Selling an Entertainment or Amusement Sector Company

Aug 23, 2022

Visit Seaside, Oregon or Chelan, Washington and virtually every hospitality, retail, and entertainment business is a privately held company or family owned business.  The beauty of entrepreneurship in these locations is that purchases are traditionally wants and not needs facilitated by a customer driven purchasing environment with people making emotion motivated purchases to create/preserve memories where price is often not a moderating consideration.

IBA has an approximately fifty year history of successfully facilitating transactions in communities with a significant tourist trade component in the Pacific Northwest.  Although, it is enjoyable to sell need based business models like roofing companies, tire shops, and hair salons, it is genuinely fun to work with entrepreneurs who own businesses in places we have visited in the Pacific Northwest with our families, created personal memories, and find their successors.  A special component of these businesses are the amusement sector businesses which sell entertainment services.

As a 28 year, professional intermediary who has sold over 300 businesses I am an advocate for entrepreneurship in the service sector based on its scalability and traditionally strong profit margins.  Some of the entertainment businesses I have seen run profitably in tourist destinations and metropolitan areas include golf courses (private and mini); waterparks; go kart tracks; arcades; tours (Food, Ghost, & Historical); horseback, boat, kayak, scuba, parasail, jeep, and ATV experiences; bicycle, personal watercraft, & boat rentals; photo studios; and escape rooms.

Successful entrepreneurship is also possible creating personal and group entertainment experiences that can be brought into the home.  A recent, Pacific Northwest story of achievement in home amusement business development is the story of Richard Tait & Whit Alexander, who created the board game Cranium.  Colleagues at Microsoft in the 1990’s, they built a company that would eventually sell to Hasbro, Inc. for $77.5 million by thinking out of the box.  Some of their legendary leaps of thought germinated from experiences playing Scrabble and Pictionary with the recognition that different people have diverse strengths and a game would be more fun if it tapped into that diversity rather than played to specific strengths and identifying that games could be sold in places like Starbucks, Barnes & Noble, and Virgin Record stores equally successfully as game and toy stores.  Unfortunately, COVID-19 took Mr. Tait prematurely at the young age of 58 ( Many in the entrepreneurial community who heard him speak would remember his personal mantra of “Orville Wright did not have a pilot’s license when he built his first airplane”.

IBA has worked with a spectrum of entrepreneurs who created games, puzzles, toys, and entertainment devices.  These business owners have ranged from Mark & Mariel Oblack who invented the Chuck-It, one of the most iconic dog toys created in the last thirty years, to American Dream Products, a manufacturer of cross-stitch, needle point, crewel, and quilting products, sold in Michael’s and online to enthusiasts for the hobby.

Fun can occur and lifelong memories created at a kitchen table, on a daytrip, or vacation. Entrepreneurship focused on creating amusement is a wonderful place to earn a livelihood.  If you are interested in selling a business that creates entertainment whether through a product or service, IBA has the knowledge, experience, and ability to properly value and find a buyer for your company. Please contact us if we can be of assistance.  All information shared is held in strict confidence.  100% of IBA’s fees are payable upon performance when a transaction is completed.

IBA, the Pacific Northwest’s premier business brokerage firm since 1975, is available as an information resource to the media, business brokerage, and mergers & acquisitions community on subjects relevant to the purchase & sale of privately held companies and family-owned businesses.  IBA is recognized as one of the best business brokerage firms in the nation based on its long track record of successfully negotiating “win-win” business sale transactions in environments of full disclosure employing “best practices”.