Seal Of Approval

Seal Of Approval

The Approved Family Friendly scheme gives an assurance of confidence to families who are searching for quality providers who cater for their requirements.

Holiday parks and leisure services in the UK’s most popular seaside resorts are being encouraged to gain a stamp of approval from Approved Family Friendly (AFF) to prove they excel at being a family friendly resort.

With several holiday parks and hotels already benefitting from the accreditation, the scheme recently gained the full support of both Visit Cornwall and Blackpool Tourism.

The Approved Family Friendly trust mark scheme was developed in 2011 by parents for parents, and is the gold standard indicator of quality and trust for families searching for providers. When planning a day out with the kids or an annual family holiday AFF’s easy to recognise symbol gives parents peace of mind when choosing where to go.

Natalie Wyatt, managing director of Marketing Blackpool, says it is a great move for businesses to adopt to ensure they are attractive to as many families as possible. “By applying for and gaining the Approved Family Friendly seal there can be no doubt that these businesses are really going the extra mile for their guests and customers and that can only be an added attraction to families when they are planning their visit.”

There is a list of relevant requirements to gain the trust mark, with key indicators depending on the type of business being assessed. Requirements for accommodation providers include non-smoking family rooms, while attractions must provide services such as bottle warming, breastfeeding welcome and food outlets need to include facilities such as baby changing, high chairs and children’s menus.

More information on the scheme can be found at www.approvedfamilyfriendly.com

High Praise For Woodovis Park

High Praise For Woodovis Park

The Woodovis Park team is celebrating being named the Best Holiday Park and Camping Site in Britain.

Devon-based Woodovis Park has beaten off fierce competition to be named the Best Holiday Park & Camping Site in Britain by leading sustainable tourism accreditation programme, the 2013 Green Tourism Goldstar Awards.

The Awards saw more than 2,400 contenders whittled down to a shortlist of 61 businesses nominated for 15 awards. The winners were announced at the annual Green Tourism Conference held at the AT-Bristol Science Centre to mark the culmination of Green Tourism Week.

Accepting their award from environmental activist, Satish Kumar, John Lewis from Woodovis Park said: “We are bowled over to be named the greenest holiday park in the whole of the UK.

“Preserving our beautiful surroundings here remains one of our top priorities and we’re always looking for ways to improve our eco credentials. To have this acknowledged in the Goldstar Awards is phenomenal and will help give us a renewed boost in our efforts.”

Now in their third year, the Green Tourism Goldstar Awards honour those businesses and organisations that have done the most to promote sustainability within the industry by implementing cost-saving practices that help the environment, improve customer services and benefit the bottom line.

Karlie Is New Account Manager

Karlie Is New Account Manager

Leading UK manufacturers, Prestige and Homeseeker Park & Leisure Homes are delighted to announce the appointment of a talented and experienced account manager in Karlie Stewart.

Due to the continued success of the company, and a commitment to constantly improve the products and services on offer, there was a need to expand the sales team with someone with vast industry experience to ensure future improvements and drive share growth.

Karlie will manage a portfolio of key accounts across the Southern region.

“I always thought Wessex would be a tough act to follow, if not impossible, but if there are any companies in the industry that can take its place it is Prestige and Homeseeker,” says Karlie. “I am really thrilled to be joining the business. Whilst clearly we didn’t get everything right at Wessex, we were unmatched in our continual creativity, innovation and attention to detailing our product, and I am excited about working closely with parks I know - and new parks - to realise dreams.”

Park Holidays UK Under New Ownership

Park Holidays UK Under New Ownership

Park Holidays UK aims at the family holiday market on its 23 Southern England parks with some 9000 developed caravan pitches.

Investment trust company Caledonia Investments Plc, has acquired a majority stake in Britain’s fourth largest caravan holiday park operator Park Holidays UK.

The transaction values Park Holidays UK at £172 million, and the company will now benefit from a £10m acquisition and capital expenditure fund which has been put in place to assist future expansion.

The change of ownership will allow Park Holidays UK to strengthen the business through internal investment, and grow its portfolio of parks through careful acquisition within the UK.

Park Holidays UK has been run by its current management team of Jeff Sills (chief executive), Al Loch (chief financial officer) and Tony Clish (sales and marketing director) since January 2006, when they acquired the business from its founders through a management buy-in backed by funds managed by Graphite Capital. The company has since grown and now owns and operates 21 freehold and two leasehold holiday parks in the South of England.

Jeff Sills, chief executive officer of Park Holidays UK, commented: “Caledonia is acquiring a leading participant in the UK holiday market with excellent growth prospects. Caledonia’s forward-looking investment model will ensure that we can continue to enhance and expand our park portfolio, and I look forward to a long and rewarding relationship with them.

“I would also like to thank Graphite Capital which has provided Park Holidays UK with the support and encouragement which has enabled us to develop the business to where it is today,” he added.

