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Guest Column - September 2016

Splash Play

Splash Into the Renovation Revolution

By Lynn Purcell


Throughout the summertime, refreshing water play is always top of mind. Keeping your community cool, active and coming back for more fun is key to your program. Renovating your water play offerings can make you a surefire summertime hit now and for years to come.

Already Have a Splash Pad?

Then it's a given that you're a popular destination. But have you considered the importance of renovation? With the infrastructure already in place, it remains a cost-effective move to regularly update and fine-tune your system. It's the smart way to keep your assets working better for you, and for longer.

Add a Little Excitement

Renovation can be as simple as adding a few new products to your current splash pad. It's a great way to add excitement, generate renewed interest and encourage return customers. Give kids and their families a new reason to stop by— especially if your facility charges admission. Once they see the cool new stuff you've added, they'll keep coming back for more.

Make It Like New Again

If you installed your splash play area back when they were first introduced, it may be nearing the end of its lifecycle. Renovations can make it work better than ever and easier to maintain in the future.

Consider replacing the concrete pad to repair any areas that may have deteriorated or heaved over time. Top-dress it with finishes—a stain is a cost-effective way to switch out the look and update the style of your splash pad. Replace older play equipment with fun new activities. Want to retain some of your favorite events? Change out the spray nozzles, then apply a coat of paint for a fresh new look.

Now would be a great time to create a whole new theme or style for your water play experience.

Go Big, Go Sustainable

Replace your drain-away system with a recirculation system that continually cycles the same water supply. This water-conservative option is certainly the most sustainable one. But it also lets you maximize the fun—providing the biggest water play opportunities while conserving water at the same time.

Prefer to keep your drain-away system but still make a sustainable statement? Consider recapturing the water and using it to irrigate your park.

Get a Tune-up

If your splash play area already employs a recirculation system, regular tune-ups can help you continue to meet your community's evolving health codes, improve mechanical function and ease ongoing maintenance. Nothing's more frustrating than an out-of-service splash pad on a hot summer day. Don't let it happen to you!


Thinking About Installing a Splash Play Area?

Water play experiences continue to grow in popularity—and develop into new forms of fun. Consider retrofitting less popular water activities into exciting new splash pads. It's a great way to attract a whole new crowd by offering kids and families a more imaginative way to cool off.

Turn Wading Into Splashing

Many municipalities are turning old wading pools into splash pads, taking advantage of the larger attendance that comes with more active water play opportunities. A well-designed splash play area will offer a range of challenges for all ages, allowing everyone to feel comfortable getting as wet—or staying as dry—as they want.

In the end, switching from a wading pool to a sprayground can lower liability and lower operating costs (no lifeguards required) and increase the overall value of your venue. What's not to love about that?

Enhance Your Pool Appeal

Consider renovating some of the larger structures in your swimming pool that have seen better days. Replace underused and aging platforms and climbing slides with thrilling water play adventures. Go from a dangerous eyesore to a new, multi-level interactive water play destination.

As you can see, there are a variety of ways you can renovate an existing splash pad—or upgrade your current water activity areas with splash play experiences.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Lynn Purcell is a copywriter for Aquatic Recreation Company (ARC), a leader in innovative, diverse and interactive water play equipment for over 25 years. ARC's water play elements can be found throughout the world in municipal spray parks, aquatic centers, hotels and resorts, campgrounds, fitness centers, housing developments, military bases and amusement parks. Recently they have joined forces with Landscape Structures Inc., a leading designer and manufacturer of commercial playground equipment. Learn more at arc4waterplay.com.

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