Fun As A Core Value

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Hannah Ziegeler
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Bowling lanes, go-karts, a four-person human gyroscope, and even a virtual reality roller-coaster are just a few set pieces at this workplace.


AIRWAY FUN CENTER; PORTAGE, MI | “At Airway Fun Center, all 125 of us come in with smiles on our faces. That passion comes so easily because the only thing we’re selling is fun,” says Executive Manager James St. John. At this sprawling hotspot for fun of almost every variety imaginable, team members may help patrons navigate the high ropes course, a laser maze, and a mind-bending escape room, all in the same week.

Airway Fun Center lives up not only to its name but also to a code of higher principles. Each employee carries a card printed with these five core values, a move that General Manager Marc Weiss says has been a game-changer for his team. “In my mind, we have always lived by these values,” he says. “But now everyone can see them in black and white, which has made a big, big difference. They’re not only on a card; we live them every day.”

Airway’s values include “Resolve to Be Better Today Than Yesterday,” “Customers and Employees Are Always Treated With Respect,” and “Always Do the Right Thing.” These maxims apply to how the team treats customers—like when a family needs some extra time after closing to finish a bowling game—but also fellow team members. “We set aside a little bit of money in case an employee is struggling and needs something,” explains Weiss. “There was a bartender once who didn’t have any heat, and when we found out, we fixed it for her. It was the right thing to do.” For many team members, Airway Fun Center is their first employer, but by holding fast to its values and providing room for advancement, the company is home to many more who are having a blast with their careers.

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