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Problem Solver - August 2009

Customizing Your Park With Shelters


Park shelters provide a much-needed amenity for your patrons, giving them a place to gather for a picnic, wait out a rain shower or sit in the shade while their kids play nearby. Adding shelters to your site not only pleases your patrons by giving them a place to gather, but also can give you a way to improve your revenues. Shelters can be rented out for family reunions and other events.

To really make an impact, though, you should consider how well your shelter fits into your park. The good news is that a unified, aesthetically pleasing shelter is a snap, thanks to prefabricated structures from arbors and gazebos to kiosks and picnic shelters that are made to fit your needs.

Q: We'd like to add shelters that fit in with the existing look of our city, but we're on a tight timeline. How can we get it done quickly?

A: You'll simplify the planning process when you rely on fabricated metal shelters. They are available in many beautiful designs and colors, and you won't have to draw up plans for each shelter.

Installation requirements will vary, but generally speaking, the less complicated structures are relatively simple to install.

If you have someone on your crew with general construction experience, that will help simplify the process.

Depending on how big your structure is, in addition to how complicated it is (is it simple posts with a roof, or do you have railings, a cupola and other added features?), the installation will take from just a few hours to several days. You'll need two or three people to complete the installation.

Q: We'd like our park shelters to incorporate some of the unique design elements of the surrounding area. Is it possible to customize structures to mesh with the community's look and feel?

A: Going with a fabricated metal shelter or structure will not limit your options. Manufacturers offer a huge variety of shelters, from multi-tiered and vented structures to shelters with decorative lattice work, cupolas and even lighting systems.

In addition to these features, you'll be able to find designs that will meet a wide range of settings, from classic options to contemporary. Your manufacturer will help get you started. Also ask about customization options.

To further coordinate your site's look, you can add structures that match your shelters, including trellises, pergolas and kiosks.

Whether you want a colorful picnic shelter to place near a play area or a more refined gazebo to host events in your city's historic district, you will be sure to find something that suits your needs.

Q: How can shelters help us generate revenue?

A: Some parks charge a rental fee, and allow users to host weddings and concerts at especially attractive locations. Others provide rentals for picnics and family reunions during the busiest times of year when visitors might otherwise compete for the space.

You can also add a structure that serves as a memorial for your city, and you can even provide interested community members with the opportunity to dedicate a shelter or other structure in your park, boosting your fund-raising options.


FOR MORE INFORMATION
Classic Recreation Systems Inc.:
800-697-2195
www.classicrecreation.com