Tips & Best Practices for Family Entertainment Centers

Where Did 2009 Go?

As the year draws to an end and the hustle of the holiday is upon us, I could not let the week go by without our weekly newsletter. I’ve missed my own deadline, so I’ll beg forgiveness up front for bad grammar and/or misspelling. Time goes so fast. Wasn’t it just yesterday that Y2K was the big scare?

In this spirit, I want to take the time to thank you for spending your energy to do what you do. I (we) at TrainerTainment am so grateful for the mission of recreation. What you do in your family entertainment venue means more than you can know. Families and friends have a place to laugh and play, and none of us does that enough. You are to be commended in this crazy economic time for staying the course and continuing to look for new, innovative ways to run a successful business.

Our mission has always been to help you with your sales effort. The relationships you have with your customer and your staff means the most when it comes to winning. As our company looks to 2010, we’ve adopted the mantra WIN IN 2010! You can borrow that for your team, too, if you would like. Next week’s webinar (the final one for 2009) is all about goal setting in the coming year. Please accept my personal invitation to participate–sign up now.

Jerry (my husband) and I completed our hairpin curvy travel of the Pacific coast this past Saturday. If you read last week’s newsletter, you saw that we were making our way from the northern tip of Washington State to San Diego along the 101 and Hwy 1. I have a wonderful new appreciation for the magnificent western edge of this great United States of America. For me, there is a whole new meaning of “from the redwood forests, to the gulf stream waters . . ”

Jerry and I flew to Seattle and stayed a couple of days with my dear friend, Laura, in Port Angeles. Some of you may remember Laura who has spoken on Conflict Resolution at Fun Expo and helped write four of the chapters in Fun Training Serious Results. Her hospitality included a hike through the Olympic rain forests. Apparently, we were blessed with beautiful clear skies–albeit “cold” beautiful clear skies.

After a couple of days with Laura and her family, we set out for the coast. Our first huge "aha" was Crescent Lake. I burst into tears as we made our way over the mountain and the lake rose up in front of us. We saw three bald eagles fishing that morning, but I was not quick enough to catch them in a picture. Jerry and I joked the whole time that we needed to photograph the eagle, a bear, (I would have had a heart attack if we had really seen a bear), a whale (I’m sure they were there, we just never saw one), and Big Foot. I will admit that I did get a redwood-carved bear and Big Foot . . do you think that counts?

Our first glimpse of the Pacific was awesome. I’ve slept since then, but I think it was Rose Beach. Spectacular! That was the first of many hikes we took. We got a full day behind from the get go. This trip was a dream of Jerry’s, and the thing that he did not want to do was to plan every stop. Being Miss Planner that I am, I projected where I thought we needed to be each night. One thing I had not planned for is that it would start to get dark between 4:15 and 4:45. That makes for a short day.

I won’t bore you with the details of every day but will share that I know I love sea stacks. Ferns are awesome–I didn’t know I liked ferns. Elephant seals are ENORMOUS! Otters are cuter than seals. I love lighthouses. We climbed to the top of the tallest lighthouse in Oregon. The redwoods are a spiritual experience. They are giants and gentle and nurturing and you can see God in the forests. We did a little tour called “Trees of Mystery” and drove the avenue of the giants. I love the redwoods.

California is amazing. I live in Texas, and we are pretty snobbish about how cool our state is. We are big, have lots of different landscapes, and no income tax. However, California, oh my goodness! We made one little detour over to the middle of the state to a wonderful “city owned” FEC project called McDermont Field House. Very cool, and the landscape on the way was something to behold.

I’ve learned the difference between a hill and a mountain is that a mountain erupts or has snow on it . . and that West Coast has a bunch of both! The detour showed us wine country (I thought it was only in Napa) and every other type of agriculture you can imagine. OH–lots of happy cows! I got some great pictures. However, some of those cows can’t be all that happy. We saw them grazing on what seemed to be 90 degree hills that looked like giant mountains to me!

Fred Groh, editor of Bowling Industry Magazine, encouraged us to take the 17 mile drive in the Monterey/ Carmel area. Thanks so much, Fred! Pebble Beach, the Llone Cypress, waves big enough to surf (And we saw surfers. That’s commitment – it’s December for crying out loud!), seabirds in full flight, and of course, lots of sea stacks. Did I mention how much I love sea stacks?

Honestly, I couldn’t get enough of the sounds and the smells of the sea (maybe not the elephant seals). We had amazing service at Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco. We stopped in at a couple of little bowling centers along the way. I wish we would have had the time to stop and visit with so many of you that are close to where we were, but honestly, we needed more days to do what we did.

I had little to no cell phone service out on the edge of the world, and that worked out to be a good thing. I was able to work a little each day in the morning and then it was all about Jerry and me and the sea! It was a lot of fun to just get away. I don’t know that I had any huge revelations except for learning that taking things as they come can be a good thing. Ok, who am I kidding? I know that if we had planned a little better, we would have done two trips – this one would have ended in San Francisco, and we would come back and do the rest of it another day . Just like you and your centers, if you do it right, customers can’t do it all the first time around and they’ll have to come back!

Happy Holidays. I hope you’ll join us for the webinar next week and get a head start on goal setting for 2010 Also, I’d love to hear your best promotional idea for 2009. Share it here for a free month of Xpress Training!

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3 Comments

  1. Paul Fleming on December 17, 2009 at 3:24 pm

    Beth,
    Glad to hear you had a relaxing vacation. Its about time ;0) I hope all is well with the family and you’al have a Merry X-mas and safe and happy holidays. Talk to you soon.

    Paul

  2. Dorman on December 17, 2009 at 5:14 pm

    What a nice trip. And, you even took great photos. Marilyn and I spent our honeymoon in a friends motorhome doing the exact same thing in 1982. Wow, another lifetime ago. We stopped in LA however and headed over to Vegas.

    I’m so very happy for you.

    Love You. Mean It!

    Dorman

  3. Julie on December 19, 2009 at 10:11 am

    Beth, Beth, Beth! Love the recap, love that country, and love you! So glad you were able to step back, breathe & refresh. Merry Christmas to you and your beautiful family, and best of success to you and your team in 2010. J

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