important award,” said Mirry Glavan, Managing Director, LAI Games.  “The AMOA Innovator Award for Virtual Rabbids: The Big Ride. LAI Games is paving the way for innovation in the out-of-home entertainment industry, and awards like this confirm we are doing it right. We are very fortunate to have such a creative and passionate team who make innovative products like this possible.”

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

As reported “Virtual Rabbids: The Big Ride was created in partnership with video game developer Ubisoft, and features the Rabbids brand in three experiences suitable for all ages. The ride employs a D-Box motion platform, HTC Vive headsets, dynamic wind simulation, and hi-fi audio.”

Malcolm Steinberg, Chairman LAI Games YouTube interview IAAPA Expo 2017

Editor’s Note : Virtual Rabbids may seem a bit pricy, but if it can generate $1000/week or more, it will find homes in many entertainment centers worldwide.




How our lives will change dramatically in 20 years – by CEO of Mercedes

By David Delahunty

In a recent interview, the Managing Director of Daimler Benz (Mercedes Benz) said their competitors are no longer other car companies but Tesla (obvious), Google, Apple and Amazon.

  • Software will disrupt most traditional industries in the next 5-10 years.
  • Uber is just a software tool, they don’t own any cars, and are now the biggest taxi company in the world.
  • Airbnb is now the biggest hotel company in the world, although they don’t own any properties.
  • Artificial Intelligence: Computers become exponentially better in understanding the world. This year, a computer beat the best Go player in the world, 10 years earlier than expected.
  • In the US, young lawyers already don’t get jobs. Because of IBM Watson, you can get legal advice (so far basic stuff) within seconds, with 90% accuracy compared with 70% accuracy when done by humans.
  • So, if you study law, stop immediately. There will be 90% less lawyers in the future, only specialists will remain.
  • Watson already helps nurses diagnosing cancer, 4 times more accurate than human nurses. Facebook now has a pattern recognition software that can recognize faces better than humans. In 2030, computers will become more intelligent than humans.
  • Autonomous cars: In 2018 the first self-driving cars will appear for the public. Around 2020, the complete industry will start to be disrupted. You don’t want to own a car anymore. You will call a car with your phone, it will show up at your location and drive you to your destination. You will not need to park it, you only pay for the driven distance and can be productive while driving. Our kids will never get a driver’s license and will never own a car.
  • It will change the cities, because we will need 90-95% less cars for that. We can transform former parking spaces into parks. 1.2 million people die each year in car accidents worldwide. We now have one accident every 60,000 miles (100,000 km), with autonomous driving that will drop to one accident in 6 million miles (10 million km). That will save a million lives each year.
  • Most car companies will probably become bankrupt. Traditional car companies try the evolutionary approach and just build a better car, while tech companies (Tesla, Apple, Google) will do the revolutionary approach and build a computer on wheels.
  • Many engineers from Volkswagen and Audi; are completely terrified of Tesla.
  • Insurance companies will have massive trouble because without accidents, the insurance will become 100x cheaper. Their car insurance business model will disappear.
  • Real estate will change. Because if you can work while you commute, people will move further away to live in a more beautiful neighborhood.




