At HBL, we take pride in the accomplishments and growth of our employees. It’s time again for an employee spotlight, and we’re delighted to introduce Hollie Evans, our Recruitment and Training Executive!

Upon finishing her studies in 2018, Hollie joined HBL as a part-time Games Operator at Alton Towers. Introduced by a passionate friend, she was drawn to the vibrant work culture, engaging customer interactions, and the opportunity to earn bonuses. After three years of exceptional performance, she was promoted to Supervisor, managing operational demands and recruiting for HBL’s various sites across England. Hollie’s expertise and passion for the job soon led her to an exciting opportunity in the United States, where she provided site support and assisted in managing operations in New Jersey and New England.

HBL, HBLeisure, Employee Spotlight: Hollie Evans

After returning to England to complete her Master’s Degree in Human Resource Management, Hollie recently advanced to her current position as a Training and Recruitment Executive. Now based in Germany, she continues to contribute to HBL’s growth and success on an international scale.

“The friendly and inclusive atmosphere made every day enjoyable. What I truly cherish about HBL is the chance to work in various locations worldwide and to meet the exceptional teams at each site. This global exposure has enriched my professional journey and made my work experience truly fulfilling.” Hollie said. She also shared that what she cherishes most about her travels are the connections she has made with many remarkable people. These relationships have enriched both her professional and personal life, making her experiences exceptionally rewarding. 

Throughout her time with HBL, Hollie Evans has undertaken various roles and responsibilities. From managing site operations to training staff and supporting recruitment efforts at prominent locations like Hyde Park Winter Wonderland and Europa Park, she has played a vital role in ensuring smooth and efficient workflows. Additionally, her assistance with administrative tasks has been crucial in maintaining seamless operations. However, one thing that has consistently been important to Hollie is the development of her staff. She always seeks to train staff to achieve their highest potential, ensuring they feel supported and valued in their roles.

When reflecting on the challenges she faced during her time with HBL, Hollie recalls balancing studies with work responsibilities. “One of the personal challenges I faced at HBL was balancing my university studies with my work responsibilities. I successfully navigated this demanding period thanks to the unwavering support of my exceptional managers, who stood by me throughout my entire education. Their encouragement and understanding were invaluable, and I will always be profoundly grateful for their support,” Hollie shared. 

Individuals like Hollie Evans embody the dedication and commitment to excellence that define HBL. We are thrilled to have her on board the HBL Team and are confident in her abilities to continue excelling, mentoring, and inspiring those around her in the years to come!

HBL Employee Spotlight - Hollie Evans

India’s attraction scene has just gotten bigger and better with the addition of Wonderla’s fourth amusement park in Bhubaneswar! Located in the vibrant capital city of Odisha state in East India, Wonderla Bhubaneswar represents HBL’s latest venture in the country with the launch of 6 skill games in the park.

Since its grand opening in May 2024, visitors to Wonderla Bhubaneswar can now enjoy an exciting lineup of skill games, including Basketball, Lobster Pot, Rebound, Pyramid Smash, Roll Down, and Blockbuster. Each game offers a unique challenge and the chance to win fantastic prizes, making them a hit among park guests.

Prizes at these games include HBL Huskies and Dogs, Inflatable Donuts, Animal Plushes and more, adding an extra layer of excitement and encouraging guests to test their skills. These amazing prizes help to enhance the overall experience and ensure visitors leave with memorable keepsakes from their day at the Wonderla Bhubaneswar.

HBL is proud to be part of the Wonderla Bhubaneswar experience, bringing fun and entertainment to the people of Odisha and beyond. We look forward to welcoming guests to our games and seeing them enjoy the thrill of winning prizes.

Interested in a partnership with HBL to improve your attraction’s offerings? Email us at businessdevelopment@hbleisure.com and we’ll be happy to make it happen!

HBL Wonderla Bhubaneswar Basketball Skill Game
HBL Wonderla Bhubaneswar Lobster Pot Skill Game

It brings us great pleasure to introduce Seon Yeong Byeon, our site manager – Everland, who recently received her 5 Years of Service Award with HBL. For Seon Yeong, her journey with HBL began after college. “After graduating from college, I stumbled upon a job listing for HBL while browsing through job search platforms,” Seon Yeong recalls. Drawn in by familiarity from her previous work experience, Seon Yeong was motivated by the opportunity for an “out of the usual workspace” that she found rewarding. One that allowed her to craft cherished memories for guests in her workplace. 

Within the vibrant landscape of HBL, Seon Yeong has navigated through various roles that have contributed greatly to her personal and professional growth. She started as a Games Operator, engaging directly with customers, before progressing to a leadership position. From managing finances and mentoring colleagues to eventually assuming the role of assistant manager and site manager, Seon Yeong’s journey with HBL has been challenging, rewarding, and full of growth. 

The opportunity to travel to the Philippines for a business trip was an experience that stood out in Seon Yeong’s memory. She recounts that “it was nice to have a time to experience a new culture and learn more about the operation of the games”, given that she had not had the opportunity to work overseas in other roles. Such experiences have not only broadened horizons for Seon Yeong, but has also fostered a deeper appreciation for HBL’s global operations. 

