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Leisure industry gets into April Fool’s Day spirit

Leisure industry gets into April Fool’s Day spirit
April 2, 2018

Sheep grazing on Auckland's Eden Park, an underwater children's playground, Spin classes on Virgin Australia flights and an adults-only nude waxworks models display at Madame Tussauds Sydney were some of the jokes played by leisure industry operators on April Fool’s Day yesterday.

Marking 1st April, when funsters around the world set out to dupe those gullible enough to take the bait, this year saw a massive increase in jokes played by leisure industry operators.

Among the April Fool’s jokes played were: 

Goulburn’s Big Merino on the move
One of Australia’s iconic ‘Big Things’, the 97-tonne Big Merino stands proudly in the NSW town of Goulburn as a monument to the area’s wool industry. 

However, in news that will shock locals, the concrete ram is on the move to Morayfield, Queensland. ‘Rambo’ will take pride of place at a new over-50s lifestyle community Affinity Sheep Station Creek.

Director of Park Investment Properties, Robert Farrell, said the synergy between Sheep Station Creek and the Big Merino was undeniable, with the relocation set to offer the icon a new lease on life.

Farrell advised “Affinity Sheep Station Creek is just an hour from Brisbane, and 40 minutes from the Sunshine Coast, so the new location will provide an opportunity for more people than ever to visit this national treasure.”

Sheep grazing at Eden Park
At Auckland’s Eden Park the story was that 10,000 Perendale lambs were to be introduced, with the hallowed turf being used for sheep grazing alongside hosting premier sport, and a previously mooted plan to open the venue to concerts.

Eden Park Trust Chief Executive Nick Sautner told the Herald on Sundaythe key to commercial success was diversification, advising “we live and breathe sporting history here, day in and day out. That's the Kiwi spirit. But we also realise the meat industry is one of New Zealand's biggest export earners and we want to be part of that to help our bigger plans for Eden Park come to life.

"The All Blacks are unbeatable at Eden Park and we're going to provide a sustainable product that will be exported globally, and Eden Park, the world's most famous rugby venue, may well become the world's most famous exporter of lamb."

Virgin Australia’s Inflight Spin classes 
On Saturday, Virgin Australia announced “introducing Virgin Australia Spin Class, the world’s first in-flight cycling studio. 

“We've partnered with Virgin Active to help our guests work up a sweat in the sky on long haul flights, and even earn Velocity Frequent Flyer Points for every kilometre they cycle, and enjoy exclusive change room and shower facilities to refresh before returning to their seat. 

Virgin Active Cycle Head Coach, Emma Masters advised “our team at Virgin Active are used to running Spin Classes at ground level, but we’re thrilled to have partnered with Virgin Australia, and over the past year we have been busy designing the ultimate spin class in the sky.

“Each Spin Class has been designed to achieve optimal in-flight heart rate and maximum calorie after-burn in the case of the Jetlag Buster and Spin & Sleep classes. For those looking to relax, the Cruise in the Clouds options provides a more laid-back workout.”

Virtual reality for cats with Zoos Victoria
In a breakthrough move bid to keep cats safe and conserve Australia’s wildlife, Zoos Victoria have introduced new technology to help our feline friends experience the great outdoors from the safety of their homes. 

Cat VR visualises every cat’s fantasy - chasing an endless ball of yarn, jumping through a forest of cucumbers and running through a maze of giant cardboard boxes - but without the accompanying threats.

The headsets are part of Zoos Victoria’s Safe Cat, Safe Wildlife campaign, in partnership with RSPCA Victoria. The campaign provides cat owners with information and resources to ensure that both their cat and the neighbourhood wildlife are kept safe.

50 Shades of Wax at Madame Tussauds Sydney
Last Thursday saw Madame Tussauds Sydney send out a press release promoting  50 Shades of Wax, a nude showing of celebrity models.

The press release from Merlin Entertainments offered “celebrities stripped bare”, advising “for today (Sunday) only, the legendary wax museum is getting all risque on us by opening up a special adults-only room. The 50 Shades of Wax experience will reveal what celebrities look like stripped bare.

Dan Porter, Studios and Operations Manager, of Madame Tussauds Sydney said the decision to open the new adults-only zone was made as a result of suggestive questions from guests.

Porter supposedely advised “we lose count of how many people ask us if the wax figures are made to scale and if all the measurements were correct.

“We thought it was time to remove the mystery by showcasing exactly what the celebrities look like for our inquisitive guests.”

While the press release did carry a 1st April embargo, at least one industry news outlet jumped the gun and ran with the story.

Waterplay introduces underwater playground
Canadian-based Waterplay®Solutions announced that it was launching “underwaterPLAY™, a submersible play collection that brings shipwreck adventures to the pool floor. 

“Designed for both indoor and outdoor aquatic facilities, underwaterPLAY™ invites Waterplayers to grab their snorkels and flippers and discover a bubbling world of treasures at rock bottom!

“Submerging the Voyages ship Clusters™ by Waterplay along with sea life from the Shoreline and Nautical Collection, underwaterPLAY™ transforms the pool basin into an ocean floor packed with fun. Swim through the arching whale body and between seaweed Wigglies, or catch starfish bubbles before plundering the HMCS Waterplay! This underwater innovation offers numerous benefits for children: intense physical exercise and strengthened lung capacity from plunging in the deep. It kicks wild imaginations into high gear, builds courage and develops mental focus as waterplayers hang-on tight to their favourite features, resisting buoyancy.”

Water desks at Sea Life Sydney Aquarium
Merlin Entertainments also advised that staff at the Sea Life Sydney Aquarium will be working from water desks as part of a “new program will see staff donning their wetsuits and working from the aquarium’s feature tanks in a bid to diversify work arrangements and increase productivity.”

Richard Dilly, General Manager of Sea Life Sydney, said staff members had given the new office set-up a thumbs-up, commenting “iIt’s time to bid farewell to standing desks. Humans have a natural affinity to water as it provides a sense of calm and clarity - two sentiments that are vital to productivity and worker satisfaction.

“Swimming also builds endurance and cardiovascular fitness while providing an all-over body workout, plus it’s fun! We figured we already have the aquatic resources, so why not test the waters?”

Editor’s note: While Australasian Leisure Management did not fall for any of these jokes, we have been suckered in the past, see: www.ausleisure.com.au/news/cairns-zoom-wildlife-dome-launches-walk-the-crocodile-experience/

7th March 2018 - AUSTRALASIAN VENUES SHORTLISTED FOR 2018 STADIUMBUSINESS AWARDS 

5th March 2018 - EDEN PARK LOOKS TO STAGE LIVE ENTERTAINMENT EVENTS 

11th September 2017 - NEW VIRGIN ACTIVE CONCEPT TO OPEN AT SYDNEY’S BARANGAROO

18th April 2017 - LEGOLAND DISCOVERY CENTRE OPENS IN MELBOURNE

1st April 2016 - CAIRNS ZOOM & WILDLIFE DOME LAUNCHES ‘WALK THE CROCODILE’ EXPERIENCE 

13th October 2015 - BIG BANANA STARTS WATERPARK OPERATIONS UNDER NEW BRAND 

16th August 2015 - AUSTRALIA URGED TO EMBRACE ITS ICONIC ‘BIG THINGS’ 

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