THREE GENERATION GRAMPING HOLIDAYS

SKELWITH FOLD’S HENRY Wild says families are making room for grandparents on their holidays.

THREE GENERATION GRAMPING HOLIDAYS

Many families with children are taking more than just suitcases on their holidays this year - they are also making room for grandma and grandad.
That’s the finding of major Lake District holiday park Skelwith Fold which reports a rise in multi-generation holidays booked for summer and autumn.
The park’s Henry Wild believes that many families are motivated by wanting to spend quality time together after months of lockdowns.
The Ambleside park says the trend is evident amongst those hiring glamping accommodation such as safari tents, and people staying in motorhomes and touring caravans.
“The three-generation holiday is a throw-back to what was once a common practice in this country many years ago,” said Henry. “It diminished with the popularity of overseas holidays which weren’t as practical for extended family groups – but, of course, Covid has now changed all of that.
“A holiday park is the ideal environment for this as everyone can enjoy breathing fresh air in natural surroundings, and just take it easy in a laid-back atmosphere. As well as enjoying each other’s company, mum and dad also have a built-in child care service so that they can make an occasional escape and be just a couple again,” added Henry.

MINT CONDITION

MINT CONDITION

 

THIS FORDINBRIDGE CANOPY over an outdoor play area is not just good looking but highly
functional for extending exterior use.

How to ensure your site is always keeping up appearances reports Emily Martin…

Holiday parks have to keep many plates spinning but you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression and, as they say, the devil is often in the detail.
Creating the perfect holiday experience for guests is a lot of work but, to get that wow-factor on arrival, you need simple, smart and effective ideas that don’t take up lots of time or resources.
Holiday Park Scene has spoken to some of the holiday park industry’s top services and suppliers and they’ve given us some tips on how to ensure that, for your guests, it’s always love at first sight.
The 2021 winners of ‘Grounds Maintenance Company of the Year’ at the Pro Landscaper Business Awards was Glendale. A company offering an all-encompassing green-space management and maintenance service and Matt Gavin, Head of Commercial Sales and Development, says landscaping and grounds maintenance is crucial to keeping things looking their best.

 

KEEP UP YOUR LOCATION’S appearances with clean paths and tidy planting. Pic. Mill Rythe Park

Matt says: “Due to parks now hosting guests more accustomed to international holidays, Glendale has seen a 95% increase in the level of enquiries from camping and caravanning sites looking to undertake signifcant landscaping and grounds maintenance work to keep the sites pristine.”
Matt reveals that sites are specifically requesting tree management services, commercial grass cutting and invasive specials control alongside general grounds maintenance.
Matt continues: “The demand from the camping sector started as early as January 2021 when confidence started to rise at the prospect of a roadmap out of Covid restrictions. Since the government announcement was made regarding lockdown potentially ending in late June, the level of enquiries about our landscaping services surpassed all expectations.”

 

PICTURE POSTCARD

Martin Lucas of GreenMech agrees about the importance of landscaping. He says: “The setting and landscape of a holiday park often provides the frame for a picture-postcard holiday. Keeping on top of the site’s surroundings will provide great aesthetic benefits, but woodland maintenance shouldn’t be forgotten on the list of landscaping tasks.”
Martin goes on: “The benefits of a striking first-impression continues to be a key driver behind keeping on top of site maintenance. The look and feel of a site should be fitting within its surroundings - a dense tree belt for example may be fitting for a countryside venue, but less so in an open landscape.
“Trees present a fantastic way to integrate or soften the appearance of ancillary buildings and other site facilities but also have the functional benefit of creating boundaries, shelter and screening between public and private areas.
“Key woodland management tasks could include regular examination of tree roots and overhanging branches as these can quickly cause problems overhead or underground, as well as posing health and safety risks to guests,” advises Martin. “Also, removing density in the upper and lower canopies to promote a better flow of air and light to site which, in turn, will optimise the health of any turf, pruning and thinning of brush and disposing of any dead, damaged or diseased wood or brash.”

 

TAKE EVERY OPPORTUNITY to reinforce branding with props like these planters. Pic. Woodberry

 

But holiday parks keen to keep on top of landscaping and forestry need to be mindful of the pitfalls it can create. Especially what they do with the debris they create as Martin explains: “The Environmental Protection Act, along with the Clean Air Act, considers the burning of waste as inappropriate. Anyone found improperly disposing of waste risks being prosecuted by The Environment Agency, Local Council or Police – with a typical fine likely to be in the region of £2000.”
GreenMech have a woodchipper portfolio that spans 20 models of various sizes and chipping capacities, with a pedestrian range built with the professional landscaper and parks manager in mind. Chipping is a fantastic way to quickly and easily remove unwanted material. The chip that is produced can then be used in other beneficial ways - as a weed suppressant on pathways and in flowers beds or scattered around trees to help with moisture retention in the summer months.
Once you’ve sorted the landscaping and forest management you need to start adding strategic items that will enhance the useability and aesthetics of your outdoor space.

