Play Pays

Play Pays

play pays main pic

Because happy and entertained children equal content and relaxed parents, play facilities fulfil a vital ingredient for successful holiday parks, both attracting and retaining the family spend. With sufficient pre-planning and attention to detail, the initial investment will definitely pay back, triggering a large percentage of repeat visitors, as well as attracting fi rst-time bookers. Installing a play area close to the holiday park site reception makes a lot of sense, as it allows for natural supervision. Thinking of added revenue opportunities, ideally, the play area would also be close to the café. This allows parents to have a drink while the kids play, therefore increasing secondary spend.

FUN AND CHALLENGING
The more attractive, enticing, challenging and fun the outdoor play equipment is, the more likely it will be that visitors to the play area will continue to visit and enjoy all the facilities on offer; generally acknowledged as one of the deciding factors on choice of holiday destination. It’s important for guests to be reassured that faulty equipment, improper surfaces, and careless behaviour won’t spoil the fun. It is estimated that there are approximately 40,000 injuries to children on playgrounds each year which result in a hospital visit. Not all accidents are related to the equipment - perhaps as few as 40% - and of these 80% result in a fall to the surface. Of the remaining accidents, at least 4% involve children being struck by a swing seat (although the resultant injury is usually not serious. A similar number being bitten by dogs and being cut by glass within the designated play area.

FALL INJURIES
play pays pic 3Of the equipment involved in fall injuries the figures suggest these percentages: • Swings 40% • Climbers 23% • Slides 21% This does not mean swings are more dangerous - just that there are more of them and they are more popular. One of the most dangerous items on the playground are overhead bars which rotate. The most important factors, in evaluating the safety of any playground, are proper surface, design and spacing, and equipment inspection and maintenance. An appropriate playground surface is one of the most important factors in reducing injuries — and the severity of injuries — that occur when kids fall from equipment. The surface under the playground equipment should be soft enough and thick enough to soften the impact of a child’s fall. Keep in mind that even proper surfacing can’t prevent all injuries. Also, the greater the height of the equipment, the more likely kids may get injured if they fall from it. When planning your play area be age aware. Playground equipment should be designed for three different age groups: infants and toddlers under two, then two to five-year-olds (pre-schoolers), and five to 12-yearolds (school-age kids).

 

AGE DIFFERENCE
In the safest playgrounds, play areas for younger children are separated from those meant for older kids and signs should clearly designate each area to prevent confusion. Younger children should not play on equipment designed for older kids because the equipment sizes and proportions won’t be right for small kids, and this can lead to injury. Likewise, older kids shouldn’t play on equipment designed for younger ones. Smaller equipment and spaces can cause problems for bigger kids. Select a material for the play area that is not only durable, but that also suits the theme and location of the holiday park. Those products should comply with the European safety regulations for outdoor play equipment EN1176. Having selected equipment and surfacing which meets the Standards and have a post-installation inspection carried out by an independent body.

BE PREPARED
play pays pic 4When planning a play area or a refurbishment of a playground it always makes sense to obtain professional design and layout advice. It is essential to inspect the playground and equipment regularly weekly, quarterly and annually. If you are carrying out in-house inspections, find a training course, to ensure you or your staff are adequately qualified. Either way, the annual inspection should be carried out by an independent specialist. Have an effective maintenance programme which repairs faults quickly. Don’t rest on your laurels either and have a timescale for improving and up-dating playgrounds, ideally, every season. A clear evidence trail to demonstrate your due diligence will uphold the demonstration of your duty of care should an incident occur. The safety of children on their playgrounds doesn’t just depend upon the initial design of the area and the selection of equipment within it. Its continued management and the delivery of high quality inspection and maintenance schedules are crucial if the safe opportunities for children to play creatively are to be preserved. Of course, a good maintenance regime will significantly extend the life of your equipment and reduce the likelihood of accidents. Regular servicing and replacement of worn out parts is essential to keep your play area safe and compliant.

CLEAR CHECKLISTS
There are some clear checklists available, to ensure the equipment is designed and spaced to be safe such as guardrails and protective barriers should be in place for elevated surfaces, including platforms and ramps. Play structures more than 30 inches high should be spaced at least nine feet apart while swings, seesaws, and other equipment with moving parts should be located in an area separate from the rest of the playground. Swings should be limited to two per bay and tot swings with full bucket seats should have their own bay. Swings should be spaced at least 24 inches apart and 30 inches between a swing and the support frame. Be sure there are no spaces that could trap a child’s head, arm, or any other body part. All openings on equipment (for example, rungs on a ladder or bars on a guardrail) should measure less than 3½ inches or they should be wider than nine inches. Climbing nets should have openings that are either too small to allow a child’s body through or large enough to prevent entrapment of the head. Net perimeters which are 17-18 inches pose entrapment hazards. Playground equipment with moving parts — like seesaws and merry-gorounds — should be checked for pinch points that could pinch or crush a child’s finger or hand. Remember, not to become a victim of your own success. Too many kids on the equipment at one time can be dangerous. Everyone should start on the same side of the equipment and move across it in the same direction. Play is an important part of kids’ physical, social, intellectual, and emotional development. Following these safety tips will help your guests enjoy their holiday visit, and keep them coming back year, after year, for more.

In The Fun Driving Seat
In The Fun Driving seatWorld of Rides have served the holiday park industry with a fully comprehensive range of coin-operated leisure rides and equipment for nearly five decades, ranging from battery rides and static rides to quadricycles and rowing boats. “2019 is going to be a milestone year for the UK’s holiday parks, as Brexit and the fluctuating exchange rates are making more and more families stay at home in the UK for their holidays,” says David Robinson of World of Leisure. “However, if operators do not invest in new equipment to entertain their visitors and guests during this exceptional year, then they may not return in future years,” David advises. “For the past few years our Go-Karts, Super Hero Trikes and licensed character static rides have been the firm favorites with children, but for holiday park operators are suddenly asking for our driving school cars and above ground pools with bumper boats, in order to satisfy the demand of their customers for new experiences,” he adds.

World Of Rides
Tel. 0191 49 20 999
www. worldofrides.com

On A Play Mission
On A Play MissionIf you are looking for expert guidance on creating or refurbishing a holiday park play area, then, look no further than Fenland Leisure Products. The fun areas that are created by Fenland Leisure Products team will be safe and happy places for family members of all ages to play, stay active and aid in the building of healthy relationships. To do this, the Fenland Leisure Products team will design, manufacture, supply and install quality commercial playground equipment and associated components with care and professionalism at all times. Fenland Leisure Products create a welcome and happy working conditions for all of staff members; this aids in the provision of excellent customer service to all who are in contact with them. For project assistance or any playground product information call to discuss your project plans, however far in the future.

