The Business of "Fun"

In my years as Games Manager, I always stressed that we were in the business of selling “fun.” Attitude, enthusiasm, demeanor, and presentation could either make or break a sale. If we weren’t having “fun,” the guest wasn’t having “fun.”

With this in mind, I just got back from Tennessee on a family outing. Like most family outings, we ate, walked the main drag of Gatlinburg, played mini golf, I fawned over an arcade, and the cherry on top was a zip line tour through the Smoky Mountains.

We’ve gone on a zip line tour before (it was in a cave), but this tour stretched the line between the peaks as we flew over the valleys. The air was crisp, the sun was rising, the fog was lifting, and the view was spectacular.

CLICK TO ENLARGE - The view from the zip line tour of the Smoky Mountains.

This post could just end here, but for me, the tour did have one more notable aspect, the tour guides. These two guides are responsible for the overall experience, but it takes extra care to make an attraction like a zip line tour both safe and fun. As a guide, a level of professionalism must be infused with a dose of “fun.” You’re selling an adventure, an experience, but at the same time, there is a level of risk as you are hooking guests to a contraption hooked to a line that spans half a mile through a Smoky Mountain valley.

These guides have had great training. They answered all questions, double and triple checked each lock, strap, and buckle. Most importantly though, on an adventure, thousands of feet in the air, careening down a wire at 40mph, I had “fun,” and felt safe.

There are different types of businesses that sell “fun,” and when they’re done right, it’s not just a zip line tour, it’s an experience.

CLICK TO ENLARGE - Coming in for a landing.