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Whimsy

S07.E07: Las Vegas Mini Gran Prix

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A mini race car track and amusement park has become outdated and run out of gas  Marcus Lemonis will try to help the owner get out of the past and teach his over-reactive ex-racer sin to lead his employees rather than just yelling at them  

Original air date 12/17

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Another business run by non-business minded people.  Is that the theme for this season?  Passive (comatose??) Owner/Dad who is in such denial he might as well sprout feathers and stick his head in the sand.  Whiney Man-boy Son seemed like he wanted the title of boss without investing any time in doing the math required to know how much comes in the door & how much goes out.  Bonus points to poor put-upon Mom for trying to be a peacekeeper (but minus 2 points for the spelling of her name).

I'm not a customer for a Go-Kart Party Center, but that place looked past it's due date.  And what the Hell with all those tables???  There is NO way every table has ever been filled with paying customers. It could be a nice business (I think it made money per Marcus), but it has unused space and unexplored potential:

 * Move an acre's worth of those unused tables, and install an indoor mini-golf range.   

 * Merchandising was my other thought...tees, hats drink cups, stuffed animals, magnets...all the tchotkes kids want as souvenirs. 

* I didn't get a good look at the food/beverage offerings, but I'd change it to make it appeal to parents. Limited menu to keep costs down, but something beyond a microwaved pretzel with processed cheese.  Even Chuck-E-Coli Cheese serves wine these days.

* I didn't see if they had one, but a ramped up photo booth for both the race track & the party cavern room could generate more money too. 

* Why was Catatonic Dad so attached to the fish tank?  It didn't make him any money, and it has no relation at all to anything else onsite.  Hell, if he loved the tank b/c it cost so much, repurpose it! Empty it and use the tank for a giant Claw Machine game.  Multiple claws on either side at $1.50 per turn...kids would be all over that.

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That was such a weird episode!  It felt like a lot of interesting stuff was inexplicably cut out of the episode for some reason. 

Originally, I thought that Dad was going to be the hard-working voice of reason, but he just kind of fizzled.  Why did he contact Marcus in the first place?  Why did he make the real estate deal with Marcus and then renege at the end and try to get a bank loan instead?  Why did he not want to make ANY changes at all to the business, especially after the clean-up, painting, and go-cart improvements seemed to go over so well?  Why did we never see Dad discuss his thoughts on everything on-camera, either with Marcus or privately?  If he had second thoughts or concerns, why didn't we ever hear them expressed?

I didn't like the son at all, but he's the typical "personal project" that Marcus likes to have in these episodes.  He seemed to have improved over time with his management skills.  Who really knows, though?

I want to know more about what was going on in this episode, and I blame the producers for editing this complete mess and leaving us with no idea what happened.  Did they have to chop out so much stuff for added commercials that the story ended up being so incoherent?

This was a cool business, and Marcus had a good idea for everyone (including him) to make money.  I just wish I knew what happened.

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3 hours ago, Gregg247 said:

That was such a weird episode!  It felt like a lot of interesting stuff was inexplicably cut out of the episode for some reason. 

Originally, I thought that Dad was going to be the hard-working voice of reason, but he just kind of fizzled.  Why did he contact Marcus in the first place?  Why did he make the real estate deal with Marcus and then renege at the end and try to get a bank loan instead?  Why did he not want to make ANY changes at all to the business, especially after the clean-up, painting, and go-cart improvements seemed to go over so well?  Why did we never see Dad discuss his thoughts on everything on-camera, either with Marcus or privately?  If he had second thoughts or concerns, why didn't we ever hear them expressed?

I didn't like the son at all, but he's the typical "personal project" that Marcus likes to have in these episodes.  He seemed to have improved over time with his management skills.  Who really knows, though?

I want to know more about what was going on in this episode, and I blame the producers for editing this complete mess and leaving us with no idea what happened.  Did they have to chop out so much stuff for added commercials that the story ended up being so incoherent?

This was a cool business, and Marcus had a good idea for everyone (including him) to make money.  I just wish I knew what happened.

 I live about 10 minutes from this place.  My kids are grown so I haven't been there in years.  Based on the episode, it looks the same as it did 15 years ago. 

