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.”

 

 

Holiday Park Operator Focus featuring Haulfryn Group

Holiday Park Operator Focus featuring Haulfryn Group

The 20-strong Haulfryn Group is celebrating its 85th birthday…

THE WARREN’S PRIVATE BEACH LOCATION boasts golden sands and soul-reviving views of Cardigan Bay and Snowdonia

The origins of the Haulfryn Group date back to the early 20th century when Frank Minoprio, the son of an Italian immigrant entrepreneur, invested in the beauty of the North Wales coastline. Having spent holidays enjoying the outstanding scenery of the region, Frank invested in his very own piece of land on which he built a fine granite house. He called it Haulfryn, meaning ‘sunny hill’. Over the years, Frank continued to invest and build up his estate in North Wales. He believed strongly in giving back to the community and with this in mind he built the primary school in Abersoch alongside many other philanthropic activities. In 1935, The Haulfryn Estate Company was officially founded with the aim of developing the land at TheWarren, just down the road from the family holiday home at Abersoch.

By the start of the 1960s, TheWarren had become a popular destination, setting the standards for holiday parks across the country. Replicating the success of The Warren elsewhere, The Haulfryn Group continued to invest in holiday parks in outstanding locations. The 1970s and 80s were years of further expansion with Gimblet Rock and Crugan added to the portfolio, among others and further investment at The Haulfryn Group’s flagship park, TheWarren. Expansion beyondWales followed, including strategic moves into the South West of England. Today, the Haulfryn Group’s estate includes 20 holiday parks throughout England andWales. The Haulfryn Group’s CEO since February 2020 is Echo Lu.With an impressive CV spanning over 20 years and senior experience within national and global brands including Tesco, Homebase and Holland & Barrett, Echo oversees the Group’s 500 team members. David John, Group Operations Director joined The Haulfryn group back in 2013, bringing with him a wealth of experience in Leisure and Hospitality, most notably Nutfield Heath, De Vere Hotels and Leisure, as well as early years spent in Local Authority.

caption: David john, Group Operations Director

The Group continues to invest in its portfolio to ensure Haulfryn resorts continue to meet the high expectations of its growing and loyal customer base. The Group’s leisure and entertainment venues, facilities and services are widely renowned as among the best in the business. David John comments: “The 85th birthday of the founding of the company is a fantastic milestone to achieve and testament to the company ethos and the hard work of every member of our team at every level. “As a company we’re extremely proud of everything we have achieved so far and look forward to welcoming holidaymakers new and old to our parks to create more special memories to last a lifetime,” he adds. “When you strip everything back to basics, the core of what we do today is the same as it was 85 years ago. The family values on which Haulfryn was established are as relevant today as ever, and these coupled with our outstanding locations is what brings holidaymakers and buyers back to us time and time again,” he emphasises. “Our main driver is to bring joy to every moment of a customer’s stay with us and we’re proud to have been doing that since 1936!” The Haulfryn Group offers a wide choice of accommodation for all tastes and for all ages. Popular holiday lodges provide home-from-home comfort, many with added luxuries such as wine coolers and hot tubs.

caption: Haulfryn Group Locations

For those seeking a modern twist, a selection of glamping pods provide quirky, comfortable accommodation bringing you closer to the outdoors. Some of Haulfryn’s long-standing suppliers include Lissett, Prestige and Omar whilst more recently they have partnered with Aspire and Armadilla Pods. The Group’s original site, TheWarren, is often thought of as Haulfryn’s flagship park but David insists: “We firmly believe each and every one of our parks are flagships. “Whether it’s ancient woodland, lakeside living, beautiful beaches as well as charming scenic settings - we always provide the accommodation and facilities to complement the surroundings environments.” TheWarren’s private beach location boasts golden sands and soul-reviving views of Cardigan Bay and Snowdonia. A boat launch ramp accesses internationally recognised sailing waters alongside first class leisure, sports and spa facilities. Haulfryn’s Delamere Lake offers a beautiful oasis in the midst of the Cheshire plains. Situated in Cheshire’s largest area of woodland, with incredible views over the sparkling lake, Delamere is located within easy reach of Manchester and Liverpool. Finlake Holiday Resort is set within 130-acres of Devon woodland, Finlake is an exclusive Devon holiday home destination for all the family. On-site facilities include a gym, spa, sauna, swimming pools, including flumes, slides and fountains, a restaurant and bar, tennis courts and more. Praa Sands is situated on the edge of turquoise waters and golden sands on the furthermost tip of west Cornwall. The resort is ideally located to make the most of the spectacular local area including beautiful beaches, walks, and cycle tracks. On-site facilities include a gym and heated indoor swimming pool. Before 2020, the Haulfryn Group’s biggest challenge would have been continuing to exceed customers’ expectations. Since the pandemic hit, Haulfryn’s overriding objective has been the safety of local communities, their teams and owners.