 

AL FRESCO AREAS

Martyn Bright from NBB Recycled Furniture says: “Research continues to validate that meeting outdoors comes with a reduced risk of coronavirus transmission and introducing furniture outside to optimise your available space is a great way to stay compliant with government advice, whilst creating comfortable al fresco areas for your expectant returning customers to enjoy.
Martyn continues: “When considering your outdoor furniture, recycled plastic is the perfect choice, as the material looks like timber but can last outside all year round without the need for annual maintenance.
“Recycled plastic can last up to five times longer than the timber equivalent. The longevity of recycled plastic makes it the perfect cost-effective alternative for use within the hospitality, tourism and leisure industries, where heavy use is expected.”

OPTIMISE OUTDOOR SPACE on your site with lovely additions like this table and seat design. Pic. Woodberry

Doug Barr is the Sales Manager at Woodberry of Lemington Spa and agrees that clean and well-maintained outdoor furniture is a must when ensuring a site looks presentable. Doug advises: “If your furniture is broken or covered in algae, customers will judge the standards of the park on it.
“Look for quality wooden furniture to withstand the wear and tear of heavy use. Or choose metal/plastic and laminate furniture that is easy to wipe down and dry of,” he adds.
Woodberry offer a range of picnic tables, outdoor dining tables, chairs and benches in wood, metal, plastic and synthetic rattan. Recycled plastic picnic tables are very easy to keep looking neat and come with 25-year structural guarantees as well as green credentials.”
But don’t neglect your flowers! Doug says: “Keep any flower or shrub borders looking tidy with raised planters which also come in handy for directing the flow of customers at reception areas or sectioning of café and bar areas.
“Also, if litter bins are well maintained, emptied regularly and visible to customers then they will be encouraged to use them,” Doug continues.
“Recycling bins with different sections can also help show your green credentials and encourage customers to recycle,” Doug emphasises. “Branded barrier screens can help keep areas looking tidy and sectioned plus provide clear branding and signage.”

But how can parks maximise the usability of outdoor space without things looking messy and unkempt? Doug says: “Outdoor shelters, patio heaters, and lighting certainly helps in wet and cold weather. That also encourages your customers to enjoy al fresco hospitality. Parks have to think ‘Have I got the right sized outdoor furniture for my customer groups?’ ‘Should I offer a mix of sizes so that smaller groups don’t take up larger tables?’”
And where can it all go wrong? Doug has some tips on how to avoid some classic pitfalls. He says: “Not cleaning and clearing up tables quickly enough or having overflowing rubbish bins on the site. Also watch out for wet, broken, algae covered outdoor furniture.
So that takes care of landscaping and furniture, but what else can you do to keep things looking extra neat and tidy? Darren North of Rolec says you also need to think about power. He says: “Rolec have been manufacturing and supplying electrical hook-up equipment for the leisure industry for over 30 years and the Quantum Touring Pedestal brings caravan and holiday parks an alternative solution to their everyday hook-up equipment.
Darren continues: “First impressions are indeed important and with the Quantum Touring Pedestal, park operators can offer their visitors a simple and seamless electric hook-up solution, with aesthetic appeal as an added benefit.”

 

BRIGHT LIGHTS

For enhanced first impressions, the Quantum Touring Pedestal is also complete with LED louvered lighting, providing visitors with greater visibility, particularly during the dark nights.
Alongside the Quantum Touring Pedestal there is Rolec’s Quantum:EV charging pedestal, perfect for communal electric vehicle charging facilities and it’s also equipped with LED louvered lighting, ensuring that EV driving visitors are able to spot your charging points throughout the day and night.

 

LIGHTING IMPROVES safety and adds to the mood of the site. Pic. Arleigh

On-site storage is also a place you can easily go wrong. Lily Hadden is a Team Leader at Arleigh which has supplied the static caravan industry for more than 50 years. Lily says: “Ensuring parks look clean and respectable is crucial for good first impressions and returning customers.”
To help park owners create the accommodation and spaces required for their visitors, Arleigh stock everything from indoor and outdoor furniture to storage solutions and lighting.
Made of PVC-coated galvanised steel, Arleigh’s durable storage boxes are ideal for keeping outdoor areas tidy and are even built to withstand coastal environments. There are different size and style options ranging from bike and garden stores to gas storage units.

