Do you have customers and prospects who are itching to play some golf? Amid the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, golf was among the early activities OK’d in many areas and fans have also been able to enjoy the PGA’s return on TV – the year’s first major, the PGA Championship, is taking place this week.
While custom integrators continue to deal with local and state mandates impacting indoor activities, at least one integrator is starting to see his pre-pandemic investment into making his showroom a hackers’ haven (or a low handicappers’ haven, for some) pay off.
Showroom Investment Spurs Golfzon Simulation Install
Led by owner Tony Curtis, Current Home Technologies has been a fixture in the Pacific Northwest for years, operating in Vancouver, Wash., which sits along the Columbia River separating Washington and Oregon.
A couple of years ago, Curtis bought a building in an area of downtown called the Uptown Village District to help extend the company’s reach.
“The majority of the commercial structures are single story, lots of bars and restaurants,” Curtis says. “I purchased the building to gain more exposure as this area has seen a lot of growth over the last 10 years.”
The $185,000 showroom investment also afforded Curtis and his team the opportunity to expand their technology demos. At the heart of the 3,500-square-foot showroom is a 20 x 30-foot space featuring Golfzon’s Vision Premium golf simulator.
In fact, Curtis took out the driver and swung big on creating a new revenue model around the experience.
“After I decided to become a Golfzon dealer and incorporate it into our showroom, I felt that it was going to be very popular – so popular that people would pay to use the system and room,” Curtis says.
“I then figured that anyone who pays to play golf may want an adult beverage, so I started a new business called 19th Hole On Main,” he explains, noting that Current’s address is 1900 Main Street and, as golfers know, post-round drinks are usually enjoyed at the “19th hole” in the course’s clubhouse. “The 19th Hole On Main is considered a sports bar – we have a liquor license.”
Coronavirus Interrupts Business but Golf Now Back
People can find a full menu of “practice rounds,” “making the cut,” “championship Sunday,” “major Sunday” and “special events” demo rates by the hour as well as group event options on the website Curtis made for 19th Hole On Main.
Current had opened with a soft launch in January this year, and of course soon after, the golf simulation season quickly came to a halt. But just as the PGA did, 19th Hole On Main managed to tee it up again too.
“We just started making use of our showroom and the Golfzon system prior to being listed as a non-essential business for nearly two months. We transitioned to phase 2 in June and things are picking up,” Curtis says. “Residential construction was pretty much shut down for two months so now we are seeing more new construction opportunities due to all the backlog.”
Overall, Curtis and his staff did all the low voltage and electrical work for the showroom project, which he says took place in three phases last year between June and mid-December. Phase 1 involved updating the warehouse and file room; phase 2 was creating the reception area, offices, client lounge, breakroom and bathrooms; and phase 3 was the technology showroom.
“We have a full-time interior decorator on staff, she managed and selected all finishes and furnishings,” Curtis says. “We acted as the general contractor and hired out framing, Sheetrock, paint, flooring and cabinetry.”
Loads of Technology on Tap for Current Home Technologies Clients
The design was originally planned for theater and two-channel audio displayed on one end and conference table with various displays and samples on the far end of the room, he says.
“I actually had to tear out a 20 x 12-foot (W x H) wall that I had built just about a year earlier just so I could get 2 feet additional in room length,” Curtis notes.
“We also did not want to penetrate the old ceiling, so I designed a light cloud that would be suspended at 10 feet to allow us to display white-tunable lighting, small-aperture loudspeakers and the Golfzon high speed cameras.”
Golfzon demos are pretty scripted, Curtis says. He’ll walk customers through the setup pages to start a new game, “then I demo hole 7 at Pebble Beach and when the hydraulic tee box lifts and tilts to match the lie of the ball, they pull out their smartphone to share with friends.”
Besides the famed Pebble Beach, Golfzon features 190 courses worldwide for simulation. Other system aspects Current notes on its website include: bunker and rough hitting mats; swing replay video; real-time ball flight; online tournaments; and closest-to-the-pin and long-drive competitions.
When customers want to take a break from golf, they can experience a slew of other integrated AV and automation technologies showcased by the Azione Unlimited dealer. Showroom highlights include a 5.1.4 Dolby Atmos design with Monitor Audio Gold speakers and AudioControl AVR; Meridian 5200SE speakers; James Loudspeaker small-aperture speakers; Rega RP3 turntable; Samsung 8K QLED TV; Sony laser projection; 110-inch motorized Stewart Filmscreen projection screen; Crestron controls; Environmental Lights tunable lighting; and Intellipure air filtration.
In the lounge, breakroom and other client-facing areas, tech includes: Samsung Frame TV; Sony flat panels; Hunter Douglas automated shades and drapery; Monitor Audio SoundFrame speakers; and more.