Throughout Seon Yeong’s time with us at HBL, she has journeyed through various inevitable challenges. The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic presented a formidable obstacle, particularly for Everland, the site under Seon Yeong’s stewardship. Despite the challenges posed by COVID-19, it showcased the resilience and dedication of the team. Seon Yeong reflects “Fortunately, our leaders and operators worked hard, and we were able to overcome this crisis together”.

Individuals like Seon Yeong embody the resilience and commitment to excellence of HBL. We are happy to have her on board the HBL Team. We are confident in her abilities to continue excelling, mentoring and inspiring those around her in the years to come. Our congratulations to Seon Yeong for receiving her 5 Years of Service Award.

HBL Employee Spotlight - Seon Yeong Byeon

Bangkok, Thailand (May 27-30), HBL was proud to participate in the recent IAAPA Expo Asia 2024 in Bangkok. This event marked IAAPA’s return to Thailand after 17 years, drawing 4,623 verified attendees and offering a platform for networking and industry insights. IAAPA Expo Asia is an important event for the attractions industry. It brings together the industry leaders, fosters the exchange of ideas, and provides updates on the latest news and trends.

Three of our classic games were showcased, attracting many visitors who eagerly tested their skills at Rebound, Pyramid Smash, and Lobster Pot. In addition to demonstrating our skill games, we dedicated a section of our booth to networking opportunities, where attendees showed keen interest in collaborating with us. HBL was also awarded the BRASS RING AWARD for BEST EXHIBIT (36-54 square metres), Second Place, by Andrew Bolstein, the current Senior Vice President, Operations, at Shanghai Disney Resort. The booths were judged based on the design, branding, staffing, product in booth, and overall appeal. 

IAAPA Expo Asia 2024 officially marks the end of our last trade show in the Asia region! We extend our gratitude to everyone who contributed to the success of this event. A huge thank you to the HBL team for your dedication and hard work, ensuring a memorable and successful event for all. We’ll be in Amsterdam, Netherlands next for the IAAPA EXPO EUROPE! Join us from 24-26 September 2024, Booth 12960 and we hope to see you there! 

HBL, HB Leisure, IAAPA Expo Asia 2024, Booth

Our recent attendance at SEA Expo Saudi 2024 was a remarkable success, bringing together industry leaders and enthusiasts from all around the world to discover the latest innovations in the Leisure and Entertainment industry. This year, more than 400 exhibitors managed to snatch a spot at the event and the number of delegates to this event was an impressive 12000 visitors, making SEA Saudi 2024 the largest event for our industry in the Middle East.

3 of our classic games were showcased, and we witnessed many visitors testing their skills at Rebound, Pyramid Smash and Lobster Pot. Other than demonstrating our skill games, we also allocated a part of our booth for ample networking opportunities where attendees expressed their interest in working with us.

We are immensely grateful to everyone who contributed to the success of this event! A heartfelt thank you to the HBL team for all your efforts and for ensuring a memorable and inspiring experience for all.

HBL, HB Leisure, SEA Saudi 2024

A huge shout out to Chris Westley, our Games Manager at West Midlands Safari Park, who recently achieved his 5 Years of Service Award with HBL! This commendable achievement symbolises unparalleled commitment and support from his team, with Chris devoting his past 5 years to hard work which opened doors to career progressions and brought him to where he is now. 

Chris started as a Supervisor at West Midlands Safari Park where he looked after the games and arcades. When HBL took over the games in 2019, Chris advanced into a Team Leader role and supervised the park diligently while his Manager was away. After HBL assumed responsibility of the arcades in 2021, Chris, with ample experience, confidently took up the position of Games Manager which oversees all the operations of our games in the park. Currently, Chris is also seamlessly managing the duties of the Arcade Manager during her maternity leave and is handling both departments, demonstrating exceptional proficiency. 

Chris is immensely proud of his current position of running both departments. Even though the role involves a lot of responsibility, perseverance and effort, Chris says that it is always fulfilling to see everything work out successfully. He also finds it deeply gratifying when he witnesses the growth of his staff as they gain experience and confidence throughout the years. One unforgettable memory to Chris is the fantastic opportunity to go to London for Winter Wonderland’s recruitment as it was significantly bigger than those he has been to, and Chris had a really wonderful experience there.

Needless to say, there are challenges along the way. Staffing issues can be a prominent problem for Chris, as the park is a small site. Fortunately, Chris has been fostering strong bonds with his staff and there is a strong sense of camaraderie in the team. Because of this, the recruitment process is a breeze to Chris and he gets many candidates eager to rejoin the team.

When asked why he loves to work in HBL, Chris mentioned his love for the outdoors and the animals he gets to see when he goes to work every day. As Chris shares, “It’s quite the experience driving into work and seeing Rhinos and Hippos wandering around!”.

Chris’s journey with us exemplifies the essence of passion and dedication. HBL is honoured to have Chris as a beloved member of our team, and we are confident in Chris’s abilities to excel and inspire others in his future years with us.