 

STRATEGICALLY placed canopies will extend use of outdoor space. Pic. Fordingbridge

“Arleigh’s ever-growing range of solar lights and bollards offer a great renewable alternative to traditional lighting and are the perfect choice for illuminating park driveways, paths and car parks.
Adam Collier is the Technical Sales Manager at Fordingbridge which offers a range of canopies, walkways and statement builds to the holiday park sector and others. Adam says: “Tidiness in parks goes well beyond having bins and other street furniture in well thought out locations, or ensuring your soft landscaping is on point. Organising parks so they make sense has a massive bearing on visitor experience too; no guests want to spoil their initial arrival with the stress of finding reception or arranging a suitable meeting point for friends and family.

 

NEAT AND TIDY

“We have installed a number of canopies adjacent to reception areas (and subsequently cafes/bars) which act as clear wayfnders, as well as the added benefit of providing covered space to wait and meet with friends. Clearly arranging and organising equipment is also a key consideration. This could be providing sensible racking for bikes, hire karts and mobility equipment.”
What are some practical ways to maximise the usability of outdoor space? Adam says: “In the UK, weather is the key consideration, so allowing for this, or rather counteracting it, is by far the best way of increasing the year-round usability of outside space. We have seen parks installing canopies over MUGAs, courts and other play areas to act as both a form of shade in the summer, and allowing for play in wet weather.

 

A QUADRANT GAZEBO with winter heater and lights. Pic. Woodberry

“The same is true of covered areas adjacent to restaurants, bars and cafes. Providing a cover instantly turns the outdoor space into an extension of that facility, allowing for greater number of covers throughout the year. Adam continues: “Living roofs are also a benefit in both the customer journey and enforcing company ethos. They further the green credentials of the park and provide a further natural aesthetic to merge any structure with existing soft landscaping.”

 

 

EARLY WARNINGS OF HOLIDAY FAMINE

EARLY WARNINGS OF HOLIDAY FAMINE

 

A 2022 BOOKINGS SURGE means the likelihood of less choice next spring and summer

 

Park Holidays UK, one of Britain’s largest holiday park groups, says that almost 50% of its bookings are now for 2022 holidays – an unprecedented figure for this time of year.
They say the surge, which usually begins in December, could mean families struggling to get the holidays they want next year if they don’t stake an early claim.
Now, in a move to try and ensure customers get their preferred dates and locations, the group is offering to take 15% of 2022 holiday prices if they are booked and paid for now.
“This summer sadly saw a large number of people failing to secure their dream holiday because of heightened demand,” said Park Holidays UK director Tony Clish.
“They are clearly keen not to miss out again next year, and many others have been reading reports that the UK tourism industry will soon be hanging out “no vacancies” signs for 2022. “With forty-plus parks, we have the capacity to provide tens of thousands of holidays, but even so we are now looking at some centres nearing capacity next summer.
“That’s why we have decided to respond this autumn by encouraging early booking with a substantial discount available until the end of this month.
“It means families can enjoy peace of mind that their 2022 holiday is secure and that they won’t have to compromise on options such as where and when they go, or the type of accommodation”

SURGE IN CARAVAN PURCHASE DEMAND

SURGE IN CARAVAN PURCHASE DEMAND

The UK’s largest digital marketplace for new and used cars, Auto Trader, has reported that views of caravan adverts increased 18% last week and views of motorhomes adverts increased 17%, compared to the previous year. A survey of 2,000 UK adults which the brand carried out to examine this trend further reveals almost half of the population (40%) is planning a 2020 staycation (provided Government guidelines allow), and that caravan holidays are set to almost match stays in hotels this year. Only 40% of those planning a staycation this summer said they would consider staying in a hotel, while 33% say they would consider staying in a caravan - making caravans second only to hotels in popularity amongst those planning breaks.

Caravans are also set to overtake the popularity of rented holiday apartments and houses, which have enjoyed a meteoric rise in popularity over the past few years thanks to a new wave of disruptive rental websites and B&Bs. Demand for rented apartments and houses this summer is set to trail behind that for caravans and hotels, with just 27% of those planning staycations saying they’d consider them. The trend for caravans seems to be being driven by a need to feel safer. 37% said staying in a caravan would mean they could sanitise the environment properly themselves, to limit the spread of germs from those outside their family.

Auto Trader’s Rory Reid comments: “Coronavirus has changed the way we live our lives in so many ways, and there’s no doubt this will extend to our holidays. “Many are unlikely to want (or be able) to quarantine themselves for 14 days after a holiday abroad, so we’ll be seeing UK beaches and other hotspots a buzz with British holidaymakers this summer. He continues: “Caravan holidays in particular will shoot through the roof. The idea of holidaying in a space that you yourself own, which you can clean yourself and which won’t have been used by others recently, is definitely reassuring.”

Spa Is Up On The Park Home Roof

Spa Is Up On The Park Home Roof

Tingdene Homes partnered with spa specialists, Park Leisure Solutions, to design its show-stopping Quantum Leisure Lodge that will form the Spa Is Up On The Park Home Roof 1centrepiece of the Northamptonshire company’s 50th anniversary celebrations.