Commenting on the acquisition, Duncan Johnson, Caledonia’s head of unquoted investments, said: “We are delighted to be supporting Jeff Sills and his team in the next stage of Park Holidays UK’s development. The new capital structure will ensure that Park Holidays UK can continue to enhance its existing parks throughout the South of England, and allow Jeff and his team to build the business through targeted acquisitions.”

Staycation Is Here To Stay

Staycation Is Here To Stay

Four in five Brits take a UK-based holiday every year.

Latest figures reveal the number of UK holidaymakers choosing a domestic break has remained at a steady 80 per cent since 2012 and looks set to continue.
Only one in five Brits still don’t consider staying in the UK for a holiday.
According to the poll by cottages4u, the most popular reason for holidaying at home is the affordability, closely followed by a desire to explore the British countryside. In third place is the ease of travelling with a further 17 per cent of people admitting hidden airline costs had put them off overseas travel in the past.
Of those questioned, 68 per cent said the Olympics and Jubilee celebrations hadn’t changed their opinion of the UK, suggesting our affection for the British break was already well established.

Cotswolds Holiday Park Expands Leisure Facilities

Cotswolds Holiday Park Expands Leisure Facilities

The new social complex at Leedons Holiday Park offers visitors and residents additional recreational facilities.

Caravan park operator Allens Caravans has recently invested in a new state-of-the-art indoor swimming pool and social complex at Leedons Holiday Park in the Cotswolds.
Disused buildings on the holiday park site were demolished to make way for the new facility, which includes a 15m x 6m indoor swimming pool and changing rooms, a large social hall area and a hair studio.
The project was carried out by Derbyshire based pool and commercial building specialists Pinelog, who proposed a contemporary yet practical design of a timber frame building that folds into the landscape. The almost symmetrical, low profile structure, has two main wings housing the swimming pool and hall with separate mono-pitched roofs over the wings and central part of the building.
Pinelog also applied a number of sustainable design and energy efficient features to the leisure centre. In addition to the timber frame and larch cladding being constructed from sustainably produced materials, the building also includes solar roof panels, natural ventilation, extensive use of natural light, heat recovery from the extract ventilation, low energy lighting and recycling the swimming pool water.

Red Letter Year For Center Parcs

Red Letter Year For Center Parcs

The Subtropical Swimming Paradise will be one of the highlights at the new Woburn Forest Center Parcs site.

2014 is set to be a red letter year for Center Parcs as it takes the wraps off its new 365 acre site at Woburn Forest, the fifth of its UK villages.
The £250 million Woburn Forest village will comprise of 625 forest lodges, a 75 bedroom hotel, a spa with associated spa suites and two leisure buildings including indoor sports facilities, restaurants and retail outlets. It will also include outdoor sports and leisure facilities and a 17,000m² lake.

A spokesperson for Center Parcs reveals: “Each of our villages have their own distinct characteristics and Woburn Forest is no different – it is an undulating area of forest and its own unique mixture of local wildlife.

“All of the leisure buildings and lodges are uniquely designed and built to nestle into the landscape to be close to nature. The subtropical swimming paradise is a completely new design, with a glazed front and curved shape to fit into the land behind it.”

An iconic part of all Center Parcs villages, the subtropical swimming paradises are one of the most popular elements of a Center Parcs break, with over 90% of guests visiting the swimming venue during their stay.

In spite of Woburn Forest being the smallest Center Parcs village, it will have the largest subtropical pool facility in the UK, featuring the Wild Water Rapids outside with views of the forest landscape. The Woburn water facilities will include a wave pool, toddler pool, family play area, lazy river and three new water rides that will be unique to Woburn Forest.

The completion date for the leisure buildings is January 2014.

The completion date for the leisure buildings is January 2014.

Charles Neuman of Water Technology Inc. who designed the Woburn Forest pool said: “The designs of the new subtropical swimming paradise are the result of a culmination of 25 years of experience and lots of research into what modern families want. We have taken the best from the existing four villages and added new exciting elements to give guests at Woburn Forest a unique and special water experience.”

Construction of the village began in September 2012 and has remained on track, despite the challenging winter weather conditions. The buildings will all be water-tight by the end of the year with many of the final touches and preparations happening in early 2014.
Once completed in the spring, Woburn Forest is expected to welcome over 400,000 visitors per year and will employ 1,500 staff on a permanent basis, the majority of whom, from the local area.

Butlins Plans Resort Hotel At Minehead

Butlins Plans Resort Hotel At Minehead

Butlins are upgrading the accommodation at their Minehead site to appeal to families all year round.

Butlins is developing plans to regenerate a further part of its Minehead site by replacing some older holiday accommodation with a modern resort hotel.

The proposals, which represent a £20 million development creating up to 100 new jobs, will be displayed at a public exhibition in Minehead.

