Tim Murphy, CEO of Boomers Parks, has been a leader in the family entertainment center industry (FEC) and food and beverage for more than 30 years. Throughout the pandemic, Murphy used the down time to develop strategies that will set the stage for the future of FECs.
Boomers currently operates eight parks: six family entertainment centers and two water parks located in California, New Jersey, and Florida. FECs took a significant hit during the pandemic and were forced to close for several months, but the future looks promising. The industry is predicted to grow, with the market estimating a 10.93% growth period until 2026. Adjusting to the new normal was not Murphy’s goal, so he decided to take it a step further toward innovation and increased the number of Boomers around the US.
Think bigger, think Boomer
Murphy decided to completely remodel the parks and digitize their marketing to aim at a more interactive and high-tech experience. He made a significant focus on implementing new ideas to elevate their guest experience platform: including healthier food options, an inviting atmosphere, and virtual reality additions to cater to today’s digital demands.
He wanted to move away from the outdated season pass structure and introduce breakthrough competitions, games, and adventures that extend the time spent at the parks to generate more revenue. Murphy also plans to expand the target audience from teenagers to young adults in the next few years, including original team-building opportunities to extend the reach of the family entertainment industry.
Murphy says, “As a leader, you set the vision.” He realized that all parks must change to survive and is leading his team to success through confident, yet humble, leadership based on his belief that people are your lifeline. He has a dedicated team of hard workers to support his ideas across the United States, also operating as one of the only FECs to have a fully remote staff working from their corporate headquarters.
Not just a Boomer, but a broker too
Most of this vision comes from experience; while studying accounting at the University of Central Florida, Murphy worked at the EPCOT Center in Walt Disney World when it opened in October 1982. Then near the start of the 1990s, Murphy left Disney to receive a Master’s degree in finance and become a CFO, COO, CEO, and advisor for more than 150 separate brands in the food and beverage industry.
The growth for Boomers was possible because of Murphy’s expertise in the field, which allowed him to capitalize on this opportunity. A veteran financial expert himself, he stands out from the typical CFO because of his experience as a commercial real estate broker in the state of Florida.
He already revolutionized the parks in June 2020 when he partnered with Cerberus Financial Group to save Boomers, then under Apex Parks Group, from bankruptcy. Boomers Parks reorganized under a new group, APX, and Murphy has plans to expand the parks across the US.
Murphy is planning on long-term growth for Boomers and says they want to acquire 25-30 new FECs in the next few years. Boomers Parks plans on integrating these gamifying plans into all of their new locations on their journey toward saving the future of the family entertainment industry.
His financial knowledge is key, saying, “We’re going to recondition and turn them into what we do best. And I think that’s where the value can be created. That’s one of the values in this business — buying versus building.”