Roxboro’s CenterEdge develops software for entertainment centers

Mar. 24, 2013 @ 06:42 PM

About eight miles from the line between Durham and Person counties, the Palace Pointe entertainment center is in operation with a movie theater, bowling alley, arcade, skating rink and diner.

And on the second floor of the entertainment center, there’s an office. Inside that office is a software company called CenterEdge Software, founded more than eight years ago to develop software to run and manage the computer systems for the Roxboro entertainment center.

With 12 employees, the company’s software is now in use at Palace Pointe as well as at about 300 other entertainment businesses in the United States and Canada, said Grey Burnett, a spokesman for the company, in an email. Its client list includes DefyGravity, a trampoline park in Durham.

Members of the family that own the soft-drink distribution company Pepsi-Cola Bottling Co. of Roxboro also own Palace Pointe and CenterEdge, said Jeff C. Fitzgerald, vice president of sales and marketing for the Roxboro distributor.

The distributor is in its fifth generation of ownership under the Burnett family. Brantley Burnett is the company’s president, Fitzgerald said. His grandfather founded the Durham Pepsi-Cola Bottling Co. in 1905 on Parrish Street downtown, Fitzgerald said. His original territory included Durham, Chapel Hill, Hillsborough, Roxboro and Oxford.

By 1935, Fitzgerald said the company had grown to include other areas, and two family divisions led to Brantley Burnett’s family branch acquiring the rural Roxboro territory in 1962, calling it the Pepsi-Cola Bottling Co. of Roxboro N.C. Inc., which services part of the original Durham franchise, he said. He said all other Burnett family members sold their respective franchises by 1974.

Fitzgerald said Roxboro Pepsi-Cola ceased production in 1990, and now distributes soft drinks chiefly produced by its regional production facility in South Carolina. Members of the family also own the entertainment center, which opened in 2001, and the software company.

The software company has two software developers, two employees who work in sales, and others who work in technical support.

“Nobody knows we’re here,” said Marcus Mayer, director of operations for CenterEdge, which operates in more than 3,000 square feet of office space.

Sitting inside a booth of the Palace Pointe diner, Mayer said as a teenager he sold tickets at an amusement park in Tennessee. He went on to manage rides for an amusement park in Texas, and was later recruited to help a software company build their business in the entertainment industry.

Mayer started in August of 2004 at CenterEdge to help build a software system for Palace Pointe and eventually, to take it to market, according to Burnett.

The company sells software to manage entertainment centers’ point-of-sale, group and party bookings, ticketing, online ticketing, arcade redemption, and other business functions, Burnett said.

Mayer said the company has seen revenue growth of about 30 to 35 percent a year. The company does not release specific revenue information, however.

Recently, CenterEdge launched a mobile app that allows employees at entertainment centers to scan barcodes on tickets, customer cards or wristbands to make sure customers have paid for the tickets they’re holding, according to a news release.

The app displays that a pass was used or shows the remaining dollar value on the pass or card. It was developed as an app for Apple Inc. devices including the iPod and iPhone.

“CenterEdge strives to be an industry leader and be the first in the industry to introduce new features and ideas,” Burnett said in an email. “We’ve been very fortunate so far in that the entertainment industry has held up well, even in the current challenging economic times.”