Amuse­ments they are a changin’

Summerside form­ing a hub of ad­ven­tur­ous ac­tiv­i­ties in con­trast to tra­di­tional ones

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - BUSINESS - BY MIL­LI­CENT MCKAY mil­li­cent.mckay@jour­nal­pi­oneer.com

With the chang­ing times, peo­ple are look­ing to newer more ad­ven­tur­ous amuse­ments rather than tra­di­tional ones.

Re­cently in Summerside a wave of in­flat­able ob­sta­cles, a tram­po­line park, an es­cape room and dif­fer­ent forms of tag have popped up.

Scott MacGregor, one of the co-own­ers of the Off the Wallz In­flat­able Splash Park says this is just the be­gin­ning.

“It’s some­thing I’ve been dis­cussing with my friends since we went to Ja­maica where we saw a sim­i­lar idea,” said MacGregor.

“Ideas like this are dif­fer­ent be­cause there is noth­ing like it on the Is­land. With Sand­spit and tra­di­tional amuse­ment parks like that, you know what you’re get­ting into. There are only a hand­ful of places that of­fer th­ese ser­vices.”

Over the years, ac­tiv­i­ties to en­ter­tain have evolved from county fairs, fes­ti­vals, car­ni­vals and roller coast­ers, to wa­ter parks, paint­ball, laser tag and many more.

“Part­ner­ing with our splash park is also the in­door tram­po­line park and Euro bungee,” noted MacGregor.

“We’re also hop­ing to set up an in­flat­able tram­po­line vol­ley­ball game in the green space. One thing is clear. There is a huge growth in the in­dus­try.

“There is a small col­lec­tion of al­ter­na­tives form­ing in the com­mu­nity. It’s def­i­nitely not go­ing to stop. More and more peo­ple are go­ing to want to get in­volved to see what it’s like and what value it has.”

Mitch Shea, the ex­ec­u­tive direc­tor of Ex­plore Summerside, said there has been a lot of in­ter­est in the amuse­ment in­dus­try, from both lo­cals and tourists.

“I think they have helped keep­ing peo­ple in Summerside. It seems to be a rea­son to ex­tend stays in the city. It’s ac­tiv­i­ties that ap­ply to fam­i­lies, adults and mil­lenials.”

Shea says it’s im­por­tant to stay in the know in or­der to stay cur­rent with the chang­ing amuse­ments.

Gordie Whit­lock, the or­ga­nizer of the RC Car Park in Summerside, said it’s nice to see health­ier al­ter­na­tives com­ing to the com­mu­nity.

“It pro­vides phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity, but what’s re­ally great is the way things are go­ing it al­lows par­ents and kids to so­cial­ize and par­tic­i­pate to­gether.”

Whit­lock says he can re­mem­ber an ex­act mo­ment that may have con­trib­uted to the change.

“Things changed when Rain­bow Val­ley closed. It forced the door open for new ac­tiv­i­ties to come into fo­cus. And over time, as more peo­ple see what is hap­pen­ing the more peo­ple will want to get in­volved.”

MIL­LI­CENT MCKAY/JOUR­NAL PI­O­NEER

Noah Ull­mann, right, 12, helps his sis­ter Olivia across the Off the Wallz Splash Park in Summerside.

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