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Palmerston North hydroslide recognised with aquatic industry innovation award
Community Leisure Management (CLM) has won a New Zealand Recreation Association (NZRA) innovation award for the outdoor hydroslides and aqua play area at the Lido Aquatic Centre in Palmerston North.
Aiming to encourage development and recognition within the industry, the NZRA’s annual Aquatics Industry Awards were presented at the Association’s recent Just Add Water Seminar in Wellington.
The waterpark at the Lido Aquatic Centre boasts the largest waterslides (hydroslides) and aquatic play area in New Zealand, the result of a partnership between Palmerston North City Council, facility managers CLM and private hydroslide operator QEII Hydroslide.
In 2014, the Council entered into a public-private partnership with CLM and QEII Hydroslides to undertake this $2.3 million transformation of its established aquatic centre into a water park - contributing $300,000 - with QEII Hydroslides funding the $2 million balance for the project.
CLM provide daily operational services and lease the AquaPlay from QEII Hydroslides.
After the first 15 years expire, the Council has the option to buy the slides for half their value, according to a pre-agreed valuation formula.
Since opening in December 2014, the facility has become a major source of attraction for locals and visitors, helping to increase pool visitor numbers to 369,000 in the 2015/2016 year.
Commenting on its success, CLM Chief Executive Craig Carter stated “one of our core values is innovation and it’s great to be recognised for a project that was three years in the making.
“We’re extremely proud of the Lido Aquatic Centre team and through our three way partnership we’ve created an asset the whole Manawatu region can be proud of.”
NZRA Chief Executive Andrew Leslie said the award recognises the unique nature of the relationship that led to the development of the slides.
Leslie explained “the Aquatic Innovation Award recognises excellence in innovation in an aquatic facility.
“The Lido Aquatic Centre’s facilities were created with $2 million of commercial contributions and just $300,000 of ratepayer funding, making them a shining example of how successful a public- private partnership can be.”
Palmerston North Mayor Grant Smith was delighted at the presentation of the award, adding “we’re focused on making Palmerston North a vibrant city with plenty of attractions for both locals and visitors.
“The Lido Aquatic Centre is a facility we should all be very proud of, and this award is testament to the value it adds to our city.”
In March 2015, the hydroslide entered the Guinness Book of World Records by getting the most people down a water slide in one hour. The record, undertaken during Massey University's Orientation Week, was achieved when 306 students went down the 24 metre hydroslide, one by one, beating the previous record of 289 set at the Sandcastle Waterpark in Blackpool, England.
About 50,000 people have played in the aquaplay area and on the hydroslides since they opened, according to facility manager Lynden Noakes.
Noakes explained "in (the) summer months since this opened, it's pushed our numbers up from 327,000 people, to 370,000.
"It's great for the family because you can have two riders at a time, and the kids love it.
"It's definitely a number one attraction in Palmerston North."
The slide is open from the September school holidays through to the April school holidays, and, according to Nokaes, attracts day trip visitors from Whanganui, Kapiti and Wellington, as well as visitors from further away.
19th August 2016 - WELLINGTON AND AUCKLAND LIFEGUARDS RECOGNISED WITH NZRA AWARDS
20th July 2016 - NEW ZEALAND AQUATIC SECTOR PREPARES FOR JAWS
1st March 2016 - CLM EXCITED ABOUT TWO NEW AQUATIC FACILITY OPPORTUNITIES
27th January 2015 - PALMERSTON NORTH’S NEW WATERPARK A HIT IN THE FIRST MONTH
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