Update: Downsized Miniature Golf

In August of 2013, we reported on one of our first downsized products. Except it wasn’t a product at all; it was a miniature golf course! To gear you up for what’s to come, here’s a synopsis of our original post:

“Inline 1 Family Fun Center, located in Mt. Sinai, New York, recently downsized their miniature golf course. Although you may think that only products can be downsized, just about anything can be minimized to save companies, or in this case, a business, a little bit of money.

Obviously, a traditional miniature golf course is 18 holes. In some areas of the country, courses even have 27 holes. But this one doesn’t anymore. This particular mini golf course used to be 18 holes, displaying the landmarks of Long Island, New York. To any unsuspecting potential visitor, the course appears to be a large 18 holes on the course website.

Here’s a photo of the 18-hole course:

Old Mini Golf

This appears to be a huge indoor mini golf course, great for rainy days. Or is it? Upon closer inspection of the website, it appears that the course has been shrunk to 9 holes and placed outside, not so good for rainy days.

The website states “Please note that our course is a 9-hole outdoor course!“, followed by, “Please take note that our course is now located outdoors and is 9-holes,” in a smaller font, and, “*Our Mini Golf course is now located outside*” in an even smaller size. It takes some digging, but also located on the website is a picture of the new outdoors course:

Old Mini Golf

It is easy to see that the course is smaller than the original, although most of the landmarks have been transferred. On the website, it appears that customers of Inline 1 can choose to go around the course once (9-holes) or twice (18-holes.)”

We continued to advise to watch out for unusually downsized items & golf courses. But that was nearly one year ago. And since then, we have been informed that Inline 1 has closed it’s doors.

What happened? All we know is that the center closed sometime in mid-summer. Was it because of the smaller mini golf course? Our post? We’ll never know. But we continue to advise you to watch out for downsized, well, anything!

Special thanks to Gale & Pete Baldwin for keeping us updated on Inline 1.

“Shark Week” Takes a Bite Out of Your Wallet

shark week

Shark Week has been the “King of Summer Since 1987″ & is a special weeklong event hosted by the Discovery Channel that celebrates one of the deadliest animals on earth. The release of Sharknado 2 on July 30 marked the beginning of this year’s shark hype. The general public won’t be the only ones celebrating Shark Week August 10-16. Companies will also celebrate with contests & donations, as well as “jaw-dropping” limited edition items designed to take a bite out of your wallet.


Dunkin’ Donuts is an integral part of Shark Week this year. As a result of a deal with the Discovery Channel, Dunkin’ will have a special “life preserver” donut (see above) for a limited time, nationwide. In addition, the Dunkin’ Donuts logo (see above) will be temporarily changed to appear as if a shark has taken a bite out of the iconic logo. The deal with Discovery includes Dunkin’ Donuts involvement in all high-rated shows across the Discovery Network. Towards the conclusion of Shark Week, Dunkin’ will have a special billboard in Times Square as well as a special “Take a Bite, Take A Pic” promo that will involve prizes during Discovery’s Shark After Dark program. Learn more>

Cold Stone Creamery will be celebrating Shark Week with a frenzy which will include a limited edition “Great Blue Cupcake” & “Shark Week Frenzy” ice cream treat. Learn more>

swa

On August 7, Chompie Jr., a stuffed shark, celebrated Shark Week with passengers on Southwest Airlines’ FinFest Flight. The airline also wants to send lucky customers on a Caribbean vacation. You can enter their contest to win trips, vouchers, & gift cards. In addition, the airline will provide Shark Week sneak-peeks on flights with in-flight WI-FI. And after the Shark Week festivities begin, passengers can enjoy the Discovery Channel for free on Southwest’s in-flight entertainment system. Learn more>

Great Clips will donate $1 to Oceana, up to $10,000, for every app downloaded on a mobile phone until August 16. Learn more>