Stealing the show at the recent World of Park & Leisure Homes show at Stoneleigh, The Quantum Leisure Lodge has now moved to Tingdene’s Visitor Centre in Wellingborough but will appear at various exhibitions throughout the UK during the course of the year.

Unrivalled in the industry, the 52’ x 22’ Quantum Leisure Lodge boasts spacious living areas with luxury fittings and furnishing throughout. The huge 1,114 sq/ft footprint of the Quantum has been fully optimised both inside and out with the design of a fantastic edge to edge, fully decked roof terrace, Spa Is Up On The Park Home Roof 2with seating and entertainment areas as well as an energy efficient spa adding that final touch of luxury living.

Installed on the roof terrace the unique design will allow guests using the spa to enjoy 360-degree views from the comfort of the spa, in the privacy of the roof terrace.

Park Leisure Solutions Managing Director Stuart Mulchay said: “We were delighted to be involved with such a prestigious and challenging project that breaks new boundaries in leisure lodge development.” “From initial ideas-to plans and build specification, to final production and installation both teams used their skills and knowledge to deliver what will be a very unique customer experience when relaxing in the spa.”

 

Tempting Menu At Stoneleigh Show

Tempting Menu At Stoneleigh Show

Tempting Menu At Stoneleigh Show 1

The World Of Park and Leisure Homes once again served up a Smörgåsbord of design and operational ideas to tempt all palettes at it returned to the Stoneleigh showground in June. With many big name players on show, one team standing out from the crowd were Suffolk-based Country Homes (Anglia) who felt being a smaller player worked better for its customers who could expect unrivalled design, install and after sales support.

Meanwhile the team from Oakwood Park and Leisure Homes, a family run business offering a choice of high specification park and leisure homes, shined their spotlight on its Maple design, a contemporary three bedroom, two bathroom lodge with a combined kitchen and dining area.

Other stand out exhibits included Littlehouse Glamping offered a competitively priced range of gipsy-style caravans and shepherds’ hut on an individual, bespoke basis.

If its leisure or residential – Pathfinder Homes had it covered -- with some head-turning display lodges topped off by its outstanding Hawthorne design. Custom-built for the Grange Park golfing resort, in North Lincolnshire, the Hawthorne design changed the game when it was first built, being the first centrelounge home on the market and arguably the most impressive to date.

 

 

Knowledge Is Hot Tub Power

Knowledge Is Hot Tub Power

Knowledge Is Hot Tub Power

Knowledge is power when it comes to reducing the risk of Legionella outbreaks associated with spas and hot tubs in holiday park locations. So a newly launched modular training course, available on-line, from industryleading experts Tintometer, offers vital support for operators who want to be safe rather than sorry and show due diligence when it comes to holiday hot tub compliance. Crucially, the course covers the practical aspects of complying with the Health and Safety Guideline 282 (HSG282) which came into effect in early 2017.

The guideline covers all spas and hot tubs in a commercial setting i.e. all those hired out and used by more than one party – for example, holiday lettings. Section five of the guideline concentrates on water testing with the following emphasis:

• Reducing the risk of Legionella and microbiological contamination
• Emphasizing that this is the operator’s responsibility
• Ensuring testing is frequent and planned (at least two or three times a day)
• Highlighting that results should be recorded
• Stressing that there should be a written action plan if required

The guidelines focus on three main parameters; Disinfectant, pH and Total Dissolved Solids (TDS). Don’t be baffled by the science, say leading experts, Tintometer, who offer professional photometer test kits that are the only way for the operator to accurately measure all the tests mentioned in HSG282 and evidence your findings. Contained within the kit is a professional photometer for the measurement of chlorine, bromine and pH and a Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) Pen. Importantly these kits measure both chlorine and bromine so, if different disinfectants are used across your site, the same kit will cover both.

For more information and to sign up for the course, which can be undertaken in stages at your own pace, simply email: training@tintometer.com

 

Owners Only

Owners Only

Set in 40 acres of beautiful East Yorkshire countryside, the multi awardwinningOwners Only 1 Patrington Haven Leisure Park is celebrating its 35th anniversary by engaging with its customers and the local community. Founded by Graham Sparkes in 1984 on a disused RAF base near the East Yorkshire coast, after he sold his caravan-building business, the site is now run by Graham’s son, Guy Sparkes, his wife Karen and their extended family, who have grown the team from 35 employees, five years ago, to more than 70 today.

With a growth in turnover from £2.7m in 2014 to £5.6m last year, the owners-only park close to the Holderness coast is forecasting £6m in revenue for 2019 and is experiencing its highest ever occupancy rates, with just 15 of 485 plots currently free. Patrington Haven Leisure Park sells a wide range of quality new and used holiday homes, with customers enjoying a choice of their own private garden plot with designated parking. Holiday homes currently available range in price from £14,995 to £69,000. After investing £5.5m in the leisure park’s Country Club and infrastructure over the past five years, the business is continuing to push forward with new services for its owners and visitors and to reach out to the local community.

