johnroach100
Thursday, November 24, 2011 4:42:18 AM
From personal experience I can say people will spend more if they have tokens or tickets than if they have to let go of cash. It's not money any more once it's converted. That's not to say that accounts for all the increase in the gross after changing over.
Soda Guy
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Thursday, November 24, 2011 5:35:57 AM
Originally Posted by: johnroach100 

From personal experience I can say people will spend more if they have tokens or tickets than if they have to let go of cash. It's not money any more once it's converted. That's not to say that accounts for all the increase in the gross after changing over.



You can even count on people not spending all thier "credits" on their cards. That is found money.

If you think about these medium to large shows that already look like traveling theme parks (and I mean that in a GREAT WAY) they are putting up the benches for seating, hand sanitizer stations . . .They already have most if not all the food, the jump really isn't that far. Plus the specials they could run, With a card swipe they could offer X number of rides or unlimited rides, 6 to 10 games, (remember these games that give coupons are just a build up) and even a 24 oz Soda. Yes you can even run a fountain machine off a card reader. Just think of the Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday specials. The more you add, the bigger the value. And you will still get a certain number of walk offs of people not using all their credits. And yes you can set the cards to only be good for one day.

Again, not wanting to see this but could you imagine the play of one of the shooting galleries shown in the pictures from the IAAPA? I mean for the price of a new ride, a show could probably do a huge change over using their existing rolling stock. Plus just think of the employee savings. So if they can increase their gross, put a cost containment on stock, use less talented help, and come up with new and exciting promotions I really think someone will give this a try in the next few years. The technology is there already, and the public is already trained thanks to Dave and Busters and Chucky Cheese. And last but not least, the corporate presale whether for a comapny outing or a cross promotion could be an additional revenue source for some more aggresive shows.


Matt C.
Thursday, November 24, 2011 6:25:46 AM
Problem with a smart card system for smaller shows is that the show would need to be able to set up the network/system with a relatively quick turn around. Shows like RCS have weeks before the spot begins to make sure each ride, game, and food concession is linked to the network and functioning properly. With ever improving technology, I am sure one day we will be at the point where it would be easy for a small show to accomplish.

It's also a HUGE investment. Servers, wireless scanners, readers, etc. Plus you need to have someone on the show who knows how to fix the system quickly if it should go down.

Just to give you an idea, RCS spent $2 million on their system. Obviously, they have a HUGE show and a lot of ground to cover, but that gives you an idea of what the approximate cost involved is.

Soda Guy - I remember when Windy City did the token system they had a lot of people take the tokens home as souvenirs and even found some on the rides and on the ground. Found money, like you said!
Matt Cook
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geewizz66
Friday, November 25, 2011 8:05:28 PM
Quote:

Secret Squirrel, there are plenty of agents still out here...problem is (and I said this in another thread too) the *ing shows don't want to let us work! I'm sorry-but how the hell am I supposed to go out there and get the same money I was 10 or 15 years ago, when there are so many restrictions on what I can and can't do or say? Then to hear people complain that they don't get the same grosses? Or can't find qualified agents? Well guess what? It's because we're HIDING FROM YOU. You won't EVER see me on a "big" show again. I will stick to doing what I know, on shows that will still let me, and keep making money. Same as I always have. And y'all with the hanky pank shows can keep on complaining about how there aren't any agents left.....
ugh. I knew I shouldn't have logged on...this crap frustrates me.



From a Show Owners standpoint, If we let you agents "*ing work" wide open or not WE are left with the fallout. I call it the "jointy mentality"....rape and pillage and next year we can jump on another show. First off people do not carry a lot of cash around with them anymore like they used to. Secondly most of these agents that I've let work wide open come on strong and then implode. They have a few strong weeks and instead of holding on to the cash or buy something of value they tend to go the other direction, party likes it's never going to end. When it does end or slow down then they start swinging with that yard note here and that double there and they use the excuse (which I read here already) "I'm still turning in more money than that other guy," it's a nasty cycle. The third issue is that when those agents are rocking and rolling they don't want to throw any stock, they rob punks and usually raise all kinds of hell where ever they are staying, Oh and "I don't set up and I don't slough", on and on.

