One of the leading industry trade publications, Caravan Industry & Park Magazine, did an interview with eibe Play around a year ago, discussing the benefits of a holiday park introducing a playground to its offering. Our thanks to editor Victoria Galligan. The full article can be read below:
Could you tell us a little about the history of eibe Play: when and where did you begin trading, who the team are etc.?
With its UK headquarters on a beautiful working farm in Surrey, eibe is one of the leading play companies in the world. Operating in 53 countries across the globe, we can trace our roots back through our German parent family company to as early as 1438, where our Master Craftsmen made church spires from wood.
Employing 20 people in the UK, eibe is headed up by managing director, Paul Redden. Once an executive member of The Association of Play Industries (API), Paul continues to champion the cause of children's play around the British Isles. For three decades, we have worked with holiday parks to create some very memorable play areas, offering a very local service with a range of innovative products. An initial meeting with eibe gives you free evaluation of the condition and safety of your existing site, plus advice on potential development, including design ideas and product suggestions.
Who are your most high-profile customers?
Over the years, we have worked with the likes of LEGOLAND, Paultons Park, Kew Gardens, Disney, The National Trust as well as a few celebrity clients; the infamous “Beckingham Castle” at David and Victoria’s Hertfordshire mansion was in fact an eibe Hoff Castle, part of an extravagant, floodlit garden revamp and installation.
How does play equipment result in a good return on investment for holiday parks?
The beauty of eibe equipment is that we can supply big corporate clients, as well as smaller parks looking to maximising their spend – we can create a dynamic, cost-effective playground for under £15,000. We can enhance a playspace for a lot less. Our ongoing relationship with Punch Taverns is a great example of this. Our products also come with 10-15 year warranties, making that initial investment much less of a risk.
There are a plethora of reasons that an outdoor, or indeed an indoor, play facility can increase bookings, secure repeat business and maximise dwell time - the ultimate Holy Grail for Holiday Parks. Firstly, it can offer you a competitive advantage over neighbouring sites, a Unique Selling Point for your geographical area. Traditional play areas may have some swings, slides and seesaws; but bespoke, individually tailored equipment is where you can really make a difference. eibe’s iconic ships make a stunning centrepiece, especially in coastal regions. We also manufacture themed Castles, Planes, Trains and Automobiles!
Children are certainly more discerning these days, so a playground that is fun and exciting is a family imperative when it comes to specifying a holiday resort - parents invariably look for a destination that will keep kids entertained for long periods of time, so they can relax and enjoy themselves too! Any attraction, therefore, that provides a well-constructed playground is immediately more welcoming, appealing to families with children of differing ages. Turning up somewhere with a rusty swing and little or no robust wooden play equipment can make it a long week for mums and dads.
eibe’s long-life guarantees and after sales care mean that your investment is well-protected. The company’s corporate pledge, “Complete Inspiration”, is built around design, customer service excellence and value for money schemes.
Another consideration worth mentioning is how to showcase your new playground in your own marketing literature. It definitely adds to the overall allure of your attraction.
When planning a playground, what considerations do holiday parks need to make in terms of space, location, equipment choice etc?
Optimising space is always a design challenge, so our creative team work with customers from the outset to ensure we utilise the available area. Location is also key; for example, to benefit from any landscape elements such as a slope or hill, we can install a mound slide with a tunnel underneath. Our robinia wooden equipment is hugely popular, as it blends in seamlessly with natural environments, taking advantage of woodland surroundings.
Which piece of equipment is the best-seller for holiday parks and why?
To be honest, it depends on the location and personal preference. We would often recommend traditional swings and rockers; and our climbing units are always popular. Offering a multitude of play experiences is essential and we have two ranges, ecorino and playo, that do exactly this for the holiday market.
How is your equipment sustainable and why is this important to customers?
For over twenty years, sustainability has been an integral part of our business strategy. Environmental protection is deeply anchored in our corporate beliefs and our award-winning Corporate Social Responsibility ethos means we are a true "environmental protection pioneer". Customers can be assured that our wood comes from sustainable forestry and is 100% guaranteed, FSC® certified (COC); our ecological-centric production procedures are consistent and ongoing, leading to our Green World Ambassador status in 2017.
Finally, to reiterate, our team will always evaluate what you want to achieve with your existing play area. Call us on 01483 813834 and we will arrange a free visit, assess the play area and send a free report based on Routine Inspection and condition of existing equipment. We are here to help!