Significant investments have been made in Guy’s Café Bar and Restaurant, new technology in the state-of-the-art gym, and three new vans for the maintenance team, which have helped to improve rubbish collections and the upkeep of caravans. In addition, the business has invested thousands of pounds in a rubbish compactor, which has ensured not a single piece of commercial waste has gone to landfill since it was installed, and launched The Spa at the Country Club, providing luxury health and beauty treatments to caravan owners and the local community. A takeaway delivery service offering food from the park’s restaurant menu has also been set up to operate within a seven-mile radius, delivering everything from pizza to fish and chips, romantic meals for two and family feasts, as well as an alcohol delivery service, to caravans on site and local homes, with orders taken via the Just Eat service and delivered by two new vans. Meanwhile, an innovative, free mobile phone app has been launched to communicate with people on and off the park, with options for them to choose the news and notifications they receive, and a new website is due to launch this summer. Managing Director Guy Sparkes firmly believes the park’s committed team and loyal customers are the foundations of its success. Guy said: “We’ve seen a really strong five-year growth period and I put that down to belief, supporting the team and allowing them to be in charge of their own destinies.

SIMPLY THE BEST
“A leisure park is only as good as its owners and its guests and we have some of the best. Our main aim is for all our customers to be proud of our team and our team to be proud of our customers. “I can’t say it’s like coming to work here. It has various pressures, but at the same time, you’re coming in to collaborate with people who believe in the same things. When you have Owners Only 2shared beliefs, you can achieve anything.” The park has been awarded the Remarkable Holiday Park/Holiday Village Award in the Remarkable East Yorkshire Tourism Awards (REYTAs) for the past three years, racking up the latest win in March. It also received the Visit England Gold Award for exceptional quality of accommodation and customer service 2018/2019. The success is based on creating a home away from home environment for owners and making the leisure park a hub for the local community. Although the pool and gym require membership, appointments at the Elemis spa can be booked and the restaurant, bar and other facilities are open to everyone all year round. The leisure park draws its customers from across Yorkshire, the M62 corridor and the Midlands and enjoys remarkable loyalty, with the longestserving caravan owners having called Patrington Haven their home away from home for more than 20 years. Andy and Kerry Naylor live in nearby Hedon and have owned a caravan on the park for four years, regularly staying in their current Willerby Vogue with their cocker spaniels, Charlie and Rosie. Mr Naylor, 57, said: “This is the third caravan we have had on the site. It’s like home away from home. “As well as my family, I bring work colleagues and engineers I know through my business to stay in the lodges and they all love it. “We like the takeaway service too. They’ve got it right with good chefs, and you can order online through Just Eat.” Eric and Linda Thompson, from Rotherham, South Yorkshire, first bought on the park in 2003 and have owned three caravans during that time, including their current Winchester model. Mrs Thompson, 66, said: “We came to look at Patrington Haven one Saturday morning and we loved it straight away, so we bought our first caravan on the same day. “The plots all have their own gardens and it’s a very healthy environment. I walk, as well as swim, most days. The people are lovely and it’s like a small village. We’ve made friends here and everyone looks out for each other. “The park is family-run and that family feel is reflected in everything. We really feel part of that," she adds.

LOVE MATTERS
Retired couple Keith and Denise Wright bought their first Willerby Vogue caravan on the park last month, going ahead with the sale within 24 hours of arriving and falling in love with the surroundings. Originally from Manchester, they have owned a narrowboat for the past nine years and Mrs Wright said she is pleased to have found an ideal holiday home for their two children and five grandchildren to visit at various points throughout the year. Mrs Wright, 66, said: “We thought we’d go to lots of different sites to see what was available, but we never went anywhere else. “The staff took us round and we fell in love with it. When you need anything, someone is there straight away and nothing is too much trouble. There is such a lot going on for all ages and the park has a really nice feel about it. “Everyone has been so friendly here and made us feel so welcome. The park is really well cared for and has such pleasant surroundings.”

At A Glance

at a glance• The park operates an 11-month season for owners t o enjoy, but its five-star facilities are open all year round.
• Every holiday home comes with its own private garden.
• Guy’s Café Bar and Restaurant, which serves breakfast, lunch, dinner and a superb Sunday carvery.
• The Country Club and Pool, which is open from 6.30am, 364 days of the year.
• The Spa open daily and offers a wide range of treatments using only the very best Elemis products.
• A well-stocked fishing lake
• A jam-packed events programme, from the all-day music extravaganza, Patfest, to the exclusive Owner’s Select private dinner.