Fenland Leisure Products
Tel. 01354 638 359
www.fenlandleisure.co.uk

 

Playing It Cool

Playing It Cool

Playing It Cool 1

ABOVE: cleverly designed indoor play space will have the end result of happier, more positive visitors who forver long to return. pic: KOMPAN

Having experienced the warmest summer on record in 2018, Britain is facing the coldest winter in living memory according to experts, with the weather set to bite right up until the end of February. The UK’s notoriously unpredictable weather can be a turn-off for would-be holidaymakers who aren’t willing to brave the elements, especially during the winter months. But savvy holiday park owners have got it covered when it comes to weather-proof activities for all the family, and providing indoor play facilities to keep the kids entertained is top of the list. Indoor play can take many forms, from conventional soft play zones to indoor rides, amusements and water leisure areas. Parks that offer exciting indoor entertainment are sure to stand out from the crowd. At Hendra Holiday Park in Cornwall, offering all-weather activities for children is a top priority. The fi ve star park invested in a new soft play area in 2017 and is reaping the benefits.

WEATHER-PROOF

Playing It Cool 3“Offering indoor play is a huge benefi t to parents holidaying in the UK. It is good to have an indoor weather attraction for children, so there is always something to do,” comments Clare Jackson of Hendra Holiday Park. The park’s soft play area, known as Henry's Play Loft is designed for children from the ages of 0-10 years old and has a tots area for the under twos. Meanwhile parents and families can relax in the comfortable seating area and there are refreshments available too. “We continue to update and maintain the areas as required to keep them clean and in tip-top condition,” says Clare. “The soft play area is generally popular among the smaller children, as is our Oasis indoor pool, which is one of the reasons we get many repeat bookings. There is a small charge for guests to use the pool facilities, but the soft play area is free.” According to the Play Providers Association (PPA), there are well over 600 independently operated indoor play sites across the country, with an increasing number of pubs, restaurants and holiday parks now offering indoor play equipment. “Over the last few years there has been a considerable increase in the number of indoor soft play areas. At the same time the scope of activities in these areas has increased and more adventurous items are constantly being introduced,” comments a spokesperson for the PPA.

RETURN VISITS
Playing It Cool 4Steve Sylvester, Managing Director of KOMPAN UK and Ireland agrees: “A cleverly designed indoor play space will have the end result of happier, more positive visitors who will thrive in your environment and forever long to return.” He adds: “Your play area can be part of your success story, inspiring great tales of the perfect family holiday or day out.” KOMPAN is a leading supplier of playground equipment for play areas, parks and sports areas. The company specialises in the design of innovative equipment for all ages and abilities. “Young children love a space filled with bright colours, friendly shapes and rounded edges. A well-planned play area can be one big play invitation to role-play; firefighter or princess one day and  pirate captain the next" says Steve.

Company Contacts:

HENDRA HOLIDAY PARK
Tel. 01637 875 778
www.hendra-holidays.com

KOMPAN
Tel. 01908 201002
www.kompan.co.uk

PLAY PROVIDERS ASSOCIATION
Tel. 02476 414 999
www.playproviders.org.uk

WORLD OF RIDES
Tel. 01914 920999
www.worldofrides.com

 

 

Unmissable Event

Unmissable Event - Cover Photo

The Holiday Park & Resort Innovation show beckons…

The Holiday Park & Resort Innovation Show is an unparalleled opportunity for holiday and leisure entrepreneurs to make the most of their resorts, holiday parks and attractions by delivering first-hand the very best in advice, products and services. The event has grown considerably since 2016 and is set to be the most exciting and comprehensive instalment yet! Combining world class experts, face-to-face advice, 150 inspirational seminars, 350 leading suppliers, workshops, unrivalled networking and live features all under one roof - these two days are truly unmissable for anyone in this sector! Whether you’re relatively new in the holiday market and looking for inspiration and advice or an established business looking for new and exciting ways to improve your offering, the event covers everything you need to run your holiday business more efficiently.

Discover all the latest technology and trends from within the sector and find out more about current marketing and business strategies. The industry’s most innovative and influential figures will pass on their peerless knowledge and advice and ultimately help you stand out from the competition and increase your occupancy rates. Join some of the industry’s most progressive and ambitious suppliers and find absolutely everything you need to develop your holiday business whether it’s accommodation, marketing, booking systems, food and drink services, leisure equipment or energy companies. Running alongside the Holiday Park & Resort Innovation show again this year is the Farm Business Innovation Show, the Family Attraction Expo, and the Country House Innovation show. New for this year, we have the Public Space Innovation show, and Destination Hotel. Register for free tickets to attend via the website. Looking forward to welcoming you to the event on the November 7th & 8th, NEC Birmingham.

Aqua Spa SuppliesAqua Spa Supplies: Stand 1232

Aqua Spa Supplies are suppliers of accessories and equipment for spas and swim spas. They will be showcasing their End 2 End Covers - Roll on, Roll off covers for spas and swim spas and a host of other equipment. Look out too for spa brands including American Whirlpool, Vita Spas and the Villa Tub.

Aqua Spa Supplies
Tel. 01245 477 400
www.aquawarehousegroup.co.uk

Businesses For SaleBusinessesForSale : Stand 1802

If you’re looking to sell your business, BusinessesForSale can cost-effectively help market your business to over 1.2 million buyers every month. They connect business buyers and sellers. There are 4,000 leisure and holiday related businesses on the site, as well as thousands more businesses and franchises for sale in every sector imaginable. We’ll be displaying a handpicked selection of current businesses for sale at the  stand. Come and find the inspiration for your next business venture.

BusinessesForSale
www.BusinessesForSale.com

Forbo FlooringForbo Flooring : Stand 1556

The impact of the interior scheme and the overall ambience of a building can play a crucial role in a visitor’s experience to any holiday park or attraction. As such, on stand 1556 at this year’s Holiday Park & Resort Innovation Show, Forbo Flooring Systems will be highlighting the benefits its range of flooring solutions, which are suitable for a wide range of applications across the leisure sector, can offer to improve visitor experience.

Forbo Flooring
Tel. 0800 0935 258
www.forbo-flooring.co.uk/leisure

GemParkGem Park : Stand 1636

The GemaPark management system is web based Park Management and booking system that allows you to manage all your customers and bookings easily. Take online bookings and payments. Record meter readings and invoice owners. Email booking confirmations, balance reminders and welcome letters automatically. Manage your availability from our interactive chart. Link with other systems to increase bookings. Access from multiple computers, Low monthly fee instead of a large purchase price with full training and support.

GemPark
Tel. 01983 282420
www.gemapark.co.uk

HPS_Sept2018_issue_68pp_LR-1Holiday Park Scene : Stand 1950

Don’t miss the Holiday Park Scene magazine team who will be exhibiting on stand 1950. Call by to tell us about how your business stands out from the crowd or to discuss promotional opportunities for your products and services through the industry’s biggest and best magazine for park operators.

