Surfers thriv­ing day and night – thanks, Bat­man

The Gold Coast Bulletin - - NEWS - RYAN KEEN

BAT­MAN and se­cu­rity guard street pa­trols are join­ing forces to help the fam­ily-friendly day­time econ­omy of Surfers Par­adise and night-time party precinct co­ex­ist and thrive.

The Gold Coast’s tourism hotspot has long jug­gled its twin economies but traders, venue op­er­a­tors and vis­i­tors now roundly say both can and are suc­ceed­ing in one precinct.

They say Surfers has re­cov­ered from years of con­struc­tion in its midst – the light rail, Soul and Hil­ton tow­ers – and is now pump­ing with bou­tique bars, cafes, its sta­ple night­clubs and fam­ily visi­tor at­trac­tions.

It is six months since theme park gi­ant Vil­lage Road­show com­mit­ted to a deal with Surfers Par­adise Al­liance (SPA) to bring Movie World su­per­heroes reg­u­larly to Cav­ill Mall.

Bat­man and his Bat­mo­bile made a first ap­pear­ance in Surfers dur­ing the hugely pop­u­lar in­ter­na­tional fire­works con­test Seafire two weeks ago and were a hit with fam­i­lies.

Three weeks ago, new se­cu­rity guard street pa­trols started Fri­day and Satur­day night checks around the party precinct hot spots.

State Gov­ern­ment backed a fund­ing ap­pli­ca­tion by the Surfers Safe Night Out com­mit­tee for pa­trols to roam from 11pm to 4am every Fri­day and Satur­day.

Three sep­a­rate pairs of Primus se­cu­rity guards walk set routes cov­er­ing party strip Or­chid Ave, the Surfers river­front past Co­coon and Helm bars and along the beach­front.

Surfers Safe Night Out pres­i­dent Tim Martin said the ex­tra se­cu­rity on the street was backed by po­lice, am­bu­lance, and Chill Out Zone op­er­a­tors.

“Al­ready the pa­trols have iden­ti­fied peo­ple deal­ing with in­tox­i­ca­tion, de-es­ca­lated si­t­u­a­tions be­fore they be­come fights and even given out ad­vice with direc­tions and just what to do,” he said.

They also work in con­junc­tion with the city’s CCTV net­work mon­i­tors and any crim­i­nal ac­tiv­ity they re­port to po­lice im­me­di­ately.

SPA CEO Mike Win­law said the night econ­omy had long been a strong per­former – worth $3.5 bil­lion an­nu­ally – and hard work had gone into pump­ing up the fam­i­lyfriendly side of Surfers dur­ing the day and early even­ing.

The Vil­lage Road­showSurfers part­ner­ship was a “win-win” for both and SPA’s events cal­en­dar boosted traf­fic.

Surfers Par­adise as well as be­ing home to 30 visi­tor ac­tiv­i­ties from Ri­p­ley’s Be­lieve it or Not to TimeZone and an iFLY in­door sky­dive cen­tre, has 50 per cent of city ho­tel rooms.

Arthur De Snoo, who op­er­ates Beach Cafe at the beach­front and Cav­ill Mall’s Lat­i­tude 28, said he tar­geted day­time trade but “Surfers also shouldn’t go away from be­ing a party district”.

“We can be both and we are,” Mr De Snoo said.

“The feed­back I’m get­ting from peo­ple now is ‘We went to Surfers Par­adise and were re­ally sur­prised’.”

Bat­man and the Bat­mo­bile are in­un­dated in Surfers Par­adise dur­ing Seafire two weeks ago.

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