We've all had a lousy meal in a restaurant that we paid way too much money for. You remember those places so that you don't go back again. It's the same in the carnival business. People come to the carnival to be entertained. Those that don't like the rides or are too small for some of them tend to come for the games or food. It's the same scenario, they get beat once or twice, they are not likely to want to come back. You want to know why the games business is down while the food and rides are up?? Do you honestly think it's because of the POP's? They've been burned so they stay away.

Now on those bigger shows it's not all the agents fault. For years some show owners choose to give too large a percentage or guarantee away to the committees. They increase the rent, dings and come up with every imaginable additional fee to make up for what they gave away to "keep the spot". This in turn requires the independent game or food owner to increase it's bottom line by offering a cheaper product, giving away a smaller percentage in merchandise, paying less in wages or by putting more pressure on their agents to gross more money. A 32oz Lemonade (from concentrate) at the Arizona State Fair was $ 7.00! do you honestly think that the owner of that concession was just trying to make a payment on his Ferrari? Then when those agents do push it to the hilt those owners too try to figure out how to pencil their help to make the ends meet. This has gone on for years. It will take years for the public to want to even think about playing a carnival game again.

Those operators that are becoming more of a merchandising type operation are starting to do much better. The games are changing as well. There are more "non agent" or "hanky pank" type games that are designed to throw a larger stock average. These types of games do not need to have that high powered agent and most owners don't want to deal with the bs that comes along with those HPA's. This business has been all cash. Our world has become plastic and so much so that people don't even carry around $5.00 anymore, but they've got their debit/credit card(s). Tickets, Tokens and Smartcards are just another way to control the cash flow. It's all about tightening up to have any type of a bottom line.

We went to tickets only in our games three years ago, they are the same tickets that we use on our rides. I lost a few of the "agents" that worked for me for years but the grosses went up a bit. We've had to tweak our game operation and make sure that the ticket boxes are in a closer proximity to the games but all in all it's been a good thing. Our bushel baskets aren't as strong as they used to be but through stronger merchandising some of our hanky panks are grossing a lot more now. More importantly, I've not had a single beef where "your guy took all of my kids money and he didn't win anything." We are considering going on to tokens because of higher ticket printing costs but then you still have to have the token machines and someone to maintain them as well.




Geewizz66
lotman
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Saturday, November 26, 2011 12:35:32 PM
Originally Posted by: Bowler Roller 

I don't know what they won't let you do nowadays, but the show owner, or anyone else, should never know how you're working. We've all had the office watch us.




i totally disagree. i think the show owner has the right to know everything that happens on his midway. he is the one that has to answer to the fairboard or committee when something goes wrong.
Whenever you find that you are on the side of the majority, it is time to reform.
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Bowler Roller
Saturday, November 26, 2011 3:49:49 PM
He's got the right, but not the necessarily ability.
Every crowd has a silver lining - PT Barnum
geewizz66
Saturday, November 26, 2011 10:33:38 PM
Originally Posted by: Bowler Roller 

He's got the right, but not the necessarily ability.

Unfortunately we do have the ability when you guy's can't, don't or won't control the beef and it leaves your counters. Don't misunderstand me. I've had working joints for years. Everything from screw pools, razzle's, spot stores, fluky balls, tag balloon joints, etc. Times have changed and you either change with them or get left behind. The risks no longer out weigh the possible benefit's. The mark is different now too. Everyone wants to blame someone else for their actions. It used to be that you would catch a player and work them over, they were gamblers and new full well what they were getting into. Most of the beef's that I remember over the years were from the "third party" not the actual player.

Merchandising is the way to go now. People expect and demand something of value for their dollar because if they don't get what they feel is fair, there is a whole world out there to listen about how they were wronged and all of the fairs, festivals and other committees are listening to these people as well.

Geewizz66
joan
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Sunday, November 27, 2011 12:20:25 AM
Originally Posted by: geewizz66 

More importantly, I've not had a single beef where "your guy took all of my kids money and he didn't win anything."



Uh, if you were getting that beef, you obviously didn't have any agents....

