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'tiki Blast' Comes To Cowabunga's Hooksett!


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#1 Cowabungas NH

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Posted 14 March 2016 - 06:57 PM

Hey gang!
 

Haven't updated things here in a while - we've got exciting stuff going on (and stressful!) -- 

 

Hooksett has been open for 4 years now, and our second location in North Reading, MA has been open just over a year. Both stores are doing great.

 

Hooksett is the smaller town. In January, a trampoline place opened up the next town over - it hasn't hit our business much *except* for february vacation week; they did their big grand opening that week, and we were down about 30% in sales. All other weeks have been up about 15% to LY. 

The trend in Hooksett has been to change up layouts and stuff often; forcing customers to not get too comfortable and seek us out to see what's what - it has helped, but over 2015, we kept it close to our belt as we navigated opening the second location. We were saving our pennies for some sort of change, but we didn't know what. Bouncies are great, but now that we're doing more business, i was feeling the pressure to mix up our offerings and venture out of our comfort zone.

 

We went to IAAPA with an open mind, and chose to install a "Ball-ocity" type feature, a climbing structure with the usual slides and obstacles, with nerf blaster guns to shoot balls all around; all custom designed and themed.. (~$90k, indoor playgrounds, intl on the west coast; they've been great) -- there are several basic climbing structures in a 15mi radius, 2 facilities that have it as their main attraction, with nothing much else) -- This thing is great because it's a climbing structure with so much more to offer.. the perfect thing to step up our game while keeping things familiar for guests.

 

We called it 'Tiki Blast' and made a fun logo for it and are in the process of hyping it up like crazy -- www.mycowabungas.com/tikiblast - facebook has construction updates and stuff, too.

 

I am confident this will give us a nice spike in business, and give us some legs to go the next few years.... I feel like this is not the best time to debut something new (the onset of our quiet period...) but maybe it'll drive business at this time.. (I like to hit a reset button in the fall)..

 

The MA store is doing great with just bouncies, and we figure at around year 3, if we like it, we'll dream one of these up for there. We're knee deep in working out a 3rd lease, but now the pressure is on to open that one with one of these, too, which makes all my upstart costs spike like crazy...

 

.. We opened the entire first location for less than what we paid for this thing, so it's surreal we're knee-deep in this install right now.

 

I haven't shared in a while, thought I'd update ya! Surf's Up.

-matt

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Edited by Cowabungas NH, 14 March 2016 - 06:58 PM.

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#2 CapitolOnlineAuctions

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Posted 15 March 2016 - 02:26 AM

Sounds great!

#3 KeepitBouncin

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Posted 15 March 2016 - 01:35 PM

How do you plan to charge for this attraction? I've seen it done a number of different ways. 

 

What installation route/package did you select? The manufacture sends supervision and hires local union laborers?



#4 Cowabungas NH

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Posted 15 March 2016 - 04:14 PM

We charge $10 for all-day admission for kids -- this will reside in our main gym at the same admission rate. Our party pricing will see a small increase in sept. We thought to increase it to $12, or to charge separate, but opted to keep it simple, and continue to make it up via party bookings. our private gyms will remain "just" bouncies, but they all get free admission to our main space at the end of their party..

 

Installation - they all flew in from the west coast.. seems like a 3 man crew with one rep from china. they all seem well versed in the process. 15 day install.


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#5 rufusjack

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Posted 16 March 2016 - 11:14 AM

I hope you plan on keeping this a while as the salvage value on these is horrible.  We had a unit that filled a 80' L x 12' W x about 14' H.  I bought 2 sets used and put them together.  I believe they have a good life.

 

In my area there is a place called Going Bonkerz (Columbia, MO) that has a huge indoor playground.  

 

Good luck and as always thanks for sharing your experiences!



#6 KeepitBouncin

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Posted 16 March 2016 - 01:46 PM

We charge $10 for all-day admission for kids -- this will reside in our main gym at the same admission rate. Our party pricing will see a small increase in sept. We thought to increase it to $12, or to charge separate, but opted to keep it simple, and continue to make it up via party bookings. our private gyms will remain "just" bouncies, but they all get free admission to our main space at the end of their party..

 

Installation - they all flew in from the west coast.. seems like a 3 man crew with one rep from china. they all seem well versed in the process. 15 day install.

What's the through-put number on the soft-play structure you're installing? I always wonder how you could calc. your ROI on a soft-play without charging as a separate attraction. I know most center use it as their anchor attraction so it's built into the admission price into the center. I always said that I would have one if I ever opened up an indoor center.


Edited by KeepitBouncin, 16 March 2016 - 01:48 PM.


#7 Cowabungas NH

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Posted 16 March 2016 - 08:14 PM

I know I should have some hard numbers on that, but honestly, we don't...  We knew we were faced with needing/wanting to update our gym.. We could have gotten new bouncies and freshened our layout up for a lot less, but the decision making happened to fall with good timing tax-wise -- we needed a big purchase to offset some numbers for the year, so this helped in off setting that, too. . It is replacing two large inflatables (in reality, the size is 40'x25', so it is considered "small/medium" in size as these things go, but big enough to make a big impact for us) --- We know we can fit 4X the amount of kids inside this unit than on those bouncies at one time - and then we factor in LY numbers via our budgets and forecasts...

 

5% of sales for the year is our reinvest amount on equipment. This alone was 10% for the year. We squeezed it in for 2015, and now we'll keep 2016's reinvest numbers close back to 5% (maybe even 3%) and rely on this thing to keep us focused.

 

For me, I think ROI as big picture. Does the facility as a whole compete with other offerings? With no shortage of kids in the area, will they continue to choose US if we keep the attractions updated? Can we offer unique stuff that pushes our birthday party packages? Not sure if that's entirely smart, but it has worked out well for us so far.



#8 allstarinflatables

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Posted 17 March 2016 - 02:51 AM

I remember 4 years ago when you were just opening up shop. Congrats on your success Matt and family. 


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#9 Ashlees Bouncy Castles

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Posted 17 March 2016 - 09:02 AM

I love hear the success of Cowabunga's. Look forward to hearing more in the future. Good luck on your new adventure! 


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#10 cocosfunhouse

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Posted 15 January 2019 - 12:51 PM

What was the name of the company for the tiki blast?






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