Kent & Leanne Sansom of Oakvale Wildlife Park in Australia visit Waterplay!
Kelowna, Canada, April 30, 2019 — Waterplay was thrilled to receive a visit from Kent and Leanne Sansom, owners of Oakvale Wildlife Park located in Port Stephens, NSW, Australia earlier this year.
In 2016, Waterplay’s expert team at Parkequip, worked closely with Kent and Leanne to achieve their dream design for an animal-themed splash pad. The result was the creation of Splash Bay, a beautiful 410 square metre (4,413 sq.ft) spray park which is open year round to visitors of the Wildlife Park.
After a tour of Waterplay’s new, state-of-the-art corporate and manufacturing facility, Kent and Leanne sat down with Waterplay’s creative team to chat about the success of Splash Bay, its impact on their business and future plans.
Transporting Kangaroos, Splash Bay & #theWaterplayDifference
Waterplay: We’re so pleased to have you here with us! What brings you all the way to Canada?
Kent: As part of Oakvale’s highly-renowned breeding program, we regularly transport animals internationally to other wildlife parks. We were already scheduled to hand-deliver a few of our grey kangaroos to a zoo in Fort Wayne, Indiana and decided to venture a little further into Canada to visit Waterplay. It was great to receive a full tour of the new facility, it’s really something. Also, we wanted to sit down with the team and discuss expansion plans for our spray park, Splash Bay.
Waterplay: It’s great to hear that you are expanding. Since opening your spray park, have you seen an increase in visitors?
Leanne: We opened Splash Bay, at the beginning of summer (Dec 2016) and within a year, park attendance had doubled. Previously, visitors would tour the park, check out the animals, catch a wildlife show or two and then, off they’d go. However, with the addition of a water play space, our average visit duration has gone from two hours to five, with revenue increasing by more than 80%. Due to this amazing growth, all construction costs for the splash pad were paid off in only two short years and we are now looking to expand the water park as well as other areas of the zoo.
Waterplay: With visitors extending their stays to enjoy Splash Bay, have you noticed growth in other aspects of your business?
Leanne: Yes! We’ve seen substantial financial growth in our point-of-sale services. When we initially began planning our spray park, one of our main goals was to create a space not only for water play, but also, for park-goers to gather and socialize. That’s why we constructed beautifully landscaped picnic areas that can accommodate up to 200 people, a dry playground area and fully accessible washroom/change-room facilities. With these added amenities, bookings for children’s parties, and visiting school groups have skyrocketed. We’ve quickly become a go-to tourist destination in New South Wales, with visitors travelling in excess of three hours each way!
Waterplay: When you decided to expand your water play space, what made you come back to Waterplay?
Kent: It would definitely be Waterplay’s outstanding customer service and support. For me, communication is key and your team at Parkequip were excellent in managing and communicating all aspects of the project from start to finish. Their professionalism, attention to detail, and technical expertise, really made the difference — I felt confident that they could deliver what they had promised and they did, tenfold. Originally, when researching what play features I wanted for the splash pad, my family and I took a road trip, visiting 16 other water parks throughout Australia. When I was introduced to Waterplay’s products, I found them to be truly superior — heavy on quality, easy to install and maintain and constructed from durable materials designed to stand the test of time, even a hot Australian summer.
Waterplay: It’s great to hear that you had such a positive experience, we are honored to be able to work with you on your next aquatic play project. It’s been a pleasure meeting with you and if you’re ever back in town, please feel free to stop by. All the best for a safe trip home!
Read More About Splash Bay at Oakvale Wildlife Park.