Fritz’s Adventure had been looking, for some time, at a restaurant, coffee shop, or even an attraction that would really help complete their corner property. The main goal was to bring something in that people would want to stop by and check out and also fit with the current theming and mission of Fritz’s Adventure. After meeting with the team behind Fritz’s, we had a mutual understanding and signed a 6-month Try-Before-You-Buy contract. Now after 2 seasons of successful operation, Fritz’s Aerodium is a permanent attraction at the adventure center. I reconnected with Jake Schenk, General Manager of Fritz’s Adventure, to talk about the impact the wind tunnel has had.
IB: Hi Jake! Thanks for taking the time to chat with me today. What was the primary reason you chose to add a wind tunnel to your entertainment facility?
JS: The primary reason we chose to add Aerodium to our facility is that it fits so great with our mission and vision. It allows families to create unique experiences and offers them something that they can’t do in everyday life. That offering and the ability to help draw attention to our already existing building was a great fit. When we were able to have a test flight on an Aerodium Wind-Tunnel and heard more about the potential ways they partner, we thought it was a great potential fit and wanted to give it a try.
IB: What has been the feedback from the customers?
JS: The feedback from customers can be summed up in a few words. It’s all smiles! The majority of our customers come off the wind-tunnel having just experienced something they have never had the chance to do before and love it. They are smiling ear-to-ear and we get to hear them say, “When can I do it again?”
I’ve done both the inside wind tunnels as well as the outdoor one. The experience for me blows it out of the water with the outdoor experience like what we see behind me. What I love about this is we’ve had a variety of all ages and all different sizes of people that get to experience that so a lot of people that tell me: “you know what, I’ve crossed something off my bucket list, because we got to fly at your Aerodium experience!”
IB: How has the wind tunnel added value to Fritz’s Adventure?
JS: Fritz’s Aerodium has added value in multiple ways. The biggest ways are from awareness and media coverage. We have a perfect location where the tunnel is on one of the most visible and busiest corners in town. When people are driving by and see the flyers in the air, they can’t help but turn and look at what is going on. It’s like we have built an interactive billboard. The second way is through media. Local news stations and our local visitor’s bureau are helping us publicize because of the great experience our wind-tunnel provides. It is also worth mentioning that we have the nation’s 1st outdoor Aerodium Wind-Tunnel. We own one of two Aerodium wind-tunnels in the United States and we were the first to be able to open up that experience for our guests.
IB: How has the new wind tunnel addition been recognized by the community?
JS: In our first year of operation, Fritz’s Aerodium won the Best Of Branson for the “Best Extreme Adventure” in 2018. This award is presented by the Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette and voted on by the regional audience. Currently, Fritz’s Aerodium has been nominated for the “Best Outdoor Attraction” and “Best Extreme Adventure” by Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette and the 2019 awards winners will be announced later this year.
Fritz’s Aerodium has helped build our overall business awareness and brand. It has given us the ability to provide a unique experience that very few people in the nation have the opportunity to try.
IB: Thanks, Jake! And good luck in this year’s Best Of Branson awards.