Blog/ Venue Management

The 5 Most Profitable FEC Attractions of 2023

family entertainment business ideas

In the realm of family entertainment, success is not just about offering fun experiences; it's about crafting a dynamic and unforgettable journey for families seeking quality leisure time. Whether you're a budding entrepreneur embarking on the exciting journey of opening a family entertainment center (FEC) or an established operator seeking to enrich your existing venue, the quest for profitable attractions is vital as you look to manage your brand reputation with profitability. The landscape is constantly evolving, and understanding the attractions that promise the highest returns is key to carving your niche in the industry.

For those with dreams of launching an FEC, the question arises: What attractions will set your venture apart and yield the best financial rewards? The answer is an intricate interplay of innovation, audience preferences, and business acumen. This blog delves into the top five most profitable FEC attractions poised to define the landscape of 2023. We'll help you decipher the trends, analyze the potential ROI, and provide actionable insights to guide your attraction selection process.

Meanwhile, established FEC operators looking to expand their business face a different set of considerations. As you add square footage to your venue and introduce new attractions, the goal is twofold: to diversify your product offering and increase your revenue streams. In this context, understanding which attractions align with current market dynamics becomes critical. This holistic approach equips you with the knowledge needed to make informed decisions that can propel your FEC to new heights.

Let’s dive in.

1. Indoor Trampoline Park

Business idea

With the popularity of active lifestyles, the trampoline park industry is experiencing significant growth. The trampoline park market was valued at USD 837.8 million in 2022 and is projected to reach USD 3570 million by 2032!

Indoor trampoline parks are an excellent place for children of all ages to enjoy themselves and for the parents to relax nearby, knowing their children are safe and having heaps of fun.

Startup costs

Based on your plans, and the size and scale of your trampoline park, the initial investment can range between $100,000 and $500,000.

This figure includes building and construction costs, equipment and supplies, advertising, and lease and deposit costs.  

Ongoing management and maintenance costs

Once you’re up and running, there will be associated management costs, including rent, licensing fees, venue management software costs, equipment maintenance, staff wages, insurance, ongoing advertising, and other general operating costs.

Again, depending on the size of your operation, you can expect to spend around $10,000 to 20,000 a month on ongoing expenses.

Revenue potential

Many factors can affect the profitability of an indoor trampoline park, such as location, theme, marketing, equipment, etc. But generally, indoor trampoline parks enjoy a profit margin of around 25%.

2. Laser Tag Arena

Business idea

Laser tag businesses can be a profitable venture in the family entertainment industry. They cater to a wide range of guests, including children, families, and thrill-seeking adults.

Whether it's a birthday celebration, team-building event, or a fun indoor activity on a rainy day, laser tag facilities provide excitement and a chance for challenging experiences.

Startup costs

A laser tag facility mainly requires equipment and a sizable amount of square footage.

To start building the space, start-up entrepreneurs should set an initial budget of around $115,000 to $252,000. This will cover the building expenses like the lease and deposit, obstacle course build-out expenses, and the cost of the laser tag equipment.

Ongoing management and maintenance costs

Laser tag business owners report an annual cost of around $230,000 to $265,000 for operating expenses. These expenses include marketing, payroll, lease, utilities, insurance, software, etc.

Revenue potential

A $40,000 to $100,000 profit is achievable within the first three years of laser tag arena ownership.

However, a profit margin like this requires a well-designed facility, great staff, a suitable location, and a robust marketing strategy.

3. Miniature Golf Course

Business idea

Miniature golf has long been a popular family activity, and indoor courses provide an excellent option for year-round entertainment. Create an engaging and creatively designed course with different themes to captivate visitors.

Adding fun obstacles and challenging holes will keep families coming back for more. And incorporating a family-friendly café or snack bar will enhance the overall experience and generate additional revenue for your business.

Startup costs

The costs of opening a mini-golf business vary but can typically go up to $500,000.

This figure includes the cost of the deposit, necessary improvements to the land/ course, architects' fees, signage, equipment, prizes, etc.  

Ongoing management and maintenance costs

Ongoing costs vary depending on the size and location of your business. But generally, utilities will cost around $1,500 monthly, while insurance costs about $500. Fresh supplies are also a regular expense, costing about $400 monthly. Rent can be quite high, sometimes exceeding $6,000.

Aside from these expenses, your primary concern will be compensating your workers. A manager typically earns around $4,000 monthly, while other employees are paid an appropriate hourly rate.

Revenue potential

The consistent flow of guests coupled with low ongoing expenses can bring in a yearly profit of over $100,000.

Some mini golf course proprietors have reported being able to recoup their initial investment within the first few years of launching their business.

4. Virtual Reality (VR) Arcade

Business idea

Over the past few years, virtual reality (VR) technology has grown significantly, leading to the emergence of VR arcades. These venues provide a unique opportunity for users to engage in fully immersive VR experiences using head-mounted displays and specialized gear.

Startup costs

Costs depend on arcade size, but for a small VR arcade with 4-6 stations, the start-up cost can be between $50,000 to $100,000. This includes the cost of equipment, rent, and marketing. 

Added costs such as interior design can increase this figure by about $10,000 to $50,000.

Ongoing management and maintenance costs

The main ongoing costs at a VR arcade include location, staffing, and game licensing fees.

You can expect to pay between $2,000 and $5,000 monthly rent for a small arcade. Monthly staff wages for an arcade of the same size will total around $20,000. Finally, game licenses can cost $500 to $1000 per month per game.

Revenue potential

When running a VR arcade, the number of guests, maintenance costs, and reinvestment in the business are critical factors in determining profitability.

On average, a single VR game has the potential to generate up to $10,000 profit annually.

5. Indoor Playground and Activity Center

Business idea

Managed well, indoor play centers can generate significant revenue and become very profitable. By offering a secure and enjoyable space, play centers draw in guests with children of all ages, so your audience is broad.

Startup costs

In general, you can expect to spend between $100,000 and $500,000 or more to start an indoor playground business, depending on the size of your facility.

This includes building & equipment costs, installation costs, interior decorations, marketing, and promotions.

Ongoing management and maintenance costs

After launching your indoor playground, you'll need to cover some recurring expenses. These include upkeep and sanitation of equipment, occasional part replacements, employee salaries, and promotional efforts like advertising, which could amount to approximately 150-300k per year.

Revenue potential

Depending on the size, indoor playgrounds can profit up to $25k monthly.

To enhance profitability, consider offering membership plans and hosting special events like birthday parties to make more frequent use of your playground facilities.

Creativity, safety, and fun are the keys to FEC success

The family entertainment industry is an exciting and dynamic sector with immense potential for profitability.

As your guests increasingly prioritize spending quality time with loved ones, these five business ideas offer an opportunity to create fulfilling and engaging experiences for families in 2023 and endure in popularity for a long time afterward.

Creativity, safety, and exceptional guest experiences are the key to success. By staying attuned to market trends and continually evolving to meet customer preferences, you can build a thriving family entertainment business that brings joy to families for years to come.

Reach out to us if you need help setting up your venue management systems, and we can show you how ROLLER can help take the stress out of venue management and earn you money while you sleep!