 

Patrington Haven Leisure Park
Tel: 01964 630 071
www.patrington-haven.co.uk

 

Making A Splash

Making A Splash

making a splash 1Taking the plunge with a holiday park swimming pool can be as daunting as diving off the highest board. But be bold. Investing in on-site swimming offers many avenues for return on investment from initial visitor appeal to encouraging maximum ‘on park’ spend. But don’t just think swimming pool – rather, think water leisure and entertainment. After all, maximum payback will come from an aquatic feature that does not just offer lane swimming, but entertains all ages and abilities with excitement and splash appeal.

A perfect holiday should provide plentiful opportunities to have fun, and opportunities to de-stress and recharge batteries. A swimming pool is an ideal choice for holiday operators wishing to attract and retain visitors, whilst promoting good health and wellbeing in their guests. “It is our experience that holiday park operators view swimming pools as a very necessary evil,” advises Tim Bareham of leading holiday park pool specialist, Cresta Leisure. “Some small privately owned operators resist the need for a pool, particularly if they are not family oriented,” Tim continues. “Larger operators invest heavily to deliver ‘water leisure’ facilities to customers.” With the trend to offer longer seasons or even all-year round appeal, many parks now have both indoor and outdoor pools.

When holiday park operators first contact potential suppliers, they will generally have carried out some research and could have an initial wish list. the available space to maximise and enhance their guest experiences, how much will it cost to establish, how long it will take to build, and what maintenance will be required,” reveals Michelle Minns-Sykes of water play specialists, Ustigate. “The installation of a pool and a flume alone is a mistake as the overall aim should be to create a wet environment that pleases many people in one space at the same time,” Michelle advises. “Whilst a flume is great and exciting it is an attraction that has to limit rider’s descents for safety reasons. “In a one pool and one flume scenario, the flume would be in great demand and holiday guests would spend more time queuing than playing!” Swimming is

making a splash 2certainly an activity that many of visitors enjoy when on holiday, and therefore a swimming pool will influence bookings.

An outdoor pool will be very popular in the summer while an indoor pool will continue to attract guests all year round. Michelle again: “Holiday operator’s main objectives are to create a destination for guests to take time out of their busy work schedules, to deliver a balance between work and play where guests can enjoy precious time with families and friends. “Access is very important in design. Where there is a depth of water, life-guarding staff will need to be constantly present to guarantee public safety. Every project is unique in its location and its product mix and the cost is dependent upon size, features and the water management system. Says Michelle: “The favourites have got to be tipping buckets and cannons, because we have witnessed the shrills of excitement that come from everyone on the receiving end of a large tipping bucket and the laughter that comes from the one at the firing end of a cannon!” Thinking outside the pool box, a splashpad is a safe and economic way to provide aquatic play; safe because of it being a zero standing water concept and economic because a splashpad generally uses less water than a pool and requires no life-guarding staff. A small installation with a couple of above ground products and some ground sprays is feasible to operate directly from the mains under a flow through water management system.

MULTIPLE APPEAL
When designing a splashpad, Ustigate designers start by separating the area into three zones; incorporating a toddler, family and teen bay. The toddler bay would feature above-grade devices scaled down to a level that’s not intimidating for little ones, with products such as a low level Water Journey™ complete with a water pump, water channels and weirs or a PlayNuk™ two-deck exploration hub with softer spray features, small steps, double handrails, shaded spaces, and age-appropriate games that enable young children to explore exciting new frontiers on their own safely.

 

making a splash 3

FAMILY BAY

 

The family bay encourages cross-generational play. An adult, for example, might pick up a small child and walk through a series of tipping buckets or a spraying arch or loop. This isn't a high-energy play area, but instead an area that encourages socialising in a casual walk-through, park-like experience. The teen bay is focused on high-energy, incorporating cannons and where the space allows, a large tipping bucket that gives promise of a jolly good soaking! The majority of the Vortex product range is available with a safe-swap anchor system, enabling products to be exchanged for alternatives in the future without the need to break the ground. This system enables an aquatic play area to stay as fresh and as unique as the day it was installed, whilst keeping visitors intrigued and entertained with the essence of new. Holiday operators that have several sites can benefit from the safe-swap system by rotating aquatic play features between parks. It is important to allocate some forward thinking in the design to ensure any changes or add-ons have been allowed for in the initial design and build of the water management system. Ustigate Waterplay has launched a new user-friendly controller this year that features access to all of the controls and data on one screen, also available with remote access if an internet connection can be made available in the plant room. The controller enables you to set hours of operation, a sequence, to monitor the pumps, filters, water usage, and water treatment. With the remote access package, Ustigate Waterplay will email alarms to clients by text or by email, should anything require immediate attention. Taking expert advice on essentials such as water treatment is a no-brainer.

