With estate diversity the name of the game for coastal operators the Aztec Coin portfolio of new and used products is the perfect match comments owner Richard Monk.
Coinslot: Both for yourself, and the wider scope of the industry, how important are coastal operations?
Richard Monk: “Coastal operations are extremely important. They are an essential ingredient in all that any coastal town has to offer. It is essential we keep things fresh and innovate as amusement machines play such an important part of a traditional seaside day out for millions. The diverse range of equipment available sometimes makes operator choices difficult when limited space is available, however, the quality of some of the recent redemption games are outstanding and the return on investment is worth its weight in gold when selecting those must have pieces.”
CS: Coastal operations have always been a uniquely traditional offering to visitors. Are you seeing any change in trends here? Are operators looking at more diverse options?
RM: “Yes, of course operations must adapt and change to suit trends and fashions. The must have piece two or three years ago may now be completely out of touch with players habits and needs, sometimes this can happen. Operators are looking for bigger brighter pieces to place strategically with virtual reality arenas along with crazy golf, assault courses and connected sports games are diluting the traditional mix of product on operators floor space.”
CS: The British seaside is in the midst of a comeback. What do you think is driving this?
RM: “An assumption that we will get warmer as weather patterns and climate changes. The increase in the cost of package holidays particularly the loading up by tour operators of pricing at children’s half terms and summer breaks. If we have good sustained weather it’s often much simpler to jump in the car and enjoy a weekend break in the UK. The country has some wonderful attractions and many coastal towns and the wider counties have pumped millions into redevelopment and these provide a very comfortable and attractive proposition to the traditional 14 days away.”
CS: New trends and innovation are key to any sector, what areas of development are you looking into for the seaside market?
RM: “As a new and used machine distribution company we feel there needs to be some balance on capital investment and we intend to offer a new range of redemption, cranes and video product that is in the main excellent value for money. Many pieces can cost in excess of thousands if not tens of thousands and we want to offer a huge range of machines that fill carpet space for sensible spend. We have shifted our focus this year onto this very sector and now consistently hold used driving, shooting and simulator games all at some of the most competitive used prices in the industry. Complimenting this are must have pieces such as pushers, ticket redemption, sports games and children rides. So far we have been extremely busy and the feedback on the quality and reliability of our used refurbished machines has been extremely encouraging for all our team. Once we add some new product into this mix we feel we will can provide coastal operators with a super range of kit.”
CS: Finally, cash or cashless. How do you square that circle in a seaside operation, if indeed it does need addressing?
RM: “Again this is all about adapting to trends. With the availability and ease of contactless payments for food drink and travel it is no wonder younger demographics are not carrying large sums in pound coins and silver, why would they need to? I would imagine any coastal operation investing in cashless options would see an uplift in income and in some cases I expect the percentage to be fairly significant. It gives the customer a very easy way to spend in a fashion they are accustomed to using and also stops the subconscious decisions to leave when pockets are empty of change. “Technology is available and the monitoring and security benefits these system offer within one multiple machine location is immense. Some manufacturers may disagree but I think it will be a long time yet before any arcade is completely devoid of 2p and 10p pieces.”