Following the announcement that from the 27th July 2020 Center Parcs will re-open our balmy, indoor water park, the Subtropical Swimming Paradise to guests. We thought we would catch up with Heather Perry our Group Leisure Operations Manager at Center Parcs who led the task force challenged with how to re-open the pool safely. Keep reading to find out how the process went and any tips and tricks she has for your next visit.
Q: For some background could you explain your role at Center Parcs?
I am responsible for setting the strategy and standards for Leisure activities at Center Parcs, I also specialise in the management of swimming pools. The challenges we have faced over the last 12 weeks has been huge, however, we have a great team of experts and consultants that have helped us shape our new ways of operating in line with COVID guidance.
Q: What’s your favourite part of your job?
The wildlife is my number 1 favourite thing, but on a more serious note the team at Center Parcs is like my 2nd family, we are very fortunate to have many long-serving colleagues and managers in our business that make Center Parcs the best it can be, all of whom are innovative thinkers and very supportive
Q: What was the biggest challenge you faced when opening the Subtropical Swimming Paradise?
Turning the government guidance into new operational ways of working. However, the good news is we have tried our best to remain true to the unique Center Parcs experience as much as possible.
Q: Are there any rides that won’t be available due to social distancing?
We have all our facilities open except for the waves in the Wave Pool and the Cold Plunge Pool. It’s important to note we have reduced our riders to 2 people on the Tropical Cyclone and our rides and slides now have social distancing queuing systems in place to ensure safety. Although, in Ireland the Typhoon ride is not available due to 2m social distancing restrictions not being achievable.
Q: A guest favourite the Wild Water Rapids, will this be open?
My favourite pool experience too, yes this will be open. However, to ensure everyone’s safety and to adhere to social distancing rules on the Wild Water Rapids, we’ve put in place a queuing system where we will only be allowing one household down the Rapids together at a time.
Q: Can I bring my armbands or inflatables into the pool?
Yes, you can. You can also purchase any new inflatables from our Aquatique shop and we still offer swim jackets for the little ones, that are regularly disinfected after each use.
Q: If you could only pick one ride or slide to go on what would it be?
Rapids 100%, my children absolutely love this ride and to see their tiny faces smile with joy when they first get to go on this ride again will be a truly memorable experience.
Q: How did your team work out social distancing in the pool and changing rooms?
We have applied the government guidance to all our facilities in our swimming pools to ensure we achieve safe social distancing.
Q: Will there be temperature checks?
Subtropical Swimming Paradise is one of the most popular places on our villages and we know that most guests will visit at least once during their break. We’ve placed a temperature check wrist scanner at the entrance to the pool which we’ll be asking guests to use before they enter the changing rooms as an extra precaution to keep our guests and colleagues as safe as possible.
Q: Will I be able to get food and drink within the Subtropical Swimming Paradise?
Unfortunately, food and drink will not be provided in the short term due to our reduced seating capacity. As our first priority was making sure we could re-open the pool and everyone had the opportunity to have a swim during their break, we’ve had to reduce some of our pool-based activities and other services in this area, but we’re confident we’ll be able to return these facilities in time.
Q: What’s your top tip for guests visiting the Subtropical Swimming Paradise?
Arrive 15 minutes before your session time, with your swimwear on underneath your clothes, lock your towel and belongings away in the lockers and then enjoy the best 2-hour swim in our Subtropical Swimming Paradise you have had in 100 days!!
Watch our short video to find out more on what to expect when you visit the Subtropical Swimming Paradise at Center Parcs.
To experience a forest getaway and our unique Subtropical Swimming Paradise, book your Center Parcs break today.