How Monky is revolutionizing multi-activity leisure complexes

How Monky is revolutionizing multi-activity leisure complexes

In the dynamic world of indoor play centres, Monky stands out for its innovative approach and ability to offer a multitude of activities under one roof. To better understand the secrets behind this success, we had the opportunity to interview Pierre-Elie Quirion, Monky’s Director of Communication and Marketing. With an impressive career in e-commerce and expertise in business development, Pierre-Elie shares the secrets of Monky’s success, the challenges faced, and the future ambitions of this multi-activity indoor play centre located in Laval. Discover how Monky is transforming the leisure landscape in France and what makes it so unique.

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Could you introduce yourself and tell us a little about your career ?

Pierre-Elie Quirion: My name is Pierre-Elie Quirion, and I’m 33 years old. I started my career in e-commerce as e-commerce manager, where I was in charge of after-sales service for three years in a company specializing in the sale of spare parts for garden appliances to private individuals.

Then I joined a large French group called Mericq, a seafood wholesaler. I worked there for two years as e-commerce creative project manager and e-commerce manager.

After this experience, I joined an agri-food technopole. These technopoles bring together small teams of experts who support and help young start-ups and companies to develop and survive. I stayed for another two years.

In April 2024, I joined the Monky Group as Communications and Marketing Director. We have sites in Laval and Agen, as well as others under construction in Carcassonne, Mont-de-Marsan and elsewhere.

Monky opened in Laval in early 2024. Could you give us an overview of Monky? What activities and services do you offer?

Pierre-Elie Quirion: Monky in Laval opened between the end of 2023 and the beginning of 2024. We offer a wide range of activities and services, including:

  • Indoor karting: An indoor karting track for speed enthusiasts.
  • Bowling: 16 bowling lanes for family and friends to enjoy.
  • Indoor playground: A secure play area for the youngest visitors.
  • Trampoline park: A trampoline zone for fun and safe acrobatics.
  • Karaoke rooms: Equipped rooms for unforgettable singing sessions.
  • Musical quiz rooms: To test your musical knowledge interactively.
  • Arcade and virtual reality games: A large arcade room with classic and modern games, as well as virtual reality experiences.
  • Classic games: Foosball, pool tables, and other traditional games.

All Monky complexes also have a brewery-restaurant, allowing visitors to dine on-site between activities or after a day of fun.

What motivated you to open a multi-activity leisure complex? Why choose this business model?

Pierre-Elie Quirion: The founders of Monky, initially restaurateurs, saw an opportunity after some professional encounters. They had the chance to create an arcade in Agen, where there was only a bowling alley at the time. They thought that offering a variety of activities in one place could energize the region. Thus, they opened Monky in Agen, and seeing its success, they decided to open another complex in Laval.

Seeing the success of the Agen and Laval complexes, they structured the company to become a group and started developing projects in other medium-sized cities like Mont-de-Marsan and Carcassonne. Other projects are also underway.

Monky’s ambition is to create a multi-generational living space where everyone can come to have fun and enjoy a good time. The business model is based on the diversity of activities offered, allowing us to reach a wide audience. Those not attracted to games can enjoy the brewery-restaurant, where we brew our own beer, and relax in a cozy atmosphere.

We have activities for all age groups:

  • For ages 0-5: Baby Jump and Baby Parc, secure play zones for toddlers.
  • For ages 5-12: Kid Parc, a space designed for children.
  • For ages 12 and up: Laser game, escape game, bowling, jump park, and other activities.

There is no age limit at Monky. The spaces are designed to allow all generations to have fun together, from toddlers to people aged 80 and over. This creates a living space where generations meet and interact, fostering human exchanges and encounters. It’s truly an ideal environment where everyone can have a good time.

Why did you choose Play In Business for the construction of Monky? How did the collaboration with them go?

Pierre-Elie Quirion: We discovered Play In Business and approached them for the construction of the trampoline park, indoor playground, and toddler zone in Laval. The collaboration went very well, and we are very satisfied with the quality and service provided by Play In Business.

My boss informed me that we will continue to collaborate with Play In Business for the future Monky complexes we are building. This shows that the partnership and collaboration in Laval were beneficial enough for both parties to consider calling on them for all our upcoming projects.

Play In Business met our safety expectations, and the venue is very popular with customers, who use it frequently. The quality of their work is also excellent, which reinforces our decision to continue working with them.

Since opening, how has Monky been doing in terms of attendance? Can you share some key figures?

Pierre-Elie Quirion: Since opening, Monky has been experiencing good attendance with around 250,000 visitors per year, which is very satisfying. Monky Laval, which is larger than Agen, attracts even more visitors. To give you an idea, Monky in Agen covers an area of 5,000 square meters, while Monky Laval extends over 7,000 square meters.

