Amusement parks for young people and adults, the new fashion

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Amusement parks for young people and adults, the new fashion

One of the great transformations that Colombian entertainment has undergone is that it is increasingly done indoors, despite the fact that after the end of the quarantines, many sought out outdoor activities. This is explained by the growing habit of families going to shopping centers not so much to buy, but to stroll, window shop or eat an ice cream.

In fact, some consumer experts have not hesitated to affirm that shopping centers have become the social club of many Colombians, who not only socialize there, but also find entertainment activities, which increasingly go beyond the cinema.

With this idea in mind, several entrepreneurs began to set up playgrounds in shopping centers, which with coins or rechargeable cards allowed children to use various attractions; then came the parks with trampolines, which they no longer only appealed to the little ones, but also seek to attract young peopleand now the turn is for the high-tech parks, that no longer include the traditional machines, but activities that require physical activity.

One of these bets was recently inaugurated in the Plaza Central shopping center, to the west of Bogotá. This is Laser Park, a game arena with a labyrinth in which players with vests and markers or phaser they can shoot and capture points from other players, challenge each other and win. In other words, It is as if they were the protagonists of a video game, but in real life.

Laser Park, new entertainment park for adults in Bogotá
Laser Park, new entertainment park for adults in Bogotá – Photo: LaserPark

leisure options

The concept was brought by a group of partners who had experience in sectors such as lighting and mass consumption and who did not decide to reinvent themselves in the pandemic, but rather ‘pro-invent’.

“One day we were meeting and the partner who worked on lighting remembered that at a fair in Chicago he had seen a technology with multisensory sensors, so we thought that this would be a good idea to take to shopping centers, which are looking for new options. of leisure for its clients”, recalls Alberto Caycedo, general director of Laser Park.

He says that his first analysis was that of the entertainment offer for children, where they said that there was low innovation, almost that in all the shopping centers the same thing was seen, His proposal was to offer a multi-sensory experience with a physical component that was not sitting at a console. By looking for what was available in other markets, they reached an agreement to represent this technology in Latin America with the exception of Brazil.

They brought the Hello Park brand (aimed at children) and started in the Nuestro de Montería shopping center, Córdoba, to learn and see if the business was profitable. They partnered with PEI, one of the largest real estate funds in the country. In a space of 200 meters they achieved better results than expected and the next step was to reach Bogotá. Here the space is larger (500 meters) and it is also accompanied by Laser Park, the offer for young people and adults, which uses technology from New Zealand. Caycedo insists that they do not want to offer passive entertainment, but rather active entertainment and that people go to play in a group.

He confesses that they decided to set up the business in mid-2020 because they were convinced that, as the restrictions of the pandemic were reduced, people would look for new recreation alternatives.

franchises

Opening the first park took them 16 months, but they believe that today, with the experience they have acquired, they can do it between four and six months. They already have requests to open in Cali, Medellín, Barranquilla and north of Bogotá, also in Guatemala, Costa Rica, Venezuela and Peru, taking advantage of the fact that they have the rights for the region, they are also studying the possibility of franchising.

This new commitment to entertainment goes hand in hand with the recovery of shopping centers, whose influx is already almost between 80% and 90% of pre-pandemic levels. Likewise, the amusement park industry, which was one of the most affected by the health crisis, is expected to fully return this year to the figures prior to the arrival of covid-19 in the country.

In statements to the new century, Ángela María Díaz, director of the Colombian Association of Attractions and Amusement Parks (Acolap), said that since May of last year the activity of this guild has stabilized, thanks to the positive response of citizens. As of the second half of 2021, between 80% and 90% of activity was fully reactivated, hence the optimism for 2022.

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