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Going hi-tech with sports simulators

The hospitality industry is embracing virtual sports technology to attract and retain guests

There is a new trend gaining momentum in guest satisfaction - many hotels are now choosing more sophisticated technology to entertain their guests. “In the past six months we have seen a major uptick in the number of hotel owners adding a sports simulator to their hotel,” says Jason Trupp, sales manager at Sports Entertainment Specialists, Inc (SES). “The simulators are a great way for guests to get their entertainment while staying on the hotel's property. It’s been a real hit with the business travellers,” Trupp adds.

Traditionally, hotels have offered breakfast, basic cable, maybe a workout room and not much more. Top hotels have stepped it up with a pool and even a bar with some semblance of a night life but overall, most hotels have lacked any substantive entertainment. For the benefit of travellers everywhere, there is strong evidence that this is taking a turn for the better as hotel owners are opening their minds to the world of virtual sport simulators.

Many sport simulators are built for commercial use and can run unattended with revenue generating options. One of the main things making them more appealing in the last six months is the faster return on investment due to dropping prices. For a fraction of the cost of adding a workout room, hotel owners can now offer a great amenity that provides active entertainment and a reason for their guests to come back.

Sports simulators offer hours of entertainment for people of all ages. Using real equipment, the player experiences a realistic, interactive virtual arena that draws in people to watch and creates a lot of buzz. Guests can blow off some steam while blasting pucks past a life size goalie, or grab their buddies and play a few holes of golf after dinner. In addition, many sports simulators can double as a giant home theatere, so hotels can put on the big game when it is not in use.

While many hotel owners have struggled to differentiate themselves from their competition, there is a growing number that are embracing technology to get an edge. In the sports-crazy and tech-savvy culture that is part of modern day life, it was only a matter of time before these were brought together in the form of virtual sports entertainment.

SES was founded after an exhaustive analysis of the sports simulator market. The company is a provider of virtual golf, hockey, baseball, soccer, football, racing, cycling and hunting simulators for home and business use.

Five ways to increase revenue with a multi-sport simulator

Increasing revenue is always an important goal for business owners and staying ahead of your competition is vital: a sports simulator may be the trick to accomplish this. J Todd Mallon, president, SES lists five ways sports simulators can generate revenue.

#1 Appeal to the masses
Sports are loved by young and old, male and female, rich and poor; a multi-sport simulator is a way to open your business up to a larger demographic. By the definition of a multi-sport simulator, you are offering your customer the ability to try their hand in different sports. Most multi-sport simulator models come standard with at least five great sports.

#2 Get the most out of your simulator
In addition to the great software packages which are available for the multi-sport simulator, there are also several benefits which are a little harder to see. SES' Multi-Sport 5 Pack and Multi-Sport 6 Pack software packages offer great commercial benefits for branding and in-game advertising. With your software license you have the capability to place (into the actual games) your slogan, logo, or corporate message. Now patrons can compete for the highest score all while taking in your message, placed in the background of live game play. You also have the ability to sell this space as advertising opportunities to another company to increase your revenue from the simulator.

SES' Arena ProXT and all of the VS Series simulators have an optional bill/coin collection interface for ease of use and faster turnover of customers. With this affordable add-on you can safely and securely take in money on the simulator without having an attendant always present. The interface software is very customisable to allow for different rates to be charged at various times of the day. Systems can automatically increase or decrease the cost to play at your bidding. Great for happy hours, lunch specials and any other occasion you want to adjust the price-to-play.

With a multi-sport simulator you’re not only getting a great simulator, you are also getting the skeleton of an impressive commercial grade home theater. Using the projection based technology it is easy to add more simulator experiences to your structure. Add a shooting simulator, gaming console, 3D projector, Blu-ray player, racing simulator, cycling simulator and more. Put together a package of entertaining simulators which your competition will be envious of and your customers will be lining up for.

#3 Customer satisfaction
Given the fact you can offer your customers more choices and more entertainment with a multi-sport simulator, keeping your customer happy is easy. Piggyback off the popularity of the major sporting events that are happening all the time. Run contests, promotions, give-a-ways, while these events occur. All of the sports offered on one of these simulators have playoffs, champions or medal ceremonies, take advantage of the hysteria. In the seldom times of the year when there are no major sporting events to take advantage of, consider using your simulator as a giant big screen TV or create your own buzz with a tournament of your own creation. Be creative and use the simulator to its full potential.

#4 Advertising and branding
In the right setting a sports simulator can provide nearly endless opportunities for cross selling and promotion. If you’re a sports bar offer your patrons a 'halftime challenge' for who can kick the longest field goal. Team up with other local businesses to create a buzz about your promotions. Sell your in-game advertising space to other business or vendors. Again in the sports bar setting, while you are offering your 'halftime challenge'; imagine your patrons learning about your weekly specials in the background of live game play. Or picture a crowd gathering around the simulator to watch the action and be exposed to images of your logo placed in the stadium scoreboard. It’s simple to do and best of all it comes standard with a multi-sport simulator.

#5 Entertainment should be fun
Use a sports simulator as a way to have fun in a social environment. Whether you are running a family entertainment centre, bar, recreation centre, church (the list goes on and on) you have people gathering together for fun with their friends and family. Using a sports simulator is an easy ways to have these people get involved and active. Have fun with your promotions; create an environment of fun and excitement. The more fun your customers have the more likely they are to come back to your facility down the road.

A sports simulator can be a great tool to create revenue for a new or existing business. By using the simulator to its full potential and a little creativity, it can have a positive effect on your customers and your bottomline.

Source: SES

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