Holiday Park Scene
Tel. 01353 666663
www.holidayparkscene.com

Light SauceLight Sauce : Stand 202

Light Sauce is the leading importer and distributor of light-up, flashing LED and glow novelties in the UK. Trade suppliers for over 15 years to family attractions, holiday parks, theatres, local government, schools and charities. With long term partnerships in China and the Far East they are able to design, brand, source and manufacture products that complement and promote your organisation. Light Sauce specialises in the volume supply of light-up toys to order but with large UK based stocks and a wide choice of products for next day delivery throughout the UK.

Light Sauce
Tel. 0845 470 6060
www.light-sauce.co.uk

Marquis SpasMarquis Spas : Stand 10-710

Marquis today is one of the leading manufacturers of hot tubs and swim spas in the United States, with distribution around the world. Long noted for our product quality and unique high-flow therapy systems...Marquis’ dealer network around the world annually rates it with SpaCertified as among the very best suppliers. A UK network of dealers present a full range of Marquis products and offer UK consumers excellent sales and service experiences as well. Marquis’ three dedicated holiday park models, the ‘Relax’, the ‘Getaway’ and the ‘Escape’, offer an array of sizes and features to give you the perfect hot tub for a perfect holiday.

Marquis Spas
Tel. 1-503-838-0888
www.marquishottubs.co.uk

NBB Recycled FurnitureNBB Recycled Furniture : Stand 1012

NBB Recycled Furniture manufacture an expansive range of outdoor furniture using 100% recycled plastic. There are many advantages of the material: the non-porous properties mean that it will never rot, splinter or corrode; it is graffiti proof and easy to clean; and it does not require annual upkeep in fact it is completely maintenance free! Recycled plastic is extremely robust and hardwearing making it great for heavy use areas such as holiday and leisure industries; public parks and gardens; schools and businesses! All of products are guaranteed for up to 25 years, more reason to replace your old timber furniture today!

NBB Recycled Furniture
Tel. 0800 1777 052
www.recycledfurniture.co.uk

Park Leisure Solutions LtdPark Leisure Solutions Ltd : Stand 1230

National suppliers, Park Leisure Solutions launched their brand new Climacube Hot Tub Heat System earlier this year. The Climacube Heat System offers the very latest energy saving heat technology, dramatically reducing running costs, increasing usage, reducing the carbon footprint and enabling customers to use their hot tubs all year round, at the desired temperature without the concern of cost. Customers are already benefiting with installations producing significant reductions in their energy bills. Unlike conventional heat systems, Climacube will heat your Hot Tub in around 4-5 hours from cold with a consumption of only 1KW per/hour with a COP of over 3.5 in minus temperatures.

Park Leisure Solutions Ltd
Tel. 01202 691166
www.parkleisuresolutions.co.uk

PitchedPitched : Stand 1742

Pitched are the smart choice for the holiday park industry, from online booking management software to website, brochure and email design as well as management of social and email campaigns, SEO content and data analysis. The new name in booking software, suitable for independent and holiday park groups of all sizes. Built specifically for caravans, lodges, cottages, glamping, touring and camping pitches and management of owners and holiday home sales - our GDPR ready software comes with stylish customer steps and is simple and easy to operate. Unlimited users working simultaneously with individual security rights. Securely hosted, and all data encrypted and backed up. Convert browsing to booking, giving you more time to run your park. Arrange a demo either by calling today or at the show.

Pitched
Tel. 01726 418 118
www.pitched.co.uk

Portrait PoolsPortrait Pools : Stand 3406

The multi-award winning, Portrait Pools team specialise in the construction, build and design of home indoor swimming pools, commercial swimming pools, spas and saunas, pool refurbishment, pool maintenance and pool accessories. A swimming pool says so much. Especially when it is built to your precise specifications and to exacting standards.. Most people will have a vision of their own swimming pool in their mind`s eye. Portrait Pools have the experience and expertise to open up the countless possibilities, and to capture the essence of your lifestyle. Portrait loves nothing better than to take what you thought an impossible dream and turn it into stunning reality.

Portrait Pools
Tel. 01625 466200
www.portraitpools.com

Suntrap SystemsSuntrap Systems : Stand 1444

Specialists in supplying lifts and hoists providing disabled access into swimming pools, spas and hot tubs, the team will be displaying three different models from its extensive range of lifts, all of which are suitable for both commercial and private use so whatever the size, shape or type of pool and whatever the budget, we can offer a suitable solution. Suntrap Systems is a long established company with more than 20 years’ experience which offers a specialised service to both private and commercial customers, and enjoys a reputation for quality, reliability and a personal service you can depend on.

Suntrap Systems
Tel. 0121 428 1155
www.suntrap-systems.co.uk

Superior SpasSuperior Spas : Stand 10-703

Add a touch of luxury to your holiday home or letting business, and boost your revenue by up to 60% with a Superior Spas Holiday Let Hot Tub, while ensuring you stay firmly within the parameters of the HSG282 guidelines. Established in 2009, Superior Spas are the UK’s largest distributor of hot tubs and spas. We pride ourselves on quality craftsmanship, commitment, reliability, and competitive pricing. Hailed as one of the best Holiday Let Spas retailers on the market, we have been named as the official supplier to Sykes Cottages. Our range of Holiday Let Hot Tubs is specifically designed for heavy usage and minimal maintenance. They come in a variety of sizes, making them the ideal choice for any garden, decking or outdoor area.

Superior Spas
Tel. 01246 559071
www.superiorspas.co.uk

The UK Ramp CompanyThe UK Ramp Company : Stand 1424

The UK Ramp Company provides design, supply and installation of Modular Pumptracks and Skate Ramps throughout the mainland UK. The company’s core customers are holiday parks and councils. We pride ourselves on providing second to none customer service from the initial enquiry until the end of life of the products.

The UK Ramp Company
Tel. 01923 678432
www.theukrampco.com

Trimax Mowing SystemsTrimax Mowing Systems : Stand 1330

Trimax Mowing Systems design and produce tractor-powered mowers with the highest level of finish and minimal maintenance. It is this that makes them a turn- to equipment manufacturer. The company began in New Zealand in the 1970’s with tractor-mounted mowers to cut grass beneath kiwifruit vines. Innovative developments, pioneered in flail blades and multi-spindled rotaries meant rapid advancement into amenity and sports surface mowing and exporting well beyond down-under. The Trimax name is now known everywhere by professionals who maintain grassed sports facilities, golf courses, public amenities and holiday parks.

