An opportunity for plenty of exercise on the new theme park adventure trail

An opportunity for plenty of exercise on the new theme park adventure trail

Attractively themed recreational facilities are particularly popular with families. Obra-Design, an Austrian playground equipment manufacturer, has already completed a string of highly successful projects in this sector. One of the more outstanding examples can be found in the Wild West-inspired ‘Pullman City’ theme park, located in Eging am See in Bavaria. An exceptionally exciting and challenging adventure trail was recently opened here in the presence of a highly appreciative crowd of spectators.

In contrast to the usual run-of-the-mill theme parks with their fairground rides, Pullman City encourages its visitors to get involved in hands-on activities. The backdrop to all this is provided by an impressively reconstructed Wild West town from the USA of some 150 years ago. At the core of Pullman City is its ‘Authentic Area’, which retells the story of America from 1740 to 1880 in an unusually up close and personal style. The ‘inhabitants’ of Pullman City assume an identity from the era and invite visitors to inspect at their leisure their selfconstructed, museum-like abodes. One of the highlights of the theme park as far as children are concerned is the ‘Little Pullman’ adventure playground constructed in the spring of 2011 by Obra-Design, an Austrian playground equipment manufacturer. Here, diminutive cowboys and Indians can let off steam to their hearts’ content with the help