There are lots of indoor sports complexes here in Vegas due to the fact the temp is roughly the same as surface of the sun much of the year.   I drive by this place several times a week and it's never busy.  In fact, I rarely see any carts on the track.

Mess of an episode?  Oh yes.

 

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I can't remember the last time I saw Marcus dumped.

Initially, I thought the son's accident had given him brain damage. He just seemed off.

Dad was brain dead. 

Mom was so upbeat (son got his voice from her, no doubt), she seemed out of place with the other two. 

It felt as though the son contacted Marcus and the father was pissed off about it.

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6 hours ago, toodles said:

   I drive by this place several times a week and it's never busy.  In fact, I rarely see any carts on the track.

When Marcus came in and said, "You're busy!" I was pretty surprised.  If that is what busy looks like, the company is in trouble.

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When Marcus first arrived and said this is an awesome location . it is right by this major road, my husband and I thought that was a weird comment. Marcus was very focused on buying the land back. Maybe I am way off but based on some of his past investing in businesses only to merge them or buy them out, I think he might have wanted the land next to the busy road for camping world?

Sometimes I wonder if Marcus makes up his excitement for a business or he really does not do a lot of research and really thought this place was cool and different? Las Vegas is the closest major city to where I live.  If I want to go to a traders Joe's, hobby lobby, or my kids want to roller skate or see many movies we have to go to Vegas. The one thing my city does have is almost the same fun center as this Mini Grand Prix. We have a place with the same go karts and a few outdoor rides and the indoor arcade and pizza. In fact my kids said it looks the same inside as ours city one does. So either Marcus makes the excitement, or he really thinks go karts are cool and special or he wanted that land?

This episode had another trip to Chicago, Why? and a trip to CA for one of Marcus business to design shirts. There was not one place in Vegas to design shirts? I know he wants to keep the businesses all buying from his other businesses but paying for a trip to CA (lets say it was a $2k to travel there) , how many tee shirts is the fun center going to sell to make up for that cost? I know when I go to those places after paying for rides and games and maybe food the last thing I want to buy is a $20 shirt. 

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This is getting dull and boring.  Yet another opportunity for Marcus to play  Dr Phil.

And his vanity projects are getting out of hand. We're dragged around the country to either companies he's bought, stores with his name  (Marcus in Chicago) or some NASCAR place in Joliet with Camping World ads plastered around the track. Ugh!

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I think this play was all about the land.  Marcus knew the numbers of the business and all he wanted to do was provide the loan.  Which, if the business is stagnant or in decline, they wouldn't be able to pay back and Marcus could foreclose and get the land.  A $44,000 profit on over $2 million in revenue is not a thriving business (unless they are paying themselves AMAZING salaries).  Of course, I'm probably wrong.  But, it did really seem about the land to me.  

Too much random traveling in this season.  Oh, let's take cocanannoying to Key West.  Let's take this family to random NASCAR track.  Trips to his clothing stores, graphic designers, marketers, etc.  Yes, it's all free advertising for Marcus' businesses, but it's getting more confusing for me as I'm always "what??? where are we???? why????"  

The fish tank could have been a focal point in an area designed for young children with appropriately related games/activities, etc.  The space was large enough for themed areas instead of just a hodge-podge of unrelated activities.  And, I could envision a nice lounge area with a bar where parents could relax and hang out while the kids are playing various games.

The biggest problem that I saw was that they were in an isolated area trying to compete with the offerings of the casinos.  They probably need to focus their marketing on residents.

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Great ideas for the company, BusyOctober.      With some new ideas, and marketing, the great location of the cart center would be wonderful.     However, there is no way to guarantee the land owner won't dump them for more money, so getting land they own is key.  

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I didn't like anyone in this. Except the mom.

He takes them to TankFarm because I guess getting t-shirts designed without settling on a new logo first makes some kind of sense. Then he says "be honest which ones you don't like". Then Jerry says they misspelled the name and Marcus gets on him for being negative. Then the guy explained it like rebranding but to me it seems like they screwed up and tried to cover.

If you want to rebrand and then make a logo that's fine. Maybe discuss that before going to the t-shirt guys though? But I'm not a "branding expert" like Marcus.

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Was that rebranding or Marcus just being an overbearing jerk?

He mocked Dad for not wanting to change the company name. He wants to appeal to the NASCAR crowd not Formula One crowd?

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