Trimax Mowing Systems
Tel. 01933 652235
www.trimaxmowers.co.uk

Wilby LtdWilby Ltd - Park Protect : Stand 1440

The Park Protect policy has been specifically designed for Holiday and Caravan Parks and provides outstanding cover and value for members of the scheme. As a park insurance specialists, Wilby currently arrange insurance for more than 100 parks across the UK, from the North of Scotland to the South coast of England. As well as providing insurance to caravan parks across the country, as members of The National Caravan Council we are actively involved in the industry and know the challenges faced by parks. We have a team of advisers with a wealth of experience in dealing with touring, holiday and residential caravan and park home resorts of all shapes and sizes, so you can be sure you are dealing with a company that knows the needs of your business. As the scheme is developed specifically for the park industry it offers a range of extra benefits including Stock of holiday and residential homes £250k. Landscaping following a loss £5,000. Site services, inc underground pipes £10k. Contract works cover £25k.

Wilby Ltd – Park Protect
Tel. 01422 358 525
www.wilbyltd.co.uk

World LeisureWorld Leisure UK : Stand 1841

World Leisure (UK) is a multi-award winning provider of design, technical and installation services for the water leisure industry. Offering full turnkey packages, from design and installation through to commissioning and continued maintenance support, World Leisure`s extensive industry experience and a proven track record provide peace of mind to contractors and clients. Providing tailored solutions to meet the exact needs of each individual project, World Leisure partners with manufacturers and specialist equipment suppliers of the highest quality to ensure projects are completed on time and to the highest industry standard. Recent projects include the London Olympic Aquatic Centre, Lagan Valley Leisureplex (Northern Ireland), Ellesmere Port Sports Village, De Vere Scottish Urban Leisure Resorts, Brookfield Multiplex Centre Point, and the Defence & National Rehabilitation Centre`s new world class facilities at Stanford Hall.

World Leisure UK
Tel. 01722 284883
www.worldleisureuk.co.uk

World Of RidesWorld Of Rides : Stand 3441

For nearly 50 years, World of Rides has been the leading UK manufacturer of children’s leisure rides in the United Kingdom. From premises in County Durham the company supply major shopping centres, retailers, visitor attractions, fun farms, holiday parks, garden centres, family entertainment centres and hospitality centres that include national and single-site operators. The company boasts vast knowledge and experience ensures that every ride we manufacture is rigorously tested both in the factory and on-site before being released for sale. Customers receive the very best advice on the profitable and safe operation of their rides.

World of Rides
Tel. 0191 49 20 999
www.worldofrides.com

 

Key Seminar Sessions

Andy SuttonTheatre 13 - Wednesday 13.15 - 13.45

Andy Sutton

Maximising food and beverage in the holiday park industry One of the areas within the holiday park sector that has always been a struggle to maintain, is the food and beverage operation. The issue has been how to manage and carefully balance the gap between seasonal business, your offerings, and if you allow external business on park to contribute towards the success of your F&B. During my talk, I will discuss how you can look at simple options within your business, how to maintain out of season trade, and how to keep control whilst making a healthy profit.

 

TDawn Beeheatre 10 Thursday 11.00 - 11.30

Dawn Bee

Online Booking: Win and keep the customers you want Taking Online bookings may feel like losing control but this seminar will show you how you can use it to gain more control over the type of customer you attract. Repeat customers are the mainstay of most holiday park businesses. We will cover how you can use automation to set off on the right foot to create a lasting profitable relationship with each customer.

 

 

Steve HassenmullerTheatre 10 Thursday 13.15 - 13.45

Steve Hasenmueller

Marquis – The Ultimate Holiday Park Hot Tub Program Holiday Park guest turnover and high hot tub usage create unique requirements for a safe and effective low-maintenance program for hot tub owners. Get a complete overview of the Marquis Holiday Park program and models which address these unique requirements with specific features and designs.

 

 

Book your free tickets today - visit www.holidayparkshow.co.uk

 

 

 

Alfresco Thinking – Outdoor Play

Alfresco Thinking - Outdoor Play

Alfresco

ABOVE: A brushwood tunnel and whispering tube for secret messages on this outdoor play design from Earth Wrights.

Unfortunately, the days when children played out on the street all day are long gone. For many children today – especially families without gardens – outdoor play only happens on trips to the park or on holidays.
The onus is therefore on holiday park owners and operators to ensure the play facilities they offer are the best they can be.
“Children between the ages of three and 12 are still the ones who dictate their family’s holidays and day-out destinations,” says David Robinson of World of Rides. With that in mind – and unless you’re specifically targeting adults – your holiday park should always have an outdoor play area.”
Gary Wallis, UK Marketing Manager for HAGS, elaborates: “As any commercial operator will tell you, happy entertained children mean happy and relaxed parents! An exciting and challenging play area gives children somewhere to let off steam and make new friends. “Investing in play equipment is a great way to show visitors that your establishment caters for families with young children who want to be entertained and have fun. Parents can explore your ‘grown-up’ environment, while the children will stay occupied with fun play solutions that stimulate their imagination and challenge them physically.”
External play areas are no longer an after-thought but are fast becoming essential in all redevelopments, as operators understand that they are a key driver and draw card for families. More and more business owners are now beginning to invest in a well designed play area to not only attract customers, but to retain them for longer and providing a greater return on investment. “Good play facilities make all the difference to a site,” adds Cathy Craddock from Outdoor Play People. “Just putting in something to tick a box is all well and good, but with some thought you can create a real talking point and asset to your park.”

QUALITY PLAY
Outdoor play can take many forms, from conventional playgrounds and rides to more nature-based facilities. “If you invest in a good quality play area and really think about the design, you shouldn’t have to change your play areas very often at all,” continues Cathy. “If you look after it, it will serve you longer.” World of Rides’ David Robinson again: “While static play equipment may need to be replaced or refurbished on almost an annual basis on heavy footfall holiday parks, battery rides can still be earning very high incomes a decade or two later.” He stresses, however, that only certain rides and equipment are suitable for outdoor play. World of Rides’ extra low voltage battery cars, boats and trikes are obviously suitable, but any higher voltage equipment to be used outdoors must be fitted with a residual circuit device. All rides manufactured in the UK and Europe must also carry the CE mark, which imported rides from the rest of the world do not always comply with.
“Fully interactive rides are still the most popular children’s attraction, as young guests and visitors want to be in full control of everything their ride is doing,” continues David. “Our bumper cars and boats are particularly popular, along with our driving schools, with a number of holiday parks operating a multiple number of tracks of the same or differing models.” The company’s appealing designs and its use of the latest technology means it now has the most popular range of battery rides across the UK and Europe, with over seventy models to choose from.

