Holiday parks, leisure resorts and commercial facilities across the country are reaping the benefits of dedicated water play areas.
With the fun factor at the top of visitor wish lists, it is vital for pool operators to continuously not just meet but exceed demands for safe and fun aquatic play.
“Commercial facilities are always looking for the next best thing and the end users are always looking for that wow factor,” says Simon Smith of World Leisure.
“In our experience, venues that invest in their water play offering reap the rewards in terms of added revenue, as the facility becomes attractive to a wider audience.”
Ernie Hemming of Ustigate Waterplay agrees: “Without doubt, the effective selection, combination and positioning of aquatic play features can be a key tool in attracting and retaining guests.”
“By using a range of colours, sensations of water and sleek designs, there won’t be any member of the family who will be able to resist taking a dip in the water play area.”
Ustigate Waterplay advises on a zero-level water play installation which prevents the buildup of water in the play area, therefore eliminating the need for a lifeguard and providing accessibility to all, including wheelchair users.
“We advise our clients on creating water play installations which caters for a range of age groups to increase its play value and popularity,” says Ernie.
“Carefully selected combinations and positioning of structures and features will attract the target audience to the relevant areas of the park, toddler, teen or family sections which will result into more visitors, because it is suitable for all of the family.” Ustigate specialise in splash pads and offer the full range of Vortex equipment which includes more than 140 different water play jets and above ground sprays. Not only do splash pads appeal to the kid in all of us, but they also tap today’s pressing issues of water conservation, parents’ heightened concerns for safety, the ongoing search for revenue and multipurpose usage.
In terms of cost, Ernie advises that the price of a typical splash pad depends mainly on three factors; size of the scheme, the type of water system and the selected water features. A typical once use system would usually cost between £50,000- £100,000 and a recirculating system would cost between £300,000- £500,000.
Although initial set up costs might be higher for implementing higher quality, robust systems – it will pay off in the long run.
“Once the scheme is up and running as you reduce the chances of future mechanical failings, which may lead to severe repair costs or potential closure of the water installation,” says Ernie.
He continues: “As with just about everything, the more you look after something the more it will look after you.”
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