 

caption: contact the Haulfrun Group today

SOARING BOOKINGS FOR OCTOBER BREAKS

SOARING BOOKINGS FOR OCTOBER BREAKS

Verdant Leisure, a bespoke holiday park operator with ten holiday parks in Scotland and the north of England, is reporting a continued trend for staycation bookings this autumn, with October bookings doubling on autumn 2019. “We’re continuing to see recordbreaking bookings across all our UK parks,” says Verdant Leisure’s Chief Executive, Graham Hodgson. “This is really helping to boost the local economies in the Scottish and English regions where our parks are located, as each park provides the customer base for numerous other regional businesses, including local suppliers, shops, pubs, restaurants, cafes and visitor attractions,” Verdant Leisure recently secured licences for some of its leisure parks which permit them to open for 12-months of the year.

With the enforced closure and demand for UK breaks now so high, the company was in talks with local authorities to agree this for 2020/2021. The nationwide lockdown from March-June put considerable strain on the many local economies in the UK that rely on tourism to survive. Therefore, extending ‘the season’ was high on the agenda for Verdant Leisure and the British tourism industry as a whole. “As with many businesses in the sector we have seen an uplift in last minute bookings with more people than ever wanting to take a break with their family in the UK – a trend which we predict will continue well into 2021.

We recently announced a half a million-pound investment to increase accommodation pitches at our Scottish parks to keep up with demand and these are due for completion in the next few weeks, ready for our autumn visitors,” continues Graham. Verdant has also recently invested £500,000 to keep up with the current staycation demand. A new luxury lodge development has been completed at its East Lothianbased Thurston Manor Leisure Park. The company is also starting a new pitch development at Perthshire-based Erigmore Leisure Park.

On The Menu

pizza

From high-class restaurants to family-friendly pizza cafes, the choice on offer at many locations is vast.

On The Menu

WITH millions of British holidaymakers heading for holiday parks in the UK this year, one of the major attractions for most visitors was that the cooking would be done for them.

Catering is the vital ingredient of the holiday park business menu. From high-class restaurants to family-friendly pizza cafes, the choice on offer at many locations is vast. Quality food and good surroundings are key to the restaurant enjoyment factor with staff service and excellent menus par for the course in these competitive times.

Butlins pride themselves on top-quality restaurants with a total of 58 eating and drinking outlets and venues at their three seaside locations – Bognor Regis (West Sussex), Minehead (Somerset) and Skegness (Lincolnshire). These range from pubs, bars, buffet-style restaurants, ice cream parlours, pizza and pasta restaurants, fish and chip restaurants and even a restaurant run by TV chef Brian Turner.

chips

Hendra Holiday Park’s takeaway was named ‘Seasonal Fish & Chip Operator of the Year’ at the Seafish National Fish & Chip Awards earlier this year.

As with other resorts, holidaymakers book either self-catering holidays or the option to buy a dining package, which allows guests breakfast and dinner in their buffet restaurants. With 1.5 million guests a year, around 600,000, equating to 45 per cent, choose to buy the dining plan option. “Catering is an area of the business that we’re investing in heavily,” says James Silverstone of Butlins. “Character meals are available at all resorts – for example breakfast with Billy and Bonnie Bear.”

Haven Holiday Parks, part of Bourne Leisure, have worked hard to make the restaurant experience a memorable one across their locations. Fish and chips shares a quintessentially strong association with the seaside, so with a great level of investment in their fish and chip shops, Haven have increased the quality and experience of its venues to help celebrate the seaside and the UK’s favourite dish. Theme events have also been added to provide choice. Haven’s mid-week and weekend carvery is very popular, whilst Curry Night and Steak & Grill evenings provide added variety.

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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.