World of Rides is launching its brand new batteryoperated off-road Outlander driving school cars for the 2018 season. According to the company, the cars will provide operators with safe, colourful, popular and very profi table new attraction for their venues – either indoors or outdoors – while also teaching children about road safety. The large twin-seat cars are fi tted with a working dashboard, ignition key and fully-operational seat belts, horn, head lights, direction indicators, accelerator and brake pedal with brake lights – and a reverse gear! “Our main purpose is to ‘edutain’ children with learning through fun,” says Customer Support Manager Andrew Robinson. World Of Rides Tel. 0191 492 0999 www.worldofrides.com

World of Rides is launching its brand new battery-operated off-road Outlander driving school cars for the 2018 season. According to the company, the cars will provide operators with safe, colourful, popular and very profitable new attraction for their venues – either indoors or outdoors – while also teaching children about road safety. The large twin-seat cars are fitted with a working dashboard, ignition key and fully-operational seat belts, horn, head lights, direction indicators, accelerator and brake pedal with brake lights – and a reverse gear! “Our main purpose is to ‘edutain’ children with learning through fun,” says Customer Support Manager Andrew Robinson. World Of Rides Tel. 0191 492 0999 www.worldofrides.com

 

 

The UK Ramp Co. understands just how important it is to implement creative areas and facilities designed to engage children in outdoor play. Its Modular Pumptrack has much to offer holiday park owners and their guests. Made up of 11 interchangeable modules which can be custom designed to fi t any environment, the track options with the Modular Pumptrack are endless. What’s more, the modules can be picked up and moved at any time, meaning the longevity of the product will surpass any site redesigns or upgrades with very little maintenance required. They can even be installed indoors or hired for one-off events. Sands Caravan and Camping Park in Gairloch, Scotland has found out fi rst-hand how popular the Modular Pumptrack can be. Last March, even before the park was open for the season, potential guests were visiting the Facebook page to ask when the site was open and if they could book the Pumptrack. The UK Ramp Company Tel. 01923 678432 www.theukrampco.com

The UK Ramp Co.understands just how important it is to implement creative areas and facilities designed to engage children in outdoor play. Its Modular Pumptrack has much to offer holiday park owners and their guests. Made up of 11 interchangeable modules which can be custom designed to fit any environment, the track options with the Modular Pumptrack are endless.What’s more, the modules can be picked up and moved at anytime, meaning the longevity of the product will surpass any site redesigns or upgrades with very little maintenance required. They can even be installed indoors or hired for one-off events.Sands Caravan and Camping Park in Gairloch, Scotland has found out first-hand how popular the Modular Pumptrack can be. Last March, even before the park was open for the season, potential guests were visiting the Facebook page to ask when the site was open and if they could book the Pumptrack. The UK Ramp Company Tel. 01923 678432 www.theukrampco.com

 

 

Kids That Play, Stay

Kids That Play, Stay

ABOVE: Wear out the youngsters with fun play opportunities such as this one from Brean Play.

ABOVE: Wear out the youngsters with fun play opportunities such as this one from Brean Play.

The UK’s notoriously unpredictable weather means that indoor play and amusement facilities can provide an essential ‘get out of a jail’ card for holiday parks. From soft play zones to amusement arcades, parks that offer exciting indoor entertainment are sure to stand out from the crowd. “For our commercial customers we have, for many years, had a mantra ‘kids that play, stay’ because when kids enjoy the play offering, the parents will stay longer and come back more frequently,” advises Mike Black SLKids – a division of Sound Leisure Ltd. “Where you increase the dwell time, you increase the pro rata spend per head,” he adds. David Robinson of World of Leisure agrees but cautions: “The price of play is very important in holiday parks, as a captive audience, who have to pay over and over again during their holiday, will choose to leave the park each day to fi nd their amusement and fun elsewhere, especially if park prices are seen as being too high. “Three to twelve year old children are still the biggest influence on a family holiday destination, and if holiday parks cater for this age group by giving them exciting and fully interactive rides, then they will always enjoy being fully booked,” David continues. “If the weather is inclement, then all our rides can be operated either indoors or outdoors, so no disappointed younger children, whatever the weather.”

ABOVE: A sure fire winner is this driving school by SLkids.

ABOVE: A sure fire winner is this driving school by World of Rides

World of Rides has been involved with the delivery of battery operated parent and child rides since 1969. “Always buy the best rides and play equipment that you can afford, as cheap equipment will always breakdown during your busiest periods,” advises David Robinson of World of Rides.

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Happy Days

Happy Days

An exciting and challenging play area for all ages and abilities gives children somewhere to let off steam and make new friends as well as giving them some independence on holiday. Pic: HAGS.

An exciting and challenging play area for all ages and abilities gives children somewhere to let off steam and make new friends as well as giving them some independence on holiday. Pic: HAGS.

As any holiday park operator will tell you, happy and entertained children mean happy and relaxed parents. An exciting and challenging play area for all ages and abilities gives children somewhere to let off steam and make new friends as well as giving them some independence on holiday. Mike Harris, Director at Warren Farm Holiday Centre in Bream, Somerset invested in new playground facilities last year, designed and supplied by HAGS. He said: “We are known as a child friendly park, and people purposefully book plots near the play areas.

The initial outlay was definitely worthwhile and we have a large number of repeat visitors because of this, as well as many new ones.” “The more attractive, enticing, challenging and fun the outdoor play equipment is, the more likely it will be that visitors to the play area will continue to visit and enjoy all the facilities on offer and it could be the deciding factor on choice of holiday destination,” comments Stuart Wetherell for Wicksteed Playgrounds. Wicksteed was recently commissioned to create an impressive and imaginative playpark at Wilton Lodge Park in Hawick, Scotland. Reflecting the history of the area, a large bespoke timber castle-inspired feature takes pride of place at the centre of the play area. The custom-built castle is adorned with turrets, slides, climbing nets and monkey bars as well as a bridge over a moat and portcullis entrance.

Wicksteed Playgrounds was recently commissioned to create an impressive and imaginative playpark at Wilton Lodge Park in Hawick.

Wicksteed Playgrounds was recently  commissioned to create an  impressive and imaginative playpark at Wilton Lodge Park in Hawick.

The £300k play facility was developed as part of a £3.64m park regeneration project, funded by Scottish Borders Council and the Heritage Lottery Fund. “Local children were involved with creating the designs and ideas for the play area and came up with the idea of incorporating Hawick’s history and scenery into the design. The play park proudly features a castle, river design, horse artwork and a common riding flag as part of the surface design,” commented Gordon Webber, Wilton Lodge Park Events Manager.

RANGE OF FEATURES : The play park features a range of different zones with play equipment suitable for a variety of age groups and abilities. A timber fenced area features sensory sound and visual items as well as a central carved timber totem pole. Wicksteed has become the go to for cleverly designed bespoke playgrounds which can reflect the history of the site or have a theme running throughout. The company has also developed an award-winning range of outdoor gym equipment, the FLZ, which is ideally suited to the holiday park environment and suitable for those aged 14 plus.

“Prices do of course vary depending upon the type of equipment, landscaping and installation but a product from Wicksteed’s Toddlers’ range might start at around £500 with individual, interactive panels from around £590,” explains the Stuart. “An entire playground which could contain multi-play, modular units together with fitness products would obviously require greater funds, so it all depends on the project in question. To achieve a ‘wow’ factor a new green site fully supplied area should have a budget of around £70K.”

