With recent, exciting developments in the mini and adventure golf market, Christie & Co’s Head of Leisure & Development, Jon Patrick, discusses how the sector has increased in popularity and what opportunities lay ahead.
The leisure market covers a wide remit of business types and concepts, ranging from conventional sites such as spas, gyms and holiday parks, to of-the-moment original models driven by consumer demand trends.
In recent years, the adventure golf sector has seen a boom and many operators are experiencing strong demand from both consumers and investors. This was exemplified by the announcement that leading indoor mini golf operator, Puttshack had raised £27 million in equity to support its rapid expansion plans.
What this tells us is that the market is evolving for traditionally low-tech concepts like crazy golf and darts, popularised by bar chain Flight Club, which, with the introduction of new technology and slick design with scoring and booking systems, are now placed into the competitive socialising framework. Once their position in the market has been established, these businesses can then drive on-site F&B, return visits and capitalise on their unique selling points with consumers who are consistently looking for new experiences.
The adventure golf sector has become increasingly prevalent due to its adaptability to different sites and audiences, from catering to more adult-focused custom with the likes of Swingers and Junkyard Golf to the more family-friendly end of the spectrum with themed golf parks.
The latter will be seeing some exciting activity as one of the UK’s leading adventure golf operators, Adventure Experience, has brought its portfolio of four parks and two development sites to the market through us at Christie & Co.
The market overall has been expanding organically with both indoor and outdoor concepts gaining ground and we see the potential for consolidation, as well as the opportunity for outdoor and indoor operators to potentially combine. This could be to ensure a balanced operating platform with a hedge against the weather or indeed to bring some of the indoor tech to the outdoor market, as well as widening the demographic appeal within one business.
We’ve certainly seen a good cross section of indoor and outdoor operators as well as a range of investors showing interest in the Adventure Experience portfolio. As the acquisition and development of new sites is very time consuming, the opportunity to acquire four established centres with two development sites is proving attractive to the market.
Christie and Co www.christie.com