Following a $450,000 makeover, the unveiling of Tech Rec’s expensive facelift has raised a new question: What can Tech Rec do to avoid making the same mistakes that put it in the red for the past four years?
During the decision-making process, various predictions were vocalized regarding Tech Rec’s future prospects. National trends indicate that bowling on university campuses has been on the increase, and now that the rusty, old equipment has been replaced with a state-of-the-art new one, it is expected that bowling—Tech Rec’s biggest money maker—will start following the national trend. Other expectations pointed to a two to three year timeframe in which Tech’s recreational alternative would begin to make a profit.
In the event that these goals are not met, it will be time for Tech Rec to be held accountable. If it is to be viewed and funded as a business venture, it should be held to the appropriate standards, which include the ability to be sustainable in the long term without the need for a bailout.
As such, Tech Rec should take a closer look at the potential that it holds as one of the primary alternatives for entertainment and recreation on campus. Now more than ever, as it shows off its brand new bowling equipment and shiny flat-screen televisions, Tech Rec should make sure that the money that went into making these improvements does not go to waste.
Publicity efforts should be put into high gear right now. Few students are aware of the $1 specials currently being offered, or even of the range of activities available. A barely legible sign in front of its cavernous entrance will not be enough to draw in the crowd that it needs to go from red to black. More aggressive advertising is needed to spread the word that Tech Rec is back in business and better than ever.
In order to improve the student experience, Tech Rec should also consider partnering with a concessions vendor in order to offer food and drinks to its patrons. When students take a Dance Dance Revolution break after classes or meet up with their friends to play a game of pool on the weekends, all the restaurants in the Student Center have long closed. Offering food and drinks could also attract students walking through the Student Center during these times, and might even draw them into trying out the new Guitar Hero or Rock Band installments.
Whatever decisions are finally made, Tech Rec needs to think creatively and intelligently about its efforts and the vote of confidence that the Tech community has given it by signing off on that $450,000 check.