Amusement parks, family entertainment centers, and more are making plans to reopen this year thanks to more vaccine availability and a better understanding of COVID-19 protocols. With big names already open like Disneyland, tourism officials expect a significant rebound from 2020. It’s also creating new amusement trends that owners and operators should be following for success.
Even smaller businesses are preparing, like in Connecticut, to reopen movie theaters, bowling alleys, indoor museums, and more on June 20. Being prepared will be the key to success this year.
2021 amusement trends
Many businesses are focusing as much as possible on keeping events and attractions outdoor or open-air. Owners and operators should keep indoor activities limited, if possible, or designated areas for things like eating and drinking. Large events like light shows that could potentially draw crowds should be avoided, and social distancing should be followed.
Innovative ideas and technology
Last year challenged businesses to be innovative in how to draw profits. For example, the CEO of Stream Food and Beverage delivered fair food through a drive-thru where guests could get cotton candy, funnel cakes, and other favorite staples.
Owners and operators should also leverage available and affordable technology to help control capacity. Time entry ticketing is very popular and provides insurance for staff that they can handle sanitization and crowds.
Communication is essential
Guests need to know what’s going on. Update important information through the website, social channels, and in-venue signage. For example, when guests enter a business website, they can be notified of safety precautions with a pop-up banner. Signage is more important than ever for amusement and entertainment businesses as it can help staff enforce safety guidelines to reduce risks.
Internal communication is vital. Employees should be updated daily on any changing protocols and risks throughout the attraction or event. Owners and operators can and should remain flexible in fixing and improving issues as soon as they arise.
Now might not be the time for owners to invest in big-ticket items. Instead, streamlining daily operations can focus and help retain good employees and survive in the industry until the pandemic is over.
Safety is number one
Safety will continue to be the number one focus in 2021 for guests and staff for years to come. The amusement industry has always put safety first, but with COVID-19, a new variable must be managed. Operations should continue to adhere to best practices for reopening.
Federal, state, and local guidelines
Additionally, with so much new information about the COVID-19 virus still developing, it will be essential to stay updated on changing guidelines from the Center for Disease Control and state, local, and federal levels. Masks and social distancing will likely be sticking around through summer, and it can be essential to enforce these safety measures even if state levels have lifted mandates.
Strong leadership and management buy-in
Strong leadership is essential for reopening and ensuring staff is trained on all business elements and new pandemic protocols. Developing a safety vision, hiring the right managers, and purposeful training will help reduce risks for staff and guests to create enjoyable experiences. Owners and managers can identify key personnel to champion changes and safety initiatives for the business and enforce accountability. Trained staff means fewer injuries and risk reduction.
Finding the right coverage
Even following these amusement trends, won’t ensure success for businesses. The right insurance plan can make all the difference in the world between success and failure for amusement and entertainment businesses. Owners and operators need to take a full assessment of risks to discover the common physical, societal, and financial threats within their industry. Then, they need to get the proper coverage.
The McGowan Amusement and Entertainment Insurance program is built from years of industry experience. We cover amusement and water parks, family entertainment centers, bowling alleys, and more. With unique features like advanced loss control, operational training, and enhanced general liability endorsements, our team can provide the coverage businesses need to be set up for success. Contact us today to learn more.