Commercial Recreation Specialists Focuses on Parks, Summer Camps

Company: Commercial Recreation Specialists

Location: Verona, Wis.

Background: Commercial Recreation Specialists was founded in 1999 by co-owners Ron Romens, president, and Rich Wills, vice president. The company markets custom-designed recreation solutions for clients that include campgrounds, resorts, RV parks, municipalities, schools, cruise lines, zoos and other recreational settings. Products include inflatables, paddle boats, splash pads, aqua parks, pool slides and other water features, in addition to playgrounds, miniature golf courses and shade structures.

Best Selling Products: Romens says “get wet fun” ideas have become particularly popular in campgrounds in the past five years. “Water inflatables and splash mats have been very, very good,” he says, “and they have great marketing appeal.” Miniature golf courses also are growing in popularity as features that can help campground owners increase revenue. Shade structures are more in demand, too, for creating “comfort zones” around pools, beaches and horseshoe pits.

Market Focus: The company’s primary focus is on campgrounds, RV parks, summer camps and day camps, while it also serves independent concessionaires, municipalities, YMCAs and some military installations. Clients are throughout the U.S. and some Caribbean nations.

Contact Info: Ron Romens, president; (877) 896-8442; fax (608) 848-8782; [email protected]; www.crs4rec.com

Mini-Golf Inc. is a Family-Run Outfit Located in Pennsylvania

Company: Mini-Golf Inc.

Location: Jessup, Pa.

Background: Mini-Golf Inc. is a family-run company owned by cousins Joseph Rogari and Joseph Buckshon that’s been in the miniature golf industry since 1955, managing, designing, manufacturing and delivering courses and conducting major miniature golf tournaments. The company’s been in business since 1981.

Best Selling Products: The company specializes in designing and constructing prefabricated indoor and outdoor miniature golf courses. “We design, build and sell portable courses, which is wonderful for campgrounds,” Buckshon says. “They can move them in one day. That is something that cement courses can’t do.” He added that the portable courses can be landscaped and decorated to look like permanent, cement courses. “We do the drawings and layouts and incorporate water features in our designs and plans,” he says. “The advantages of our product for a campground are they have a location. They don’t have to buy land; they’re ready for installation on a moment’s notice.”

Market Focus: Mini-Golf Inc. sells courses worldwide, Buckshon says, and campgrounds are among the company’s best customers. “Everything we do is custom made and tailored to their needs,” he says. “One might want 10,000 square feet and another might want 2,000 square feet.” An 18-hole course can be set up indoors or outdoors in an area as small as 3,000 square feet.

Contact Info: Joseph Buckshon, co-owner; (570) 489-8623; fax (570) 383-9970; [email protected]; www.minigolfinc.com

Trailmate Tricycles Generally Appeal to Older Adult Guests

Company: Trailmate

Location: Sarasota, Fla.

Background: Trailmate was a specialty manufacturer of adult recreational tricycles when Harry Bakker purchased it in 1977. The next year he bought the assets of a cycle company in Sarasota, Fla., Now, the firm operates a 67,000-square-foot plant there and manufactures tricycles for a variety of industrial users and individuals with special needs, in addition to recreational models.

Best Selling Products: Trailmate President Wendy Shim says the company’s best-selling product is the Desoto Classic. It’s unlike most trikes on the market, which are bikes that have been converted to trikes by adding an extra wheel, according to Shim. “Ours are built to be a trike from the beginning. It’s very easy to ride and we try to keep the quality consistent,” she said. The tricycles are increasingly popular in campgrounds, where guests rent them for recreation and transportation. “Older adults enjoy them, but the children really see them as fun,” says Shim. “Kids may bring their regular bikes with them. But when they see these, it’s an opportunity to try something different.”

Market Focus: Trailmate’s tricycles are sold through retail bicycle dealers throughout the U.S. Most individuals who buy them are older adults who like the stability, and they’re popular for individuals with disabilities, including children with special needs. Industrial models are used in warehouses and similar settings where they’re replacing golf carts, according to Shim, because they are more eco-friendly and allow employees to get some exercise on the job.

Contact Info: Wendy Shim, president; (800) 777-1034; fax (941) 758-5141; [email protected]; www.trailmate.com

Prime Karts’ Pedal-Powered Products Keep Guests On-Site

Company: Prime Karts

Location: Pensacola, Fla.

Background: Prime Karts began selling its go-kart-style pedal-powered products in 1999, according to Derek Lother, vice president of sales.

Best Selling Products: Lother says the company’s best selling product is The Storm, a one-person kart for ages 6 to adults. Other models are suitable for even younger children, and some two-person, side-by-side models are available. The U.S.-made pedal-powered karts can benefit campground owners by generating rental income and keeping guests in the campground during their stay, Lother says: “It’s a profit center and a new, fun activity for their guests to do.”

Market Focus: Campgrounds were the first market for Prime Karts, according to Lother, and they continue to be the company’s biggest market. The company also sells to bike rental companies, fun centers, day camps, party rental companies and even farmers’ markets. “Almost anything recreational is where you will see them,” he said.

Contact Info: Derek Lother, vice president; (866) 475-0450; fax (866) 475-7511; [email protected]; www.primekarts.com

Adventure Golf Services Has Multi-Featured Golf Courses

Company: Adventure Golf Services

Location: Traverse City, Mich.

Background: The firm’s founder and CEO, Arne Lundmark, began designing “landscape” miniature golf courses, with water and topographical features in the 1970s. Courses now typically feature waterfalls, streams, ponds and bridges. Adventure Golf Services designs, develops and constructs permanent miniature golf courses as well as portable and modular courses and family entertainment centers. The company’s clients include Mall of America, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines and Disney in addition to campgrounds and other vacation spots.

Best Selling Products: Kreg Krupa, Adventure Golf Services account executive, says the company’s best seller is a portable mini-course: “It’s made from a modular panel system that slides together like puzzle pieces and can be put together in a variety of places.” A small modular course called My Mini Golf is popular with campground owners on a limited budget, he added.

Market Focus: Adventure Golf Services sells to campground owners as well as cruise lines, resorts and hotels in the U.S. and internationally.

Contact Info: Kreg Krupa, account executive; (231) 922-8166; fax (231) 922-0153; [email protected]; www.adventureandfun.com