  • Electric cars will become mainstream about 2020. Cities will be less noisy because all new cars will run on electricity. Electricity will become incredibly cheap and clean: Solar production has been on an exponential curve for 30 years, but you can now see the burgeoning impact.
  • Last year, more solar energy was installed worldwide than fossil. Energy companies are desperately trying to limit access to the grid to prevent competition from home solar installations, but that can’t last. Technology will take care of that strategy.
  • With cheap electricity comes cheap and abundant water. Desalination of salt water now only needs 2kWh per cubic meter (@ 0.25 cents). We don’t have scarce water in most places, we only have scarce drinking water. Imagine what will be possible if anyone can have as much clean water as he wants, for nearly no cost.
  • Health:  The Tricorder X price will be announced this year. There are companies who will build a medical device (called the “Tricorder” from Star Trek) that works with your phone, which takes your retina scan, your blood sample and you breath into it.
  • It then analyses 54 biomarkers that will identify nearly any disease. It will be cheap, so in a few years everyone on this planet will have access to world class medical analysis, nearly for free. Goodbye, medical establishment.
  • 3D printing: The price of the cheapest 3D printer came down from $18,000 to $400 within 10 years. In the same time, it became 100 times faster. All major shoe companies have already started 3D printing shoes.
  • Some spare airplane parts are already 3D printed in remote airports. The space station now has a printer that eliminates the need for the large amount of spare parts they used to have in the past.
  • At the end of this year, new smart phones will have 3D scanning possibilities.  You can then 3D scan your feet and print your perfect shoe at home.
  • In China, they already 3D printed and built a complete 6-storey office building.  By 2027, 10% of everything that’s being produced will be 3D printed.
  • Business opportunities: If you think of a niche you want to go in, ask yourself: “in the future, do you think we will have that?” and if the answer is yes, how can you make that happen sooner?
  • If it doesn’t work with your phone, forget the idea. And any idea designed for success in the 20th century is doomed to failure in the 21st century.
  • Work: 70-80% of jobs will disappear in the next 20 years. There will be a lot of new jobs, but it is not clear if there will be enough new jobs in such a small time.
  • Agriculture:  There will be a $100 agricultural robot in the future. Farmers in 3rd world countries can then become managers of their field instead of working all day on their fields.
  • Aeroponics will need much less water. The first Petri dish produced veal, is now available and will be cheaper than cow produced veal in 2018. Right now, 30% of all agricultural surfaces is used for cows. Imagine if we don’t need that space anymore. There are several startups who will bring insect protein to the market shortly. It contains more protein than meat. It will be labelled as “alternative protein source” (because most people still reject the idea of eating insects).
  • There is an app called “moodies” which can already tell in which mood you’re in. By 2020 there will be apps that can tell by your facial expressions, if you are lying. Imagine a political debate where it’s being displayed when they’re telling the truth and when they’re not.
  • Bitcoin may even become the default reserve currency … Of the world!
  • Longevity: Right now, the average life span increases by 3 months per year. Four years ago, the life span used to be 79 years, now it’s 80 years. The increase itself is increasing and by 2036, there will be more than one year increase per year. So, we all might live for a long time, probably way more than 100.
  • Education: The cheapest smart phones are already at $10 in Africa and Asia. By 2020, 70% of all humans will own a smart phone. That means, everyone has the same access to world class education.
  • Every child can use Khan academy for everything a child needs to learn at school in First World countries. There have already been releases of software in Indonesia and soon there will be releases in Arabic, Suaheli and Chinese this summer. I can see enormous potential if we give the English app for free, so that children in Africa and everywhere else can become fluent in English and that could happen within half a year.
Read more  The Redemption & Family Entertainment Center Report - June 2017 Section 2



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Fireball (Bay-Tek) Plexiglass Side Rails Support Modification

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

Problem:  The side rails that support the plexiglass shield on my Fireball games have been deteriorating over their years of operation (See Picture 1).  The wood started splitting at the bottom of the rail.

First, I swapped the rail to the other side which requires putting the splitting bottom into a top position in order for it to fit on the opposite side.  This worked fine because even though the split was now at the top, it was less visible.  However, regardless of the rail’s new position, the splitting continued to get worse.  Note that these games absorb a lot of vibration.

The easy solution would be to order 6 new rails for my three Fireballs but I did not see them listed as available at Bay-Tek on line.  The manual that came with these 15-year-old games did have them quoted at $30 each.  This seemed a little pricy if today’s price is triple that.

I opted to glue some white pvc lattice (1/4 inch thick x 1.5 inches wide x 37 inches long) to each of the side rails to keep them from further splitting.  I covered the white lattice with fire engine red duct tape (See Pictures 2, 3, & 4).

The total cost was under $25.  Total time spent was 1 hour (I work at warp speed).



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Industry Events March-May 2018

Dates Name/Link City/Country Frank ‘the Crank’ Attending/Speaking
 16 – 18  ENADA Primavera Rimini Spring 2018  Rimini, Italy
 17 – 19  CAE 2018 | China Beijing Attractions Expo  Beijing, China
 03 – 05  AAE Expo 2018  Guangzhou, China
 03 – 05  CIAE Expo 2018  Guangzhou, China
 03 – 05  TPAE Expo 2018  Guangzhou, China
 03 – 05  Asia VR / AR Fair & Summit 2018  Guangzhou, China
 04 – 05  Birthday University  Chicago, IL
 09 – 11  DEAL 2018  Dubai, UAE
 17 – 19

IAAPA Latin American Summit 2018

 San Jose, Costa Rica
 05 – 07  “On Campus” Continuing Education  Notre Dame, IN
 10 – 12  GTI Asia Taipei Expo 2018  Taipei, Taiwan
 20 – 22   IATP 2nd Annual  EU Conference & Trade Show  Amsterdam, Netherlands
 5 – 7  Foundations Entertainment University 2.0

 Big Thrill Factory  Minneapolis, MN

  ➡ &  💡
 13 – 14  Birthday University  Raleigh, NC   ➡ &  💡
 17 – 21  Bowl Expo 2018  Las Vegas, NV