Think the video game industry is all child’s play? Not according to the Entertainment Software Association, which reports that 68 percent of American households play computer or video games. Adults and kids alike have created an $11 billion-a-year industry in 2008, up from $8.7 billion in 2007, according to the ESA. With those kinds of numbers, gaming is poised for explosive in the years ahead.
Enter Michael P. Falgares, a former elementary school teacher, who is tapping into the trend with Gamin’ Ride, a mobile, indoor-outdoor entertainment theater experience that brings the latest video game, movie, light and sound technology to residential and commercial clients.
Founded in January 2008, the Gamin’ Ride concept is positioning itself for aggressive national growth. The company currently operates 11 locations in seven states, including Alabama, Maryland, Missouri, New Jersey, New York and Utah.
Gamin’ Ride plans to open 40 units by the end of 2011 and have a total of 150 more in operation over the next five years.
Systemwide projections for this year are expected to be about $2.6 million.
Gamin’ Ride focuses on driving the “wow” factor to every event. From sirens and lighting to its Xbox 360, Sony Playstation 3 and Wii video game consoles, its two-hour party packages unload a full tilt, sensory assault of pure fun to its guests. Once Gamin’ Ride arrives at its destination, guests board the truck and the event leader, called the Game Guru, ignites and orchestrates the party.
Gamin’ Ride’s interconnected video systems allow partygoers to simultaneously game against as many as 16 people at once. Additionally, vibrating game chairs and scented air machines add to the lighted ambiance. Guests can even commemorate the event with photos taken inside the Gamin’ Ride photo booth or star in their own video on one of the truck’s movie screens.
Falgares originally suspected that Gamin’ Ride would resonate best with kids—especially given the vibrant, interactive nature of the events. What he discovered, instead, was a growing market of gamers who now range from age 5 to 85.
“Originally, I thought this was going to be
a great business for kids, but I have learned that adults are just as much into our concept,” says Falgares, who dubs himself, chief “experience” officer. “In fact, 30 percent of our income comes from corporate clients, who hire Gamin’ Ride for summer picnics, holiday parties, tournaments or special events.”
Additionally, Gamin’ Ride has rolled its way into senior citizen communities where groups partake in video bowling, golf and tennis tournaments all from inside the mobile gaming truck. And given that the ESA estimates that in 2009, 25 percent of gamers were over the age of 50, Falgares says such programs are poised for continued success.
“It’s great to see a range of age groups enjoying the experience Gamin’ Ride delivers,” Falgares says. “Each session can be tailored to meet the age and needs of the client at hand.”
Some of Gamin’ Ride’s most popular clients are schools; many enlist Gamin’ Ride to provide entertainment at family fun nights and graduations. Another popular request is its “Earn N Burn” program, which helps schools raise money through fitness and video games. Similar to a walk-a-thon, students get sponsors to pledge money for participation in the event. The program allows the franchisee to gain unprecedented credibility in the community while advertising Gamin’ Ride’s attractions in schools.
Gamin’ Ride’s unique mobile party concept is poised for franchise growth in coming years. Falgares says that while the initial franchise investment ranges from $99,000 to $200,000— which includes a franchise fee of $30,000—interested buyers can opt to invest in a smaller sized truck.
“We did this to meet the needs of our prospects who are trying to get into the business but have financial restrictions due to the economy,” Falgares says. “We believe that Gamin’ Ride ultimately delivers the ‘wow’ factor to all guests based on our gaming systems and our client services. In the end, everyone has fun—regardless of their age, or even the size of their selected truck.”
Below are frequently asked questions that franchisees receive from potential customers. It will help entrepreneurs understand the Gamin’ Rides experience .
Q: How much do parties cost?
A: Pricing for a Gamin’ Ride is extremely competitive to other party alternatives. Pricing varies from location to location and event to event. Birthday party clients please utilize our Booking System to inquiry about specific pricing for your date. For clients looking to rent the Gamin’ Ride for schools, fundraisers, corporate and/or special events please call us directly for the latest pricing information.
Q: How much space does Gamin’ Ride need?
A: Gamin’ Ride trailer takes up approximately 50 feet from nose to tail (including truck). Our Mobile Video Game Theater needs a level area to insure pleasant playing conditions.
Q: How many participants can fit in and out of the Gamin’ Ride?
