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Case Study: Old Town Putt Colorado

Case Study: Old Town Putt Colorado

Old Town Putt is a 9-hole, indoor minigolf location in Fort Collins, Colorado that was established in 2019. They refer to themselves as, “a great little place for friends and family to gather and have fun” and escape, notably during the “dreary winter months”.

Locals have responded very enthusiastically, voting Old Town Putt as the #1 “Sip and Play” location in a 2022 Readers Choice Best of NOCO (Northern Colorado) poll and have awarded the location a 4.8/5 on Yelp.

Founder, Dana Snell describes the business as, “more of a bar with a variety of entertainment anchored by mini golf.” According to Dana, the “majority of our visitors are adults, young professionals, and Millennials.”

In addition to the draw of mini golf, Old Town Putt offers ping-pong on the patio and a small arcade room with Skee Ball, Big Buck Hunter, a four player PacMan Battle Royale, a boxer and Pop-a-shot basketball.

For adult nights out the Old Town Putt clubhouse offers a full bar along with pizzas and pretzels. Drinks include a full range of craft beers, wines, and cocktails.

Dana discovered 501 Entertainment's Augmented Reality Darts at the Bowl Expo trade show in 2022 which he attended because he was looking for some other attraction to add to the mix.  As he remembers, “I found the 501 Darts system and when I saw it I was like, I have GOT to figure out a spot to put it.”

Old Town Putt installed their Augmented Reality Darts from 501 Entertainment in July of 2023. When asked what he likes the most about the attraction, Dana noted, “I like the attractiveness of 501 Fun’s Augmented Reality Darts, how much fun it is to play, and the way that it keeps score.”

In addition, he also expressed, “I love the variety of the games and how eye-catching it is too.” 

In regard to this attraction's ability to attract attention, Dana stated, “I've noticed that every time anybody's playing the AR Darts, it's such a draw. Everybody else wants to know what the deal is with it and wants to play it next.”

Another positive aspect of 501 Fun’s AR Darts is that they help set Old Town Putt apart from other amusement businesses in the market. Dana notes, “501 Fun’s AR Darts add another feature and more variety to what we offer.”

He also recognizes that some customers are mentioning the AR Darts in their positive reviews of the business. Dana notes, “I saw a review we got the other day and it said, “great place fun, good drinks... Mini golf was kind of fun, but the darts were really awesome.”

Another thing that Dana appreciates is that 501 Fun’s AR Darts are generating interest in return visits from patrons. He exclaimed, “People are coming back for AR Darts specifically and bringing friends with them, saying - you've  got to check this out!.”

According to Dana, part of the appeal is that it’s fun for everyone, “501 Fun’s AR Darts,  opens up the idea of playing to people that would normally say, ‘I don't want to play - I'm not good at darts.’

“They try it and they get it. ‘Oh, this is cool!’ Instead of just having to hit the 18, they've got a half of the board to hit and they still make progress. And they get to take their picture and put it on there. And that's fun. Everybody's razzing each other and it's a lot better an experience for non-serious darts players.

But 501 Fun’s AR Darts also don’t leave out experienced players. Dana notes, “I've had some serious darts players. They can increase the difficulty level and make it more challenging for what they're looking for.”

Dana was a little concerned because there are two other places in the area that have traditional darts and they don’t charge patrons to play. He explains, “We just charge $5 for every 15 minutes and a lot of people just buy 15 minutes, but then they'll want to add on more time.” 

The variety of games available for 501 Fun’s AR Darts help to ensure their broad appeal. Dana expressed it best. “501 Fun’s AR Darts are good for groups. They're good for people who maybe aren't really great dart players because they can make the games easier or harder. When people get playing, they really enjoy them and they want to play all the different games.”

The Old Town Putt has run tournaments that drive people to play all the games. Dana notes that Killer is their most popular AR Darts game, but he has a different preference. “I like the new game, Lives”, he said. “It's a fun twist on playing because you throw three times and then the person that comes up next has to beat the score that went before them and then the next person has to beat the score that went before them. If the person that goes doesn't beat the score that went before them, then they lose a life and then it starts all over. That one's pretty fun.”

For Dana, the variety of guests who like to play has been unexpected. It fits very well with mini golf because it’s fun for people of all ages, skill levels, and competitiveness.

“I've been surprised by the number of groups of girls that want to play 501 Fun’s AR Darts. Maybe it's less intimidating than traditional darts. It’s not just people that are good at darts. 

“501 Fun’s AR Darts let me attract a new casual player.  It's open and accessible to all kinds of guests .”out for fun activities.” 

The Augmented Reality Darts help to set Old Town Putt apart from their competition.

 “At a venue with a bar, it's such an attraction,” Dana said. “501 Fun’s AR Darts is something so different that it adds value to the entire experience. Even for guests who don’t end up playing, they think - ‘this place has cool stuff. This place is cool. They like the atmosphere and the vibe of the bar, even if they're not playing.”

One of the goals of any business with a bar is increasing dwell time. Competitive socializing is effective for location-based entertainment when it can generate return visits and attract groups that want to spend their time together in that environment. On those counts, Dana thinks 501 Fun’s AR Darts are a hit.

“501 Fun’s AR Darts are bringing people back, people that have seen it and tried it, they come back to try it again. And they are hanging out longer.”

501 Fun’s AR Darts have helped keep guests on-site when they originally come in for the mini golf.

“People come in as groups who are spending a really long time playing darts over and over again. They're having fun because the mini golf is fine. It's quick and it's small and guests run through it. Some people will play two rounds, some people want to play three. But a lot of people just play once and then 501 Fun’s AR Darts help to keep them from leaving.” 

And it helps drive bar sales.

“501 Fun’s AR Darts definitely keeps people around a while longer and drink in their hand.”

Talking about the benefits got Dana dreaming of a new concept; “Now I'm talking myself into getting rid of the mini golf”, he joked, “and just putting in all 501 Fun Augmented Reality Darts.”

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Case Study: Old Town Putt Colorado

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Old Town Putt is a 9-hole, indoor minigolf location in Fort Collins, Colorado that was established in 2019. They refer to themselves as, “a great...

Read More