In the leisure and attractions industry, where operational efficiency and guest satisfaction are paramount, partnering with the right technology platform can make all the difference. Lost Island Themepark and Waterpark, located in Waterloo, Iowa, has increased revenue and modernized the guest and staff experience with the innovative solutions offered by ROLLER’s all-in-one platform.
Sarah Myrvik, Guest Services Manager at Lost Island, describes the venue as a hidden gem that relies primarily on local holidaygoers rather than interstate or international tourists. As the venue is only open during summer, having a venue management platform that helps increase bookings and revenue is crucial. “We have to do a year’s worth of business in three months, so we need to maximize revenue in that time,” says Sarah.
ROLLER first caught the attention of the Lost Island team at the IAAPA Expo. ROLLER’s innovative approach stood out from the rest of the market, with consistent investment in the product to keep up with the evolving needs of operators. After seeing the simple back-end venue management, easy-to-use staff interface, and extensive support resources, Lost Island decided to switch from its previous venue management platform. “The other system felt clunky. It wasn’t up to date with what younger staff are seeing on their phones and the apps they’re using day-to-day. It was a challenge to train them,” says Sarah.
Reducing training time by 63%
Training is crucial for retaining team members and ensuring guests positively interact with staff for any venue. Due to the seasonal nature of their business, 90% of Lost Island’s 300+ staff members are casual, making training and retaining staff critical. Efficient training processes are a top priority for Sarah, who oversees all staff onboarding. “I'm training staff aged 14 to 75, so I need it to be straightforward. I've been able to train a wide variety of people on the system in a very short amount of time. When it comes to my training checklist, ROLLER is typically one item that I don't have to worry about,” states Sarah.
Sarah notes that staff can quickly pick up the point-of-sale system, allowing team members to be up and running and serving guests in no time. Since switching to ROLLER, training timelines have reduced by over 63%, from around 8 hours to 2-3 hours. “I've previously spent a whole day's worth of training rather than just that 2 to 3 hour window,” comments Sarah.
I've previously spent a whole day's worth of training rather than just that 2 to 3 hour window with ROLLER.
Cutting chargebacks by 92% with ROLLER Payments
In addition to streamlining operations, ROLLER has helped Lost Island reduce chargebacks. With their previous payment provider, they lost over $6,000 in revenue each season to chargebacks, as most disputes occurred on their higher-value party bookings. Chargebacks have decreased by 92% with ROLLER’s built-in payments functionality. "I can easily see the difference it has on our bottom line. We went from 20 chargebacks each month to less than 5 for the whole season this year," says Sarah.
ROLLER’s streamlined chargeback management process has also saved Sarah significant time on manual reconciliation. She states on their previous platform, “It was a lot more work because our chargebacks were coming through the credit card processing company, but they had no way of tying the chargeback to the actual booking. I spent a lot of time searching and connecting the two.”
Additionally, ROLLER’s instant chargeback notifications have reduced Sarah's time spent defending chargebacks. “With ROLLER Payments, you get an email immediately that says, here's a chargeback for this booking. I click on that hyperlink, and it pulls it right up, instead of having to reconcile between systems. I now have a much easier time looking into it and seeing if there's any further steps I need to take,” comments Sarah.
Selecting a payments provider based purely on transaction and processing fees, without factoring in potential chargeback costs, can limit operators’ revenue potential. Sarah emphasizes the importance of factoring this into the equation when shopping around. “When there’s pushback from ownership or management about credit card fees because, let's face it, there’s always going to be a question of, is somebody else lower? ROLLER Payments is worth it because we're saving those charges that we were previously losing,” says Sarah.
ROLLER Payments is worth it because we're saving those charges that we were previously losing.
Efficient gate scanning with Alvarado
Lost Island has harnessed the power of ROLLER’s Alvarado integration to streamline venue entry, leading to a smoother and quicker arrival experience. Lost Island replaced their traditional turnstile gates with Alvarado's self-scan access gates, allowing them to admit more guests in less time, so guests can simply scan their booking confirmation and jump straight into the action. This integration has halved the staff required to manage check-ins, with only one team member per two gates rather than one per turnstile. “The gates are very quick and able to get people in much faster, saving on the actual labor running them,” says Sarah. Lost Island also has the flexibility to add or remove the number of gates depending on how busy the venue is, so they’re never wasting labor costs staffing a quiet entrance.
Lost Island’s success is a prime example of how venue management technology can enhance efficiency, reduce costs, and, most importantly, elevate the overall guest experience. To find out more about ROLLER’s cloud-based solution, schedule a demo today.