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Death of Kevin Rubie, former owner of The Big Banana

Death of Kevin Rubie, former owner of The Big Banana
March 15, 2022

Australasian Leisure Management is saddened to report the death of former owner and driving force of The Big Banana attraction on the NSW Mid North Coast at the age of 89.

Kevin, who died at his home in Queensland since his retirement in 2015, well known in Coffs Harbour as having been the sole owner and operator of The Big Banana from 1993 to 2005.

After purchasing The Big Banana in 1993, Kevin made a number of improvements to the attraction which included the installation of the Wiegand Family Toboggan Ride, an ice rink and an indoor snow slope, which was later converted into a paint ball arena.

In 2005, he decided that the best way for the iconic ‘big thing’ attraction to reach its full potential was to introduce a partner into the business and so entered into a joint venture with The Village Building Co. Ltd (VBC).

The joint venture arrangement continued until 2016 at which time Kevin retired and VBC took over full ownership and control of the business.

During the time that he was in the joint venture with VBC, additional attractions were added such as the World of Bananas Theatre and Tour, an inflatable water park which at the time featured some of the largest inflatable waterslides in the world, a state-of-the-art Laser Tag arena with Laserforce Gen7 battlesuits and an immersive arena, a 36-hole Mini Golf course, a conversion of the inflatable Water Park into a more permanent attraction featuring fibreglass thrill slides off a 14 metre platform along with an childrens’ aqua play area, and a repurposing of the building which housed the original snow slope into the largest giant slide in the country - named ‘The Racer’.

From the time of his retirement in 2016 until his passing, Kevin was lovingly cared for by his daughter, Mary-Anne Costar, in a separate home had been built for him to ensure that he could spend the remainder of his life close to them and not in external care.

A statement released by the Big Banana, commented “Kevin’s legacy will continue to live on at The Big Banana.

“He had a very deep passion for the tourism and leisure industry and for creating job opportunities in the Coffs Harbour region.

“He especially wanted to bring joy, fun and memorable experiences to all those who came and visited the park.

“Most of all, he wanted to maintain The Big Banana’s position as one of the most iconic tourist attractions in Australia.

“Kevin was an inspiration to many and his contribution to the tourism industry will never be forgotten.”

Image courtesy of the Big Banana.

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14th March 2022 - AALARA launches 2022 Conference program

24th December 2020 - 20-year expansion plan announced for Coffs Harbour’s The Big Banana

3rd January 2019 - 4D Ride Simulator opens at the Big Banana Fun Park

9th May 2018 - Coffs Harbour’s Big Banana preparing for future with reduced passing trade

15th October 2017 - Uncertain future for Australia’s ageing ‘big things’

9th May 2017 - Australian Waterslides completes ‘dry’ slide for The Big Banana

20th December 2015 - Big Banana a favourite project for Swimplex

13th October 2015 - Big Banana starts waterpark operations under new brand

16th August 2015 - Australia urged to embrace its iconic ‘big things’

14th August 2015 - Construction commences at The Big Banana waterpark

5th March 2015 - Swimplex Aquatics to develop $1.6 million Big Banana waterpark

22nd September 2014 - Big Banana expands as 50th birthday approaches

31st January 2014 - Expansion still planned at Coffs Harbour’s The Big Banana

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