How’s this for a success story?
Discussing their good fortunes recently, a spokesperson for Calon Y Ddraig, the dining area at Rhyl Rugby Club, said, ‘our business has increased hugely, we are now fully booked until New Year’s Day 2024, with functions on every Friday and Saturday night… we have improved footfall increasing bar and food sales. And we have seen the community coming together around us’.
And they’re attributing their success to…
A playground installation from North Wales outdoor play specialists Creative Play.
Exploring the main benefits a play area is bringing to their hospitality business, which includes:
‘The Creative Play playground adjacent to our club has had a huge, positive impact on our business, and the surrounding community. The playground offers hours of free play for young children in an enclosed, safe environment’.
‘Since opening the playground we have noticed improved profit margins month by month – we have seen new customers using the facilities. The playground is in a good location visible from a very busy road and thoroughfare for the town, therefore we believe this attracts customers, especially families to our club’.
‘The playground has DEFINITELY had a part to play in our business, and we will continue to see the benefits of the playground going forward…’
But it wasn’t always this way…
There was a time when the rugby club restaurant had a major branding problem.
‘Since opening 3 years ago, much of the public in the surrounding area thought we were a members-only club’.
Despite being the only family-focused venue offering unique services such as a park with a bar and restaurant within a 1-mile radius, they struggled to entice their customer base in.
The solution was not a multi-million-pound advertising campaign, or praying for a couple of Hollywood celebrities to buy the club, but something much more straightforward. They simply thought about what would effectively communicate to the local community their business’ family-friendly agenda.
After scratching their heads for a while, the answer they came up with was so obvious, it seemed like child’s play.
‘We believe that we are an inclusive family run business’ they said when telling us of their decision to choose a playground installation over any other type of family-based entertainment options.
Better than anything else, the play area makes such a visual impact, it instantly communicates that families are welcome. ‘And we therefore felt that a playground would not only benefit our business strategy, but also increase our customer base’.
Undertaking the project in memory of former player and coach John Hardy, a large part of funding came from activities by club members and Hardy’s family and friends. They encouraged donations from supporters for, amongst other things, a 3 peaks challenge, and a dinner hosted by Wales and British & Irish Lions rugby star Ryan Jones.
Creative Play started the groundwork on Monday 29th June, and within a week the playground was ready for use. Installing the play area was a swift operation, leaving the club ‘very satisfied. The works were completed within the allotted time, with minimal disruption to our business’.
The result? An impressive looking three-tower set up featuring safety flooring, a climbing wall, basket swing, an inclined walkway, slides and two spring riders, all in an enclosed area and suitable for children aged 12 or under to play safely.
Despite some unusually grey July skies, the Grand Opening of the playground was met with smiles all around. A professional photographer, members of the press, the club chairman and various other people associated with the club, as well as representatives from Creative Play, were all sidled up to members of the public to enjoy complementary nibbles.
Local children excitedly embarked on their first outdoor adventures at the Tynewydd Road installation, their glee infecting parents and other onlookers.
‘I am just absolutely blown away with the way it has all come together’ said Dai Roberts, Rhyl Rugby Clubs Sponsorship Director, ‘so many people have worked so hard for such a long time to do something in memory of a great, great old friend who was taken away far too early. Just watching these kids enjoying themselves now makes it all worthwhile. Thank you to all at Creative Play.”
Since the installation, they have ‘seen the wider community coming together’ at their venue. ‘Opening the playground has had a significant impact on awareness with the public that we are a business open to all. This means bringing together the community, and in turn has brought more players, increasing our junior membership for playing rugby.
Adding a play area has completely changed the ambience and atmosphere of the club.
‘This works as our ethos is an inclusive community club and the playground has contributed to that. Customers are very happy that they can come and relax with a drink and a bite to eat while young children can play in a very safe and fun environment’.
‘We are attracting new customers all the time due to its visibility, plus its easy access’, and significantly for the family aspect, ‘is a safe haven with an enclosed area’.
‘The playground has appealed to a much younger age group. Toddlers are now using the park more than anyone. Therefore, we get lots more young families coming in and using the club’.
Not only has the play area attracted more customers, but it also encourages them to stay longer, too. ‘Customers stay that extra amount of time knowing that the playground is providing a positive experience for their children’.
Such a positive experience is being had by visitors since the installation, that they keep coming back for more, accompanied by repeat sales. ‘Many customers come back and say how important the playground is to them and their children’.
‘We have a children’s menu on offer and have found that snacks from this, including ice creams in the summer, have increased massively’. In fact, demand has increased so much that ‘we have had to identify different ways of offering even more child friendly snacks to accommodate families’.
‘More and more families are booking weddings, christenings and birthdays, as they see the playground as being an extra facility that can provide hours of free play for their young children. We are now fully booked with functions until Christmas!’
The playground has proven a great ‘marketing tool to bring customers in. Many of our customers have spoken about the positive experiences they have had, and this has in turn had a positive impact on others. We are constantly on our social media platforms, and the playground is always being mentioned!’
‘We are very grateful for Creative Play’s response to an unfortunate incident that happened over a particular weekend whereby the slide was severely damaged by vandalism. They were very quick to replace the slide (within days) so that the playground could resume to normality and that we could continue with minimal loss to our business’.
The cost of the installation was recouped sometime after the first 6 months, and the owners are excited that the playground will continue to be a major part ‘within our business plan going forward’.
Although it can seem complicated, don’t be too hasty in calling closing time on finding the perfect playground for your business. With Creative Play, choosing the ideal play area is simple. Our outdoor play experts pride themselves on their specialist knowledge and ability to guide customers to the best set-up for their hospitality business needs.
Our dedication to quality means you can be confident in the design, durability, and longevity of your investment. Since 1991 we have been listening to leisure and tourism clients’ needs and connecting them with sustainable, affordable, high-quality equipment – with an exceptional aftercare service.
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