And gee whiz, I've been on the same show for a couple years now...My husband was here for 5 years before that. We still work, and the spots are still good. There hasn't been any of the "burning up spots" that I keep hearing about. The industry has changed, and we've changed a bit too. These days, you HAVE to kick stock. We understand that. You can no longer push for the last shot if they don't really have it. We get that.
But to tell me most agents have a "few strong weeks" then party it all away...I don't know what agents you've had around you lately, but where I work, there is a solid crew (8 of us in the two working joints) that work EVERY DAY, EVERY SPOT, from April to October. So I don't see that up here. Maybe you have those problems with agents (I'm not saying you don't) but that's not universally how it is...
Bowler Roller
Sunday, November 27, 2011 4:02:58 AM
Quote:

Unfortunately we do have the ability when you guy's can't, don't or won't control the beef and it leaves your counters.



That's my point. A good, not a High Powered, agent doesn't let beefs come to you, and doesn't burn out the spot. He doesn't let anyone see how he works. Patch your own beefs, and nobody cares how strong you work. They even stop watching.
Every crowd has a silver lining - PT Barnum
geewizz66
Sunday, November 27, 2011 4:27:16 AM
The problem is that there are far few of you better agents than the other. I talk about Showmen here quite a bit. There are far less "Showmen" in this business today then 25 or 30 years ago. It's refreshing to hear that some of you truly "are with it" and understand what that means.
Geewizz66
joan
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Sunday, November 27, 2011 7:42:58 AM
Heh. Thanks, I guess? I just think that with even a little more leeway, things would get a lot easier for everybody.
I won't leave where I am, because I like it. But I think some of the rules are getting out of hand, and some of the shows are just biting themselves in the ass.
For instance, balloon stores where nobody's allowed to run collections? Come on now. Unless you're in Raleigh or Dallas (and it's 1997 because you found a time machine) that's just ridicules. I don't know squat about a balloon store, as that's not my thing...but I know this- I've worked the joint a time or two, and not knowing * about a collection put me WAY behind the other guys. I'm not saying the show owners need shark tanks...I'll concede that they're not the best ideas. I'm just saying that they could lighten up a little.
geewizz66
Sunday, November 27, 2011 9:23:41 PM
When you spend 25 years working your tale off to build a show and pay for that company AND keep it safe, clean and profitable. Giving up almost everything, birthdays, anniversary's, family reunions, vacations, etc. and then possibly lose a spot over what, a couple of hundred dollars?? Are you kidding me?? Next time you catch one of those marks and run a collection on them, get enough to buy your own show! Step into an owners shoes and live it for yourself better yet try following one of those "hang em up and gut em" type operations into a town and try to make a living.

You need to remember other people look at these posts too. You, may not take that guy's last buck but there are hundreds of others that will not only take the guy's last dollar but follow him to the atm to get everything he's got left before they back up. I've seen it happen. When it all blows up, and it usually does, the show owner is left explaining to the police and committee's what, how and why we allow these types of games to operate on our midways.

Geewizz66
joan
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Sunday, November 27, 2011 11:03:54 PM
Why put up a balloon store at all then? I have never caught a mark and run a collection on them. As I stated, I know squat about running collections. I work in joints that you don't see on the bigger shows anymore. And that's fine.
But the thing about collection joints irks me. Sure, if you let them go wide freaking open, it's probably not going to turn out well. But I know of guys dq'ed over $20 collections where the customer was happy and there was no beef. Just because. "No collections " instead of "no angry customers" doesn't make sense to me.
And you may be right about the fact that there are guys that'll take the last dollar. But there are PLENTY that won't. The guy that broke me in taught me this...Anyone can take down a big score, because a gambler will gamble no matter what. But true skill is getting them to stop when you want them to BEFORE they've overspent themselves. That's the hard part... the part that really takes skill isn't getting the money, it's getting a handshake at the end and no hard feelings.
Bowler Roller
Monday, November 28, 2011 1:28:05 AM
Personally, I could never say "Pay me $xxx" with a straight face.
Every crowd has a silver lining - PT Barnum
joan
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Monday, November 28, 2011 2:26:06 AM
Originally Posted by: Bowler Roller 

Personally, I could never say "Pay me $xxx" with a straight face.


lol, that's why I don't work in collections. I have no problem telling someone it's going to cost $xxx to throw again (hell, even $xxxx) but "you OWE me" even $10 doesn't come out of my mouth naturally. When someone asks me how much they owe me, I always respond the same-"you don't owe me a thing. you can quit now if you want. however, if you want to finish, it'll be....to take the next shot"