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ParkWord October 2011


Welcome to an issue packed with coverage of waterparks and rope courses. While our features on Polin’s recent installations in France (see page 28) and WhiteWater’s work in China (page 30) were planned for some time, the multiple stories relating to rope courses (pages 6, 10, 21 and 32) appear together in the same issue almost by accident. What these attractions demonstrate, however, is a growing desire by families to find active or ‘healthy’ pursuits on a day out, even at a theme park. Mind you, at some parks (Alton Towers springs to mind) you can get pretty fit just walking between attractions. The American company Ropes Courses Inc (RCI), which I remember exhibiting at IAAPA some years ago in Atlanta with a very functional looking piece of equipment, has become a leader in this field, refining its product with attractive colours and custom theming by request. RCI was demonstrating a rope course at IAAPA last year directly across from the Park World booth, so I got to see first hand the appeal of such an attraction. Although people often like something when it’s free, the course nevertheless attracted a constant flow of trade show attendees, young and old, keen to take on the challenge. And that’s another reason rope courses, along with attractions like zip lines and even Zorb balls (see page 8 – apologies for the picture), are popular – they also give your guests a sense of personal achievement. Low on power consumption, they reduce energy costs too, adding to your venue’s ‘green’ credentials. However, think carefully about how much manpower you are going to need. Discussing his new rope course at Howe Caverns in New York, general manager Robert Holt advises, “Do not skimp on the labour. Well trained staff add to the assurance level. Having an employee there to get a child to take one more step is worth every cent paid.” So, safe in the knowledge their kids are in good hands and getting some exercise, parents can sit back and watch ...while eating a burger perhaps.


Owen Ralph - Editor


Editor Owen Ralph (+44 161 438 2934) parkworld@btopenworld.com


North American Editor Paul Ruben (+1 585 381 1012) parkw@rochester.rr.com


Contributors this issue Jack Samuels, Werner Berthold


Sales Manager Mark Burgess (+44 1622 699124) parkworld@datateam.co.uk


Publishing Director Paul Ryder pryder@datateam.co.uk Managing Director Parvez Kayani


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p.kayani@datateam.co.uk Publication Secretary/ Jennifer York (+44 1622 699109) Subscriptions parkworld@datateam.co.uk


OCTOBER 2011 ISSN: 1462-4796 © COPYRIGHT 2011: ALL MATERIALS IN THIS PUBLICATION REMAIN THE COPYRIGHT OF DATATEAM BUSINESS MEDIA AND NO PART OF IT MAY BE REPRODUCED WITHOUT THE WRITTEN


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