Erin Arnold: Making her way into People’s Hearts.

ADMIRED WOMEN

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Launch Entertainment Park

With a mission to create ‘Awesome memories’ for families, Erin Arnold established Launch Entertainment Park, back in 2012. Being the Founder and COO, she has beautifully merged her entrepreneurial expertise with an ideology of spreading happiness through her venture. She is a creative, passionate, and driven professional who has a keen eye for detail and relishes a challenge. She has enjoyed building multiple businesses and teams from the ground up and took them to lofty heights. As a family entertainment park, she highlights, “Launch Entertainment Park offers a variety of attractions and revenue streams including trampolines, laser tag, arcade with prizes, bowling, virtual reality, zipline, ropes course, rock climbing, ninja course, XP arena, battle beam, meltdown, Krave restaurant, and bar.

The inception of the park was the creation of Erin’s consciousness when she discovered the concept of a trampoline park during a family vacation to Disney World. Nine years ago, the first park started as a simple trampoline park and has since evolved into an upscale entertainment center with multiple attractions and revenue streams across 30 locations nationwide. The first parks were originally located in industrial areas and offered trampoline courts, a handful of arcade games, and a concession stand; the arcade and food were an afterthought. “As we began to see the market become saturated in certain geographies, we knew we had a choice: stay the same and get into a price war with our competitors to see who could last the longest, or set ourselves apart by evolving, innovating, and offering a premium quality experience that our competitors couldn’t replicate,” she mentions. Later, this endeavor transformed from Launch Trampoline Park into Launch Entertainment Park. Although, the company has not abandoned trampolines and has run the business alongside bowling, laser tag, ropes courses, and virtual reality activities. “We opened our first park in Warwick, RI in November 2012 and our second location in Hartford, CT one year later,” shares Erin. 

Erin pursued franchise development only after conducting extensive research ahead of the launch. The research reported that many existing organizations were lacking in the safety department whilst others failed to maintain additional revenue streams to the trampoline attractions. “We wanted to have something better; something that offered it all,” she adds. Erin saw an opportunity to become a pioneer in presenting a clean as well as safe park that literally turns dreams into reality. Following that, Launch Entertainment Park began franchising in 2014.   

Erin wholeheartedly enjoys her venture and feels lucky to share the success with her husband and children. She says, “The difficult parts for me have also been some of the most rewarding and have helped me grow and become a stronger person and role model.” In her pursuit, the challenging factor for Erin was the constant evolution of the business and identifying the people needed to help grow it. “This is a big business and it would be impossible to do on my own. Building a team that shares the same drive and dedication was absolutely necessary. We are constantly evaluating our offering to the guest. Is this what they want? Is this what they need? How can we change and better suit their needs both nationally and on an individual geographical basis?” she asserts. Therefore, she feels it’s imperative to maintain the business’s dynamic, guest-oriented culture to encourage people to revisit the park. This facility is also fulfilling Erin’s compassion towards the act of giving back to the community. She feels honored to be able to provide for these communities and believes she has made a difference in the world through the franchise’s amazing facilities. “Our park in Warwick, RI opens up each year on Christmas Day to throw a huge Christmas pizza party to kids who are in local orphanages, foster homes, or otherwise involved in youth and family services,” she says. The goal is to offer kids a Christmas that they wouldn’t otherwise have. “Our park in Richmond, VA hosts meet and greets for prospective adoptive parents and children in foster care,” she continues. The way they have been able to give back through their parks means a lot to the entire Launch team.

Erin Arnold

“As we began to see the market become saturated in certain geographies, we knew we had a choice: stay the same and get into a price war with our competitors to see who could last the longest, or set ourselves apart by evolving, innovating, and offering a premium quality experience that our competitors couldn’t replicate”

Apply, Buy and Prevail

The Launch Entertainment Park franchise costs 50,000 USD and includes initial training, support, site selection assistance, design assistance, and opening assistance. “We are lucky enough to be in a position where we are currently only accepting franchisees that are a great fit for our brand,” says Erin. Before licensing the franchise, Erin and her team observe many indicators while reviewing franchise applications. “Owners who have previous franchise experience, who have led teams, and who have experience in operations, finances, sales, and marketing tend to be most successful, but they also have to be a culture fit for Launch,” she continues. Hence, she expects franchise owners to know and care about their business affairs and to follow Launch Entertainment Park’s system. Its operations team is there to support the franchisees throughout their life with the Launch Entertainment Park.  

Out of the gate our team is there to share best practices, offer design, site selection and build out support, hiring support, virtual and in-person training, step by step ordering guidelines, and boots on the ground location training when your store is getting ready to open its doors,” she adds. “Once open, each franchisee is added to our call center where our friendly, trained staff will answer phone calls, book parties, and group events, and answer incoming web chats for their location.” The franchisees receive monthly training, park performance standings, safety audits, in-person visits, and best-in-class support. In addition to this, franchisees will also be invited to quarterly business analysis and monthly operator calls.

 Aiming to Revolutionize the Industry

Like most businesses, we were largely impacted during the initial wave of the pandemic,” shares Erin. It had shuttered the doors to all of its parks under COVID-19 guidelines. When the park reopened, the number of visitors increased significantly, resulting in the highest sales ever recorded. To balance this increased demand with the health and safety of the staff and guests, Erin knew she needed to implement a thorough cleanliness certification program that was specifically designed with trampoline and family entertainment centers in mind. The Launch Entertainment Park adopted the S.T.E.R.I.L.E. program throughout the organization, which is a national cleanliness certification that meets and exceeds all CDC guidelines. “All park staff at every location were required to have been trained in and certified in this program prior to reopening their location post-COVID,” she mentions. Additionally, Launch Entertainment Park reduced capacity in its parks, encourages the use of its contactless entry, provides ample opportunity for social distancing, and are following local mask and/or vaccine or testing ordinances for staff and guests where applicable. The main goal for the company is to ensure the comfort and safety of everyone inside of buildings. 

Moreover, being a top innovator in the industry, the company is excited for the release of its next project. “It’s a real game-changer!” gleams Erin. She and her peers are incorporating brand-new technology to completely gamify the entire Launch Entertainment Park experience and bypass certain pain points that guests are currently experiencing. She truly believes the technology and processes she is implementing will revolutionize the entire industry. “We are so excited for the future of Launch!” she exclaims. The next few years you can see Launch Entertainment Park continuing on the path of recruiting best in class franchise professionals to help support its growing organization, continue its relentless focus of creating amazing guest experiences, and adding more corporate and franchise locations to be the largest and most successful family entertainment concept in the world.

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