World of Rides have served the holiday park industry with a fully comprehensive range of coin-operated leisure rides and equipment for nearly five decades.

World of Rides have served the holiday park industry with a fully comprehensive range of coin-operated leisure rides and equipment for  nearly five decades.

REGULAR CHECKS
Apart from keeping your play equipment and areas regularly checked to meet health and safety standards, there are no guidelines stipulating when a playground requires updating, this is solely down to playground owners. However, updating your equipment regularly to stay ahead of the competition will certainly help attract and retain customers, providing a greater return on investment.
It is recommended that any equipment purchased for unsupervised use is certified as compliant to EN1176 (the European Playground safety standard), this ensures that the equipment is designed and manufactured to a high standard and will provide an exciting and challenging experience while minimising risk.  The safety of children on their playgrounds doesn’t just depend upon the initial design of the area and the selection of equipment within it. Its continued management and the delivery of high quality inspection and maintenance schedules are crucial if the safe opportunities for children to play creatively are to be preserved. Mark Rands, Head of UK Installation and Service at HAGS comments: “We know that a good maintenance regime will significantly extend the life of your equipment and reduce the likelihood of accidents. Regular servicing and replacement of worn out parts is essential to keep your play area safe and compliant.
“Remember it is the responsibility of the owner to keep the play area safe, delaying needed repairs not only shortens the life of the equipment but increases the risk of an accident. The inspection should cover the whole of the site - not just the play equipment. Pathways, fences and seats all need to be checked.”

FIRM FAVOURITES

Fenland Leisure Products’ (FLP) U-Design service is for bespoke projects from small special needs units, access bridges to larger themed multi-play units and fully equipped assault courses. Your project can be based on existing products and tweaked to your specific requirements or wholly new and unique. Bespoke designs are a fantastic group involvement activity. For children, fun is strongly related to play and they have great capacity to extract the fun from it in a spontaneous and inventive way. What a great legacy to build and be a part of. FLP will guide you on the legalities of play equipment design and advise you when it comes to surfacing and fall heights, but the creative ideas are all yours.

Fenland Leisure Products’ (FLP) U-Design service is for bespoke projects from small special needs units, access bridges to larger themed multi-play units and fully equipped assault courses. Your project can be based on existing products and tweaked to your specific requirements or wholly new and unique. Bespoke designs are a fantastic group involvement activity. For children, fun is strongly related to play and they have great capacity to extract the fun from it in a spontaneous and inventive way. What a great legacy to build and be a part of. FLP will guide you on the legalities of play equipment design and advise you when it comes to surfacing and fall heights, but the creative ideas are all yours.

HAGS is a global company with a product offering that stretches over an extensive range of thousands of play products– designed for people of all ages. They have gained over 50 years’ experience in providing both landscaped and traditional outdoor areas. The best-selling UniPlay and UniMini ranges from HAGS offer a vast number of play functions and games within a unique modular system.
HAGS offer a wide range of standard ready-made units for every size and budget, and additionally, all units can be customised by adding special features or games to create your ideal play space.
Liz Townsend, Head of UK Proposals for HAGS says: “Our customers want a play area that is visually striking and attractive – something that immediately captures the imagination of children and becomes memorable so families have a great time and want to return again. The design details are what holds a child’s attention for longer than a few minutes, for example: tower structures are very popular with all ages, even more so when they have interactive games and imaginative activities that can involve all generations.” Liz continues: “At HAGS we focus on a ‘cost per user’ model during the design process, this helps eliminate single user items that can be expensive to own for little return in place of items that offer great play and financial value for users and owners alike.”

“Play facilities are vital in holiday parks, in order to both attract and retain the family spend,” says David Robison of World of Rides. “2017 is going to be a milestone year for the UK’s holiday parks, as Brexit and the fluctuating exchange rates are making more and more families stay at home in the UK for their holidays. However, if operators do not invest in new equipment to entertain their visitors and guests during this exceptional year, then they may not return in future years.” World of Rides have served the holiday park industry with a fully comprehensive range of coin-operated leisure rides and equipment for nearly five decades, ranging from battery rides and static rides to quadricycles and rowing boats. “For the past few years our Go-Karts, Super Hero Trikes and licensed character static rides have been the firm favourites with children, but for 2017 holiday park operators are suddenly asking for our driving school cars and above ground pools with bumper boats, in order to satisfy the demand of their customers for new experiences,” says David.

COMPANY CONTACTS
FENLAND LEISURE PRODUCTS Tel. 01354 638359 www.fenlandleisure.co.uk
HAGS Tel. 0845 260 1655 www.hags-smp.co.uk
WORLD OF RIDES Tel. 0191 49 20 999 www.worldofrides.com
WICKSTEED PLAYGROUNDS Tel. 01536 517028 www.wicksteed.co.uk

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Just a Penny More…

Just a Penny More...

A holiday experience wouldn’t be complete without trying your luck on the prize crane or the coin tipping machine. In fact, the arcade has been a staple attraction of the Great British seaside holiday since the early 1900’s. Part of the Bourne Leisure group, Haven currently operates 37 arcades at its parks across the UK and has seen a shift from traditional arcades moving to all-encompassing family entertainment centres. “Our guest feedback indicates that arcades are a valued part of the holiday offering.

Arcades have long been and are still very much part of the seaside family holiday.

I wouldn’t suggest that anyone books a holiday based purely on the arcade offering, as we have seen a focus towards our Nature Rockz activities, but it is a very wellused facility and part of the overall holiday experience,” says Kevin Scott, Head of Arcades at Bourne Leisure. “The arcades are now environments where families can play together and often we include other family products such as soft play.” Redemption games, where the player is rewarded proportionally to their score, are Haven’s most popular arcade games, closely followed by cranes and coin pushers.

 

“We have expanded the redemption and prize offers at the expense of the gaming element of the business. A very high proportion of our games offer has a prize element which is very well received by both the holiday makers and our owners,” reveals Kevin. He adds: “Arcades have long been and are still very much part of the seaside family holiday and there is no indication to suggest that this will change in the near future.” Before investing in arcade games and equipment, it is advisable to seek advice from a reputable dealer or manufacturer, who offers a warranty and will give you fast and efficient after-sales care and service for the entire life of the equipment.

ATTENTION TO DETAIL  “Too many park owners become totally disillusioned by a particular attraction that has failed in the past and this fazes their judgement for ever buying anything similar ever again - all because they were badly advised in the very beginning,” comments David Robinson of World of Rides. He continues: “Never buy any rides or equipment based on the lowest price, as every month we receive at least one sad story of cheap failed equipment at peak times of the season, which has resulted in lost income, and more importantly, disappointment and lost customer satisfaction.”

