Surfers thriving day and night – thanks, Batman
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.