HBL Employee Spotlight - Chris Westley

Say hello to Virgie Abelanes, the latest member of the HBL team here in Singapore! She dove right in as our new Purchasing and Finance Executive and embraced her responsibilities diligently.

 

Virgie’s all about keeping things running smoothly behind the scenes. Her daily routine involves managing financial data across different channels, with one of her primary tasks including generating stock sheets for 25 sites globally such as the Philippines and Taiwan. Additionally, she helps to monitor Australia’s performance against our targets and goals, ensuring they are right on track. 

 

Virgie’s keen eye for detail and organisational skills ensure that HBL’s global operations function seamlessly and efficiently. To Virgie, HBL is a great opportunity for her to grow professionally! Her ambition to excel in the world of finance is truly inspiring.

 

HBL wishes you all the best, Virgie! We look forward to your future contributions and continued success in the years to come and we will be rooting for you wholeheartedly throughout your journey.

HBL Employee Spotlight - Virgie Abelanes

Visitors at Luna Park Sydney have another reason to feel greater excitement than ever before, with an addition of 10 skill games to their sideshow alley! These exhilarating games aim to infuse an extra dose of fun into the existing attractions while complementing the park’s vibrant energy.

The construction of our games began on 4th December 2023. The project, spanning 3 phases, which was a fun challenge as the park remained open during the construction, to minimise disruptions to visitors.

Luna Park’s heritage-listed games, Crooners, Clowns and the new Hi Striker still feature as part of the game lineup. HBL is honoured to have been trusted to operate these heritage-listed games on behalf of Luna Park Sydney continuing the rich heritage and history of the park. 

10 new games were operational, in time for the peak Summer period, including the 2 cherished heritage games from the park, the revamped area still kept a sense of its traditional theming which blended seamlessly in the park’s existing environment. 

The summer season at Luna Park Sydney surpassed our expectations and it was a delight to see visitors brimming with joy and walking away with our amazing prizes. At HBL, we always strive to help our partners achieve their goals and forge everlasting memories in visitors through endless fun. 

HBL | Luna Park Sydney
HBL | Luna Park Sydney
HBL | Luna Park Sydney
HBL Luna Park Sydney

In this Employee Spotlight, we take a glimpse into Richard Sharples’ career trajectory with HBL. Achieving significant milestones along the way, Richard shares his enlightening insights that have made his professional career a remarkable one.

Richard began his career with HBL in January 2004 as a trainee manager in Dubai. After three years of dedicated service, he was promoted to the position of Assistant Manager in Wales, where his exceptional performance and excellence led to a further promotion just six months later as the Arcade Manager of 5th Avenue Arcade in Llandudno. This rapid progression is a testament to Richard’s outstanding work ethic and his ability to excel in his responsibilities.

However, his growth does not stop here. Richard further moved on to Arcade & Cash Office Manager, before taking on the extraordinary role of Assistant General Manager at Alton Towers Resort. Five years later, he became the esteemed Head of Global Purchasing in 2012, a role in which he continues to excel to this day. His current responsibilities include budgeting, forecasting, product development, logistics, supplier negotiation and relationships, all aimed at providing customers with only the best prize selections.

Despite COVID-19 bringing about many uncertainties and disruptions, Richard remained confident in his abilities and proposed various insightful solutions to mitigate the challenges. The biggest challenge for him was overcoming the increase in product costs over the years while not compromising on quality, which he designed a calculated approach to tackle.

Reflecting on his numerous roles in HBL, Richard highlights the essence of having good people and relationship management and always staying open-minded to different perspectives especially when facing high-pressure situations. He added, “I had and have continued to work with some fantastic people that always go above and beyond in their specific roles and it is these people that help to make HBL not only a successful company but also a great company to work for with a great working environment.”

As we celebrate his achievements, we are proud to say that Richard Sharples has been an incredibly valuable member of the HBL team. This year also marks a significant milestone as Richard celebrates 20 years of dedicated service with HBL. Here’s to many more accomplishments and growth in his journey ahead!

HBL Employee Spotlight - Richard Sharples

Following the success of IAAPA Orlando 2023, HBL returned to DEAL Dubai 2024, held from 5-7 March at the Dubai World Trade Centre. This year’s show commemorated a magnificent milestone of 30 years and it was not only bigger but also brought about crowds of industry leaders and enthusiasts presenting new technologies and experiences. Alongside other professionals, HBL proudly participated as one of the exhibitors where we highlighted our knowledge in Skill Games and Family Entertainment Centres.

HBL showcased 3 of our top games – Rebound, Pyramid Smash and Lobster Pot where attendees eagerly tested out their skills. Besides displaying our skill games, HBL also had a networking corner where we shared our innovation in game conceptualisation and execution.

HBL was proud to be an official sponsor of the prestigious MELANAC Awards Ceremony 2024!

Catch us next at SEA Saudi from 7-9 May 2024!

HBL | Deal Dubai 2024
HBL | Deal Dubai 2024