Jet­packs ready to fly Adventure com­pany wants in

Weekend Gold Coast Bulletin - - NEWS - CAMPBELL GELLIE campbell.gellie@news.com.au

GOLD Coast jet­pack op­er­a­tor Greg Weige wants to ‘own’ Pel­i­can Beach once again after the busi­ness that won the coun­cil li­cence stopped op­er­at­ing.

Je­to­va­tor won the con­tract in 2017 with a $140,000 of­fer to the coun­cil for exclusive rights to op­er­ate fly­boards at Pel­i­can Beach.

A year later, Je­to­va­tor is gone and the coun­cil is look­ing for a new busi­ness.

This comes after the Bul­letin re­vealed AquaS­plash wa­ter park owner Matt Devine would pur­sue le­gal ac­tion against the coun­cil after he lost the ten­der to op­er­ate at South­port Broadwater Park.

Now the coun­cil will be forced to look for a new op­er­a­tor of jet­packs across the wa­ter at Pel­i­can Beach.

“The op­er­a­tor ap­pointed un­der per­mit to op­er­ate at this lo­ca­tion ad­vised the City in Fe­bru­ary 2018 of their in­ten­tion to sur­ren­der ten­ure over this lo­ca­tion,” a coun­cil spokesper­son said.

“City of­fi­cers are cur­rently re­view­ing the pro­cesses in­volved to en­sure a suitable op­er­a­tor can be ap­pointed to the lo­ca­tion at the ear­li­est op­por­tu­nity.”

Mr Weige, the Jet­pack Ad­ven­tures na­tional op­er­a­tions man­ager, said the coun­cil’s ten­der process needed to be im­proved if the best op­er­a­tors were to pro­vide de­pend­able good times for tourists.

He said his com­pany had the first jet­pack in the south­ern hemi­sphere in 2011 and a year later started on the Gold Coast.

Then it op­er­ated at Budds Beach un­til an is­sue over noise forced all jet­packs to Pel­i­can Beach near Sea World in mid-2014.

“We were on month-by­month leases with the coun­cil and they didn’t in­vite us to ten­der for the con­tract,” he said. “It would have been nice after op­er­at­ing on the Gold Coast for five years to have been in­vited.”

The coun­cil did pub­licly no­tify the ten­der and called for ex­pres­sions of in­ter­est for the con­tract to op­er­ate jet­packs at Pel­i­can Beach. The ten­der opened on Novem­ber 26, 2016 and closed on December 20. Je­to­va­tor did not re­turn the Bul­letin’s calls.

Jet­pack Ad­ven­tures would like the op­por­tu­nity to re­sume of­fer­ing the high-fly­ing rides on the Broadwater.

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