making a splash 4

Bather load is critical to all, when the sun is shining the outdoor pools become very busy and when the weather is inclement customers all want to be indoors. Investing in indoor, weather-proof water leisure appeal upon the type and size of the park and whether it has potential to operate for 12 months of the year. Cresta Leisure’s Tim Bareham again: “Many larger operators who have appropriate planning permission, open indoor pools to local residents during the winter months but this is dependent upon the potential revenue and the cost to open.” Tim says there are many challenges to water leisure investment but probably the most significant is safety, life guarding and plant operation. “An outdoor pool needs to be warm and inviting and correctly sized to anticipated bather load. “A large freeform pool looks appealing but is impossible to cover and expensive to heat. An indoor pool without adequate dehumidification will cause serious problems to the fabric of the building.” The good news is that pools do not have to be built out of reinforced concrete and finished with mosaic tiles, there are more cost effective solutions. However there is no cutting corners when it comes to safe operation. “Commercial pools require high capacity pumps to meet turnover periods required but the inclusion of inverters and variable speed drives will improve efficiency,” advises Tim. The ability to cover the pool, when it is not in use, will reduce energy costs as well as insulating the pool tank when building the pool. Heat pump technology must be considered for both outdoor and indoor pools to minimise pool water heating dehumidification costs. Ultra-Violet disinfection units and PAC dosing improves filtration and water quality thus saving on pool chemicals and can reduce backwashing to make significant savings on water and reheating costs. If you are already feeling daunted then make sure you make a good start by seeking expert advice from experienced suppliers like Cresta Leisure and Ustigate. A pool investment does require capital payment but when you choose an aquatic partner wisely, you will get a great return for your investment because your guests will keep coming back.

Roaring Success
Roaring sucess!Ustigate's 31-station Dippy the Dinosaur inspired splashpad has met its original goal in making Roarr! Dinosaur Adventure in Norfolk, even more popular than before.

Dippy’s Splash Zone has been successful at extending the length of a visit and has increased park revenues through locker availability, the sale of towels, shirts, diapers, and refreshments at Dippy’s Snack Shack. The facility provided the park with an extra influx of visitors, growing visitors by 18% in its first full year.

 

Splash Hit!
splash hit!Rather than spend money on renovating the outdated outdoor pool, Freshwater Beach Holiday Park on the Jurassic Coast, decided to undertake a temporary upgrade to the filtration plant and line the pool with a commercial pool liner. They also decided to undertake a feasibility study, to develop a brand-new indoor pool facility. Cresta Leisure was invited to join the project design team, to develop and deliver a wet-leisure facility that would appeal to all ages. This co-operation has resulted in a very popular, purpose built pool complex that incorporates a splash zone, a paddling pool, a play pool, interactive tower with tippers, sprays and slides, a stand-alone four-lane slide with integral catch, a 20m deck level swimming pool and a spa. Following the success of the new indoor pool complex, Freshwater asked Cresta Leisure to come up with a scheme to improve the outdoor pool facilities. Because the filtration and circulation on the existing outdoor pool was below current standards, it was decided to break out the old pool and start afresh. All the groundworks were undertaken by Freshwater’s own team. In just five months, Cresta has built a brand new 25m x 12m outdoor pool with 12m2 paddling pool packed full of interactive water play features from Hippo Leisure. This new pool facility is fully compliant with European standards and is proving to be a smash hit with everyone.

 

COMPANY CONTACTS

Cresta Leisure
Tel. 01305 259253
www.cresta-leisure.co.uk

Hippo Leisure
Tel. 01752 771740
www.hippoleisure.com

Ustigate
Tel. 01322 424445
www.ustigatewaterplay.co.uk

 

 

Balancing Act

Balancing Act

Balancing act 1Set just two miles from Newquay’s golden sand beaches, Hendra Holiday Park welcomes up to 3,800 guests a night during peak season. The family-owned business began in 1972 as a site offering camping and touring. Nowadays, Hendra’s 80- acre site is home to more than 300 luxury holiday homes and 600 pitches (from standard grass to super), ensuring it caters to a wide range of guests and budgets. Newquay has undergone a transformation in recent years, as Director Jon Hyatt explains: “The town has come a long way since the days of nightclubs, stag and hen dos. “It’s now a five-star family-friendly holiday destination and that makes the job of keeping our guests safe and secure that bit easier.” On-site security is handled by the Nitoe Group Ltd, a company launched more than a decade ago to support Newquay’s bustling nightlife. The experience brought with it some valuable lessons. “In bars and clubs, security needs to be managed carefully to avoid ruining the experience for everyone,” says managing director Tom Peel. “Holiday parks are very much the same. “Our primary goal is to make sure guests feel safe and secure – without compromising on their enjoyment. Being approachable plays a big part in this – especially in a holiday park where very young guests might find themselves needing help.”