Butlins Minehead’s managing director, Julian Highfield, said: “Visitors tell us that they would welcome the flexibility and convenience of holiday accommodation in the form of a resort hotel on the Minehead site. We are proposing a character hotel that would appeal to those with pre-school children outside school holidays, as well as families during traditional holiday periods.”

Work has recently started on a £16 million redevelopment project on the Minehead site to provide improved holiday accommodation. It is hoped that the new resort hotel will complement this development by providing a greater variety of accommodation and an improved experience for visitors.

Julian added: “The type of hotel we are proposing has worked well at our resort in Bognor Regis and we think Minehead would also benefit from a modern resort hotel that will help to turn Butlins into an all year round destination.”

Winning Odds

Winning Odds

Coin-operated air hockey, football tables and pool tables are coming back into fashion, now that the video side is being overtaken by home based consoles.

Coin-operated air hockey, football tables and pool tables are coming back into fashion, now that the video side is being overtaken by home based consoles.

Choosing the right combination of amusements, games and machines can be a precarious balancing act between customer satisfaction and maximum pay back.
The right combination can enhance the guest experience and help create that elusive fun factor that keeps them coming back year after year.
But with a plethora of choice available, selecting the winning formula can be a tricky recipe to perfect.
JS Classics provide retro arcade machines to both the home market and corporate sector. Over the years the company has grown and now deals with all aspects of gaming throughout the corporate sector.
Jonathan Thompson of JS Classics advises: “The key to a successful games room or arcade is variety - there must be something to appeal to kids, parents and grandparents alike.
“There are also certain arcade games that will always big revenue earners. So-called ‘legacy’ games such as Pac-Man and anything Star Wars related have always been and continue to be popular. Air Hockey tables also remain a favourite among all age groups.”
Jonathan continues: “Eventually video arcade machines will become out of date and will need to be changed, but as long as you buy right and choose popular titles their earning potential can last for years. On the whole, kids will enjoy playing on the games they are presented within a closed holiday park environment.”

MAXIMISING PROFIT

Air hockey tables remain a favourite among gamers of all ages.

Air hockey tables remain a favourite among gamers of all ages.

Arcade machines come in a huge range of sizes from what’s known as a single player upright machine through to multiplayer games held in small cinemas. In general, the larger screened machines are known as ‘deluxe’ models and the more conservative sized machines are known as ‘standard’ cabinets.
Jamie Stanford managing director of Liberty Games says: “Much of the UK market revolves around refurbished machines because of the rather hefty price tag of a new machine. Prices range from good second hand machines at around £2500 right through to the latest Sega full motion machines stretching in to the hundreds of thousands.
“The payback of a machine is directly related to how well the machine is purchased in the first place. I would advise reducing your capital input by buying second hand – these machines depreciate at quite a rate in the first few years so bargains are out there. In most cases we see machines paying for themselves in the first 3 months and the owners enjoying profits from that point onwards,” he adds.
Liberty Games sell a comprehensive choice of both new and refurbished arcade machines covering a wide range of genres, from dance, driving and quiz machines, to prize redemption machines such as grabbers and cranes.
Jamie continues: “Currently our most popular products are the Galaxy and Cosmic range of machines. The cabinets hold up to 350 games and give the user a much richer experience than a single game.
“Apart from that, we find that the arcade machines that have not been well replicated on home based consoles are still very popular. Shooting games for example have not yet been replicated to any high standard in the home environment so consequently can still pull in the crowds at the arcades.”
Outside of the games room, larger scale games and rides such as bumper cars, dodgems and go-karts are also a firm favourite among families. Specialising in coin-operated family games and rides, World of Rides’ most popular range is their ‘Mini Moto’ pollution-free battery operated cars, which run on a hardstanding oval track.
David Robinson, general manager of World of Rides comments: “Battery rides are always a win-win investment as financially they are hardly ever viewed as an expense by operators, as they have such a rapid pay-back period.
“Our battery operated cars have remained virtually recessionproof over our past forty years of production. Parents and children love them as they are such fun, and operators and local authorities love them as they are pollution-free, and contribute to lowering their carbon footprint.”
David continues: “Incomes for such rides will vary at differing times of year, but our customers tell us that an average income, at a normal price of £1.00 per three minute ride, is normally around £100.00 per vehicle per day, which increases further at peak holiday periods.”

Company Contacts

JS Classics
Tel. 0800 112 33 41
www.jsclassics.net

Liberty Games
Tel. +44 (0)1372 736470
www.libertygames.co.uk

World of Rides
Tel. +44 (0)191 49 20 999
www.worldofrides.com

EMBED International
Tel. +44 (0)1225 311323
www.embedcard.com

Pure Novelty
Email. sales@purenovelty.co.uk
www.purenovelty.co.uk

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