Rediscovering Adventure Cove Miniature Golf & Arcade: Thinking out of the box
Author: Kitty Bartell | Photographer: John Brackett
Some of the best things result from thinking outside of the box. Michael and Marissa Moses, owners of Adventure Cove Miniature Golf & Arcade are realizing that out of the box is a very fun place to be. After their 2012 wedding, the couple relocated to Hilton Head Island to begin married life, where they hoped to raise a family, be closer to her parents, and cast their fortunes in the restaurant business—familiar territory for Michael who came from a five-star cooking career in New Orleans.
Arriving on the island in the month of December was the couple’s first out of the box move. Planning to go to work for a time while they got the lay of the land, Michael’s options were limited because kitchen positions were few and far between during the notoriously slow winter season. Marissa, an elementary school teacher faced a similar roadblock: A change in locale and position in the middle of the school year was not in the cards.
The inspiration for their ultimate out-of-the-box decision came from Marissa’s father. “We were stuck finding employment at just the wrong time,” Michael said. “We sat down and asked ourselves what was another avenue for us to succeed on the island?”
“We found Hilton Head Business Brokers and went in for a meeting,” Marissa said. “It was my dad who suggested instead of opening a new business that we look for a business that might be for sale.”
“An ad for a family amusement center kept catching our eye,” Michael said. “We thought maybe we should look at this one. Everything about it was appealing, the lifestyle that came with it, the seasonal part of it.”
The Moses purchased Adventure Cove with a plan to improve, improve, improve… and improve they did.
There was a condemned building that belonged to the town on Hwy. 278 that stood between the island’s main thoroughfare and Adventure Cove. Working with the town and PSD, two large pipes were removed. “It was huge project, ripping out the bike path and rerouting pipes,” Michael said. “We simultaneously worked with the town on getting the building removed and getting the property cleaned up and landscaped. The town has been a great partner.
“That was phase one. That and a quick facelift of the building, and we got a handful of games and moved out the broken games,” Michael said. “Phase two was getting new carpets for the courses and landscaping; we built a snack counter, and we brought in another handful of games. Of our 100 percent vision, we’re about 70 percent there.”
A visit to the 36-hole miniature golf facility and arcade reveals one fantastic renovation and a place where fun rules. Covered in vibrant blue carpet, the Paradise Falls course is the most kid-friendly routing. “We thought that would be a cool touch and a good way to differentiate the courses,” Michael said. The Lost Lagoon course, with more challenging elevation changes and hazards, is covered in green carpet and is routed over and then through a cave, where players experience a color changing LED light display inside. Both courses are surrounded by lush, beautifully maintained landscaping, water, and koi ponds—it could almost be called tranquil—that is until the competitive play begins.
Marissa and Michael Moses with their children at Adventure Cove
The arcade is anchored by a stellar redemption counter where game tickets may be exchanged for everything from Hot Wheels to Nerf balls, finger pulls to giant plush animals. “We’re always trying to listen to the trends and to the customers about what they want and work to offer quality products,” Marissa said.
Activities inside the arcade range from air hockey to bing-bong games where players earn tickets, to video games and a fantastic roller coaster simulator that pitches back and forth creating a real roller coaster effect.
Adventure Cove guests have an opportunity to win big. For a $1 per play on their merchandiser machines, they can win prizes like a GoPro HERO4, an iPad, a Vizio TV, an Xbox One, a PlayStation 4, Beats headphones, and Apple watches. “When someone wins, we give them money to have their picture taken with their prize in our photo booth,” Marissa said. “They get one picture and we keep one to display.” With the number of pictures of big ticket items winners attached to the machines, it appears the odds just may be in your favor.
Miniature golf prices are $9.95 for adults and $7.95 for children. The really great part is that at the end of your round, playing the other 18 it is just $5, and then unlimited play all day is just $2. The unlimited play option is excellent for beginning and ending the day with some Adventure Cove fun. Purchase an all-day, all-weather bracelet and get a morning round in, play at the beach or bike the day away, and return after dinner to cap the day with some fun and games.
Always in tune with their customer’s wishes, the Snack Bar at Adventure Cove offers a variety of snacks and drinks, and features ice cream from Hilton Head Ice Cream. “We like working with local businesses,” Michael said. “We carry eight flavors at a time. We even have a custom flavor made exclusively just for us at this location.”
With three children of their own and a team of employees who are like family, Michael and Marissa Moses know that Adventure Cove is the kind of activity they seek out for their own family. “The kids get home after school and we get the homework done. They play soccer, but we’re always looking for a reason to get out with the kids and just get an hour out of the house. There’s so much going on; you’re always plugged into something. This is where people put the phones away and play with their kids and just have fun with the kids,” Michael said.
Moving out of the box has brought this chef and this teacher to a very sweet spot and a fun place to be.
Adventure Cove is located at the intersection of Highway 278 and Folly Field Road at mile marker 6 behind Carrabba’s Italian Grill. For more information, please visit adventurecove.com or call (843) 842-9990.