A: The Gamin’ Ride was designed to maximize the amount of space inside our theaters. There are 16 Ultimate Game Chairs inside our theater allowing for 16 players to interact and play at the same time. Outside of the Gamin’ Ride are two additional Stations allowing 8 more players to utilize our outdoor theater system. (Weather Providing)
Q: What games are available?
A: Gamin’ Ride features the best top games for Playstation 3, XBOX 360 and the Wii. If you have a special request please call us prior to your event at (888) 364-2637. We will do our best to acomadate you. If you have a game from home that you would like to bring aboard our theater please ask permission of the Game Guru at the event. As long as the game meets the ESRB standards for that event you should have no problem.
Q: Is there any age limit?
A: Gamin’ Ride is perfect for everyone. However, we do recommend that participants be able to read and follow directions. Our suggested minimum age is 5 years and older.
Q: What is your refund/cancellation policy?
A: A deposit of 50% is due upon booking your event. Your full deposit is non-refundable. All balances must be paid at least 3 days prior to your event via Credit Card. Cash is not accepted the day of the event. Events paid in full but canceled with more than 14 days prior will be entitled to a 50% refund. Clients who pay in full and cancel their events with less than 14 days prior to the event are not eligible for a refund. Events that are canceled due to Acts of God including but not limited to Hurricanes, Earthquakes, Snowstorms, Severe Weather will be eligible to reschedule their event and have all monies applied to a future date up to one year into the future. No refunds are given due to cancellations resulting from an act of God. These terms and conditions are subject to change without notice. The conditions in place at the time of cancellation supercede any terms and conditions previously set forth. GRATUITY IS BY NO MEANS INCLUDED. 95% of our clients tip for a job well done! Let us exceed your expectations.
Q: How about the weather? Too hot? Too cold?
A: Each Gamin’ Ride Theater is self powered and climate controlled. For the most part we can accommodate most weather conditions. In the event that there is severe weather the day of the event that precludes the party from occurring then it will be rescheduled at no additional charge, at a mutually agreed date and time.
Q: Can you have food or drinks in the Gamin’ Ride?
A: We require that all food and drinks remain outside of the Theater.
Q: Do parents need to supervise?
A: We require that one responsible adult remains at the event for it’s duration. Parents are more than welcome to board the Gamin’ Ride. However, it is not required. Each Gamin’ Ride Event is hosted by a professionally trained Game Guru who will insure the success of each event. Game Gurus will also do their best to involve everyone regardless of their skill level.
Q: Do you need to plug into an outlet?
A: No. Each Gamin Ride Mobile Video Game Theater is self powered and climate controlled. The Theater is powered by on-board generators.
Q: What other services do you provide? How do I book them?
A: We provide DJ Entertainment, Party Favors, Personalized Goodie Bags, Live Photography, Photo Key Chains & Favors, Outdoor Laser Tag, The World’s Largest Dance Machine and Interactive Game Shows. Visit our Corporate Website for more information www.interactiveproductions.net Most of our additional services can be booked online. If there is something that is not available online please speak to one of our trained team leaders
Q: Is it appropriate to tip the Game Guru who hosts the event?
A: Gratuity is not required but highly encouraged. If it helps, 95% of our clients tip for a job well done. •
ON THE PULSE OF ENTERTAINMENT
Innovative, Interactive Mobile Party Service
Gamin’ Ride is on the pulse of such trends with its innovative, interactive mobile party service. Basic two-hour party packages start at $349 and increase based on the client’s service requests. The base package price includes use of standard video game consoles including: Xbox 360, PlayStation3 and Wii. Additional non-video game activities can be purchased for an extra cost.
At the end of the party, guests can commemorate their experience by taking photos in the Gamin’ Ride’s photo booth and purchasing keychains or photo frames.
Training and Ongoing Support: Gamin’ Ride delivers the ultimate experience to guests and franchisees alike. Prospective franchisees arrive into the Jackson, New Jersey, headquarters where they take part in hosted dinners, parties, personalized welcome packages and a tour of the corporate facility.
Once a franchisee comes aboard, the corporate team provides five days of training at its Jackson offices and then another five days of onsite training in the franchisee’s hometown following the truck delivery. Gamin’ Ride also conducts weekly web training and offers an online module with training videos for new employees and refresher courses for established franchisees.
For more info, visit
Gamin’ Ride Franchise Systems, Inc.
460 Faraday Ave., Jackson, NJ 08527