PARTNERSHIP WORKING
Balancing act 2Hendra and Nitoe work in close partnership to achieve this: from choosing the appropriate measures and policies to sharing recruitment events. “The Nitoe Group team is very much an extension of our own workforce,” says Hendra director Jon Hyatt. “Their approach is more front of house than door supervisor and that’s a credit to the training they’ve received.” Security personnel on site understand the importance of customer service and know the skills to deliver it. In addition, they are trained to deliver first aid and can take on basic maintenance tasks, too. Jon continues: “With such a wide-range of functions, it means that, especially in peak season, we can enjoy an ‘all-hands-on-deck approach to give our visitors the experience that will see them returning year after year. “In addition, our staff has been trained on how to work with security, including how to get help in the event of issues on site, such as disruptive guests.” In such a big operation, data security is a significant concern. To protect against cyber threats externally, Hendra’s booking systems are isolated from the WiFi, feature a firewall and use subnets for added protection. On top of this, systems undergo external testing quarterly to ensure PCI-DSS compliance. “At Hendra, we go out of our way to treat our guests with the utmost respect and that extends to their personal information,” comments Bookings and IT manager Scott Dickinson. “Any data we hold is fully encrypted and we’ve made the decision not to store credit card details. “Sensitive information like this is only needed in the event of a refund; this affects no more than 5 per cent of our bookings. In our experience, when refunds are necessary, guests are usually more than happy to share their details again if it will help resolve the issue.”

DATA PROTECTION
Balancing act 4Alongside external scans and testing, Hendra’s IT team regularly run internal vulnerability scans. Scott adds: “With so much data to protect, we are always on the lookout for flaws in the system which could result in data breaches and issues for our customers.” This robust-but-friendly approach to security has paid dividends, according to Hendra Director Jon Hyatt. “We’ve been welcoming guests from across the UK and beyond for nearly 50 years’ now. “Indeed, many of our guests nowadays first came here as young children and, because of our customer-focused approach – across every aspect of the business – they continue returning each year, bringing children and grandchildren in tow.”

MERSEA MIX
Situated on beautiful Mersea Island, overlooking the sparkling Blackwater Estuary, Waldegraves Holiday Park offers a great mixture of static holiday homes and touring areas. While guests can enjoy all the creature comforts in one of the site’s luxury static caravans by the coast, those looking to connect with the great outdoors can choose from a range of pitches, including electric, non-electric and hardstanding. The sprawling site includes family friendly facilities, including an outdoor heated pool (May to September), restaurant bar and shop. In addition, there are four wellstocked and popular fishing lakes, children’s play areas, an entertainment venue and much, much more. For the site operator, keeping guests, staff and facilities safe is a top priority, as marketing manager Roberta Puze explains: “We want our guests’ stays Balancing act 3to be memorable for the right reasons. Our team works hard to instil a culture of respect throughout the operation.” This is echoed throughout the guest’s experience: from booking to departure. The site’s Code of Behaviour can be found within the park rules that are listed on the website, within booking information and in arrival packs. Once on site, guests are reminded to respect their neighbours on site, at all times of day, through carefully placed signage and posters. Day-to-day security issues are handled by the site’s park warden. “Guests need to be comfortable raising issues or asking questions, so approachability was something we were looking for in a park warden,” comments Roberta. During weekends and school holidays, Waldegraves employs an external security company to look after the doors on the clubhouse, as well as patrol in the evenings and overnight. However, there are drawbacks to this approach. “Previously, we have had issues where external staff weren’t able to work out the layout of the park quickly enough,” adds Roberta. “This meant we did have some complaints that areas of the site weren’t being policed efficiently. “Ideally, we would like to employ an in-house security team. But, because it could only ever be a seasonal position, it is almost impossible to find the right candidates. Alongside a range of security equipment, including CCTV, ANPR and automatic barriers to keep guests safe, the team at Waldegraves is also working to tackle antisocial behaviour.

COMMUNITY SAFETYBalancing act 7
Waldegraves is accredited to the Community Safety Accreditation Scheme (CSAS). The scheme targets organisations that play an active role in safeguarding communities with the tools to make them more effective in their efforts to reduce crime and disorder. “Under the scheme,” explains Roberta, “some of our staff hold the authority to exercise powers, such as issuing penalty notices for consuming alcohol in a public place and acting in a way likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress.” To gain accreditation from Essex’s Chief Constable, each selected team member was vetted, undertook an interview and completed a training programme culminating in an exam. She concludes: “We’re especially proud of these members of the team and the commitment they’ve made to making Waldegraves a much nicer and safer place to holiday.”

 

COMPANY CONTACTS

Hendra Holiday Park
01637 875778
www.hendra-holidays.com

Waldegraves Holiday Park
Tel. 01206 382898
www.waldegraves.co.uk