Other News

  • The town of Chatham, Massachusetts has billed itself as the “Shark Capital of America” & will be doing a brisk business this year as shark fanatics flock to the city, located at the elbow of Cape Cod. More>
  • The Discovery Communications Building in Silver Spring, Maryland is temporarily decorated with a shark, affectionately called “Chompie”, promoting Shark Week. More>
  • You can get shark-themed ornaments, books, costumes, sleeping bags, high heels, shirts, mugs, backpacks, hats, cellphone cases, & much more from the Discovery Channel Store to celebrate Shark Week. More>
  • Last year’s Shark Week celebrations included a Virtual Volkswagen Subquatic Roadtrip, Wendy’s shark themed burger boxes, Airbus’ “Sharklet” plane, & an ad telling consumers that Tide “gets out blood too”. Surprisingly, the Shark vacuum cleaner company has not thrown their hat in the ring this year.
  • The Discovery Channel is partnering with several other companies & organizations this year. Learn more>

Shark Week begins tonight at 8/7c on the Discovery Channel. Learn more>

#HereComestheShark

(Sources: Bustle, Discovery, Dunkin’ Donuts, Wikipedia, Time, USA Today, Cold Stone Creamery, Instagram, Southwest, Great Clips)

Reusable Bags: The Trend That Keeps on Growing

The Growing Trend

A new trend is arising: reusable shopping bags. Yes, you heard right. It might not seem like a big deal or a new trend. You might not even know what I’m talking about.

Flashback to summer of 2013. $3 Home Depot reusable tote bags became a celebrity sensation. The discontinued tote bag flooded the internet & social media. The bag was in such high demand that it was selling upwards of $50 on eBay. Everyone had to have it. That trend is over. But the power of the reusable bag is still alive.

Checking Out

Major grocery store chains like Publix & Whole Foods have famous series’ of reusable bags. They have legions of new bags each year. Some bags celebrate holidays, while others celebrate seasons. Others support local sports teams, while yet others are plain & simple. You can use these bags, which are sold at dozens of other stores, virtually anywhere for anything. But the best part is the money-saving part.

At Whole Foods, you can get $.10 off your purchase for each reusable bag you have, but at most stores in the US, you can only get $.05 off your purchase. So instead of using 10 plastic bags at the store, bring your own. You can save half a dollar off your purchase. In addition, you’re saving plastic bags, which reduces waste, since plastic can’t decompose. Washing your reusable bags in the washing machine hardly makes a dent in your wallet. This cleans your bags & rids them of any germs & bacteria, which can be especially helpful if you’ve used the bags to carry meats & poultry.

Your Receipt

Shopping with reusable bags can be a little dicey, however.

Although warehouse clubs like BJ’s, Sam’s Club, & Costco require your receipt to be checked at the door, retail giants like Target & Walmart do not. So why is receipt-checking a big problem at stores like Walmart? According to a reliable source inside Walmart, greeters profile shoppers as they depart the store & decide whether or not to demand a receipt. A former Target employee tells us that Target doesn’t profile shoppers with reusable bags, because they want to promote the sale & use of those bags.

So what does this have to do with reusable bags? According to an anonymous source in local law enforcement, greeters at stores like Walmart suspect shoppers of shoplifting more often if they are using reusable bags, rather than store plastic bags, which happen to be a leading cause of turtle deaths in the US. A good way to avoid being stopped by greeters, our source says, is to place store plastic bags over your reusable bags. This, however, defeats the entire purpose of using reusable bags in the first place. One of the only ways to dispose of plastic bags is to bring them to your local retail or grocery store. Usually, stores will have specially marked bins in the front for recyclable plastic bags.

But remember: in most states, you don’t have to stop if an employee asks to see your receipt. However, in those states, this has become an ongoing legal debate which we think is best left to state governments. In North Carolina, for instance, Statute 14-72 protects shoppers from having to show proof of receipt to store employees, or “merchants” as they are referred to in the law. This does not prevent shoppers from having to show their receipt to local law enforcement if the store presses the issue.

Scores of cities in California enacted a plastic bag ban a few years ago. Since the ban, more reusable bags have been used, but shoplifting has increased.

Savings!

All in all, shopping with reusable bags can be money-saving. And reusable bags are definitely more sturdy than plastic bags, so you don’t have to worry about heavy loads. It’s also reassuring to know that you’re doing your part to maintain the environment.

Even though they weren’t talking about reusable bags, Samsung said it best: The Next Big Thing is Here.


*(This story is provided for informational purposes only and should not be relied on as legal advice.)*

(Sources: Walmart, Local Law Enforcement, Yahoo!, PaperMag, State of North Carolina)