World of Rides is a leading UK manufacturer of battery operated land and water-based leisure rides. The company’s three biggest selling rides for 2017 so far are the fully operational Driving School Car, which has all the same controls as any normal road car, the glow in the dark Future Bike, which has under-LED lighting, and the new Baby Beetle Car for smaller children. “Our entire 12v/24v range of rides are becoming very much more popular with holiday park owners, partly due to the fact that they are nearly all able to carry either two children or a parent and child, but also because they all run without any noise, air or water pollution,” says David. “With trade prices starting at only £2,750 each, they still remain the highest earning children’s rides, due to them being fully directional and interactive with the riders.” According to David, really good rides and amusements will normally achieve full return on investment a number of times over in any one season, providing that they are operated correctly and looked after.

LIFE SPAN  “All modern EEC and UK made rides have a long life expectancy, but in order to keep guests and visitors coming back every year, and incomes retained at their maximum, the rides should ideally be run on a rolling five-year-plan, with at least one new ride attraction being added to the park every year,” says David. “After that, each ride should be subsequently downgraded or replaced after year five, depending on its continued income potential and key position in the park,” he adds. For holiday parks that choose to hire their arcade equipment, it is advisable to work with fully vetted and experienced operators who use up-to-date rides that are tested and documented using H.S.E.-ADIPS safety testing every year. It is also important to check that the operator can show documentary evidence of themselves being fully insured for Public Liability for a minimum £10,000,000, in the event of any incident.

INSURANCE MATTERS  Another key consideration is to ensure that your arcade equipment is covered by a suitable insurance policy. According to Compass Insurance, the key message when it comes to rides and machines - whether they are relatively simple coin-operated equipment or larger, more complex facilities - is to have a conversation with your insurer or broker before you go ahead and sign a hire agreement or make a purchase. “Park owners and managers should be aware that your insurer or broker may decline cover,” advises Chris Jones, Retail Underwriting Manager at Thistle Insurance Services. “An increase in premium could otherwise apply – and in the worst case scenario this could make the rides or machines commercially unviable. It’s always best to have the conversation up front.”

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One Stop Shop

Whetting your appetite for the Holiday Park & Resort Innovation Show this November…

The Holiday Park & Resort Innovation show returns to Birmingham in November.

The Holiday Park & Resort Innovation show returns to Birmingham in November.

Building on the success of its launch in 2015, the Holiday Park & Resort Innovation show returns to Birmingham in November and this year the team is pulling out all the stops to make the show bigger and better than before. Taking place on November 9-10 at the NEC, the show is a must for park and land owners looking to diversify their land into a lucrative tourism enterprise, or those looking for new and innovative ways to put their park on the map.

Visitors to the two-day event can get a glimpse of the latest glamping trends and products, as well as a comprehensive lineup of seminars, workshops and suppliers needed to make a holiday park business a success. “Holiday Park & Resort Innovation is an entirely unique event for entrepreneurs striving for success in one of the most vibrant and competitive sectors in British business today,” says event organiser Will Mansfield.

“The show brings together top industry experts, leading suppliers, interactive workshops, live debates and seminars all focused on providing the inspiration, advice and resources holiday park and resort owners need to enhance the performance of their business,” he adds. The show will be expanding into Hall 8 of the NEC this year, with more than 300 suppliers and an estimated 3,500 visitors.Visitors will have the opportunity to learn from the top experts at google, Airbnb and Booking.com and hear from some of the industry’s most successful individuals such as Carl Castledine CEO of Away Resorts, George Bryan Director of Drayton Manor and Bernard Donoghue CEO of ALVA.

“As in 2015, the Holiday Park Innovation Show will again support The Family Holiday Association as its official charity and in addition we’re excited to announce our official trade partnership with the NCC,” says Will. “As the UK trade body for the tourer, motorhome, caravan holiday home and residential park home industries we look forward to working closely with the NCC before, during and after the event this year.” The show runs alongside Rural Entrepreneur Live, incorporating Farm Business Innovation & Country House Innovation in Hall 9, which provides landowners with the inspiration, advice and resources they need to diversify, innovate and make more money from their land and property.

Packed with relative content, this additional show provides visitors to Holiday Park & Resort Innovation with further unique opportunities they might not have previously come across.

Running on the November 9 – 10 2016 at the NEC Birmingham, tickets to attend the show are free. Visitors just need to register via the website www.holidayparkshow.co.uk.

Smart Choice

smartEnergy Controls is a leading supplier of electricity SMART Meters and pre-payment metering systems to holiday parks throughout the UK. The company specialises in providing its customers with fully managed metering solutions including installation and support for prepayment Card Meters, as well as data collection for SMART Meters that can be integrated with PayPoint for greater prepayment flexibility.
If you want to find out more about MID compliance or if you are thinking about installing or upgrading your meters, either to ensure your energy costs are recovered fully or to reduce your billing administration, then visit Stand 1346 where the team will be happy to sit and discuss your requirements with you.

Energy Controls
Tel. 0845 230 4535
www.econtrols.co.uk

Make a Splash

makeWorld Leisure UK can deliver the full turnkey option for your water leisure facility.
From initial design through to construction and handover, World Leisure UK can help to deliver your water leisure facility aspirations. The company benefits from close links with a manufacturing facility, which enables them to keep a large part of the manufacturing side of an installation, from moveable floors and filter vessels through to stainless steel handrails close to home. Their experience in the commercial sector ensures that their designs and installations conform to the current legislation, written especially for the swimming pool industry by the Pool Water Treatment Advisory Group, Sport England and the Health & Safety Executive.

World Leisure UK
Tel. 01772 284883
www.worldleisureuk.co.uk

Fun For All

funFor over 45 years, World of Rides has been a leading UK manufacturer of children’s leisure rides in the UK. From its premises in County Durham, the company supplies major shopping centres, retailers, visitor attractions, fun farms, holiday parks, garden centres, family entertainment centres and hospitality centres that include national and single-site operators. Their vast knowledge and experience ensures that every ride they manufacture is rigorously tested both in the factory and onsite before being released for sale.
They maintain a dedicated customer support office which ensures that all their customers receive the very best advice on the profitable and safe operation of their rides.

World Of Rides
Tel. 01914 920 999
www.worldofrides.com

Home from Home

homeOmar is a leading manufacturer of luxury lodges and park homes with a reputation built upon 50 years of manufacturing experience.
All Omar’s homes and lodges are built to residential standard BS3632:2015. This means they are suitable for residential use throughout the year and are built to last at least 50 years.
Interiors have a choice of intelligent floor layouts to suit individual needs and are right up to date with stunning interior design. All homes come with quality branded furniture, white goods, double-glazing and central heating as standard.
With industry leading design, exceptional build quality and unsurpassed attention to detail, meet the Omar team on stand 1562 to discuss how they can help deliver your dream lodge.