With the opening of Laval, we expect to reach a total of 500,000 to 600,000 visitors per year for both parks combined. Attendance varies depending on the day of the week. For example, we see higher attendance on Tuesdays from 6 p.m. when people finish work and pick up their children. Weekends, public holidays, and school holidays also see high attendance.

During the week, outside holidays, the complex is relatively quiet until 6 p.m. Then, attendance increases, especially on Friday evenings and Saturdays, as people take advantage of their free time to have fun. In summary, attendance and revenue vary depending on the day and period, with a trend towards higher attendance at the end of the week and during holidays.

Do you think the trend of multi-activity leisure complexes will continue to grow? What are, in your opinion, the main factors for success?

Pierre-Elie Quirion: The multi-activity indoor play centre sector is growing. In the past, leisure activities like bowling or escape games were scattered in separate locations. Today, the trend is to centralize these activities in one place, which meets a growing demand.

This growth is driven by several factors. First, the business model allows for the centralization of various fun activities, offering a complete and diverse experience for visitors. This meets a modern need for convenience and variety, where people prefer to have access to multiple entertainment options under one roof.

Moreover, while creating a multi-activity indoor play centre requires significant investment due to the necessary infrastructure, building size, and various equipment, this centralization maximizes resource use and optimizes costs. As a result, more and more of these leisure complexes are emerging in French cities, attracting a diverse and loyal audience.

Have you encountered any technical or maintenance issues since opening? If so, how were they resolved?

Pierre-Elie Quirion: No issues, and if there were any, they were properly handled.

What has been the customer feedback since Monky opened? What aspects do they seem to appreciate the most?

Pierre-Elie Quirion: Since Monky opened, customer feedback has been very positive. We regularly collect reviews to improve our service quality, and we listen to customer feedback to enhance our skills.

On Google, our rating is between 4 and 4.2, which is relatively good, especially with the large number of reviews we receive. Most customers are satisfied with their experience at Monky.

The most appreciated aspect is the variety of activities offered. There is no game or activity that stands out particularly because customers like everything. This is Monky’s strength: offering a multitude of activities in one place. Customers don’t need to move from one place to another to enjoy different activities.

Our day offers are also very popular. Visitors can arrive in the morning, get a day pass, and enjoy all the activities offered without having to leave the complex. This allows them to spend an entire day of uninterrupted fun.

What are your future plans for Monky? Do you plan to add new activities or expand your facilities?

Pierre-Elie Quirion: We have two major projects in progress for Monky.

The first project involves creating a large terrace for the restaurant. In addition to this extension, we will add an outdoor play system including a pétanque track, ping-pong tables, and other outdoor games like the palace. These new outdoor activities will offer an enriched experience for our visitors.

The second project, and probably the most ambitious, is the launch of a game called “Experimental Park,” which will open soon. This new game concept is similar to an escape game but on a much larger scale. The Experimental Park will include 25 rooms spread over an area of 500 to 1,000 square meters.

The principle is that participants have one hour to go through these rooms. The rooms unlock based on their performance. For example, if they succeed quickly and efficiently in a room, another room will open in the corridor, allowing them to continue. In general, they can go through four to seven rooms per hour.

What makes the Experimental Park unique is its replayability. Unlike traditional escape games, where you can only play once after solving the puzzles, the Experimental Park rooms can be replayed at different difficulty levels: easy, medium, and hard. This allows participants to replay the rooms and face new challenges each time.

Upon arrival, players receive an electronic bracelet that determines the opening of doors and the activation of mini-games. The 25 rooms offer a variety of challenges including reflection, climbing, skill, precision, and more. Each mini-game has its own specifics, offering a diverse and stimulating experience for all participants.

These projects aim to further enrich the experience of our visitors and position Monky as a must-visit place for family and friends’ entertainment.

What advice would you give to someone considering opening a multi-activity leisure complex?

Pierre-Elie Quirion: It is essential to choose the right location, that is, to carefully conduct a market and feasibility study before starting, as creating a complex like Monky or a similar indoor park costs a lot of money. It is crucial to have a good position. If you are isolated, far away, or have other indoor parks nearby, it could be detrimental. Ideally, you want a good location because it makes a big difference. If you have a good location, you will have a natural influx of people who will come and be interested in your complex.

Another important point is that the place must be easily accessible. For example, our Monky complexes are often located in commercial areas where there is a high influx of people. However, it was necessary to collaborate with the city hall to set up a bus system. This allows young people who do not yet have a driver’s license to come easily and offers a solution to people who consume alcohol in our restaurant or bar, allowing them to get home without having to drive. If your complex is located in a place without a public transport system, it can be an obstacle.

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