Omar Park Homes
Tel. 01842 810 673
www.omar.co.uk

In The Fast Lane

trikeA world-first in design innovation, itrike easy-to-ride electric vehicles give the leisure market a superb opportunity to offer customers a new and dynamic transportation experience. They also present an excellent ROI opportunity for holiday rentals. Including both e-bikes and e-scooters, itrike’s range of noise-free electric vehicles have been cleverly designed to provide users aged from 14 years + with an exhilarating ride that is both fun and safe. They are propelled by a reliable, long-lasting lithium-ion battery coupled with a Bosch electric motor, providing a maximum speed of 15mph (e-bike version). Visitors will also have the chance to win an itrike at the show!

itrike
Tel. 01743 761107
www.itrike.co.uk

Take a Dip

takeRotoSpa is the UK’s only spa manufacturer. A family company established 15 years ago, the Midlands-based factory supplies the holiday industry all over the UK. From simple, robust, quality tubs for holiday lets to more complex commercial solutions to solve labour demand and legislative issues. Make RotoSpa your preferred hot tub partner. RotoSpa will be exhibiting a number of exciting holiday park hot tub innovations to enable owners and operators to reap the financial rewards of hot tub provision whilst giving them a newfound peace of mind that they will be able to comply with legislative requirements without undue strain on staff time.

RotoSpa
Tel. 0121 354 3428
www.rotospa.co.uk

Don't Miss Us

As the official media partner of the Holiday Park & Resort Innovation Show, visitors should make a beeline for Holiday Park Scene magazine on stand 1641. We will be giving away complimentary copies of the magazine and the team will be on hand to discuss your business goals for 2017. Holiday Park Scene is an essential read for anyone involved in holiday park and campsite management. At least 5,000 copies of Holiday Park Scene are distributed six times annually to key personnel in all aspects of the holiday park industry across the UK and Eire. We have a combined online presence of 20,000. Talk to the team to find out more about the editorial, advertising and marketing services that we offer.

Holiday Park Scene
Tel. 01353 666663
www.holidayparkscene.com

Playing It Safe

Playing It Safe

Pic: RSS (Playground Inspection Maintenance)

Pic: RSS (Playground Inspection Maintenance)

A state-of-the-art outdoor playground may look the part, but keeping it in tip-top condition is sometimes overlooked.

From ropes and wooden frames to nuts and bolts, there are a large number of components on play equipment that require routine checks and an annual inspection.

A leading supplier of outdoor play equipment is urging holiday park operators to show duty of care towards their play equipment. RSS (Playground Inspection and Maintenance) stresses the importance of ongoing compliance to EN1176, even with newly purchased equipment, by inspecting the equipment on a regular basis.

Andy Readman, director of RSS comments: “In the unfortunate event of an accident you must be able demonstrate compliance to avoid expensive litigation and bad publicity. When purchasing a new playground you can specify equipment that is certified for compliance to EN1176, the European Playground safety standard.

“But what do you do when your equipment is many years old, was never certified for compliance when manufactured and the original equipment manufacturer is no longer trading?” says Andy.

“Well, you still have the same obligations regarding safety of the users but it is unlikely that an item of equipment that wasn’t designed to comply can be successfully modified to comply,” he explains.

Wicksteed Playgrounds3RSS (Playground Inspection and Maintenance) have worked with holiday parks and visitor attractions for many years and can offer independent advice backed up by over 25 years’ experience in this specialised field.

Andy adds: “Remember, if you inspect regularly and repair defects your play area will continue to provide years of safe and trouble free use.”

Following a successful refurbishment of the playground equipment in 2013 to address non-compliances and extend the life of the equipment, Cosgrove Park in Milton Keynes has implemented a seasonal inspection regime based on the opening schedule for the park.

RSS have worked with Cosgrove Park to ensure that the regime reduces the number of inspections but ensures the park is inspected more frequently during the periods of highest use.

How often outdoor play equipment should be changed or updated all depends on the warranties of the equipment and its usage. The more the equipment is used, the quicker it may suffer from wear and tear. You can expect at least ten years use from any play area - and a lot more if it is well maintained. Sovereign Play Equipment has installed in excess of 10,000 play areas nationwide over the last 22 years.

Sovereign Play Equipment

Sovereign Play Equipment

In terms of price points, Justin Mottaz of Sovereign advises that a modest adventure trail could start from as little as £2,500 and an adventure tower with safer surfacing from around £5,000. “I would suggest that a sensible amount, to get a reasonable sized play area from the start, would be in the region of £10,000,” he says. “Remember that the cheaper option is often that way for a reason.”

Dominique Lloyd-Roberts of Playforce agrees: “When designing a playground, health and safety and durability should also be a priority. Look carefully at your quotations, guarantees, aftersales service and the longevity of the proposed designs – think about getting the best value for money, rather than just the lowest price.”

Playforce is a long-standing member of the API, all equipment complies with BS EN1176 and 1177 and is RoSPA tested. The company provides a full maintenance service with advice on routine maintenance, post installation, yearly and three yearly packages that include full reports, training and consultation sessions.

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The Fun Factor

The Fun Factor

For many holidaymakers, the lure of an arcade is an essential item on the wish list, providing hours of entertainment for the whole family.

For the park operator, selecting the right balance of amusements, games and gaming machines can be a precarious balancing act between customer satisfaction and maximum return on investment while still delivering the fun factor that keeps the visitors coming back time and time again. Historically, the first popular arcade attractions were early games such as shooting galleries, ball toss games and early coin-operated machines, such as fortune tellers and strength testers. More modern gaming has been led by the popularity of online games and casino games. Penny fall coin pushers have been Crown Direct’s bestselling lines in recent years and 2015 was no exception with The Simpsons-themed Donut Daze machine, which was the company’s the most popular product of the year.

“It’s not a case of games having a fixed shelf life, but you should always have something new every season for holiday makers to play, advises Dean Harding, managing director at Crown Direct. Many come back to the park every year, so you need to keep the offer fresh.”

Crown Direct is a leading UK supplier of all types of coin operated equipment, as well as operating third party arcades and owning a number of their own. The Wigan-based company supplies equipment to holiday parks and family amusement arcades across the UK and Eire. Supply can be by way of outright purchase, rental or they can operate your arcade for you on an income share basis.

“There is merit in both rental and purchase and it really comes down to the holiday parks view on capital expenditure and appetite,” explains Dean. “We have large and small holiday park customers that are complete opposites in their approach to their amusement requirements. Some buy, some hire, and some lease the arcade space to an operator. Also, if customers thinking of buying there are some good second hand games available offering great value for money.”

Dean stresses the importance of keeping all arcade equipment in full working order and advises his customers to consult their suppliers if anything goes wrong: “Arcade games can go wrong and break down - coins get into all sort of places in a machine. Seeking technical expertise is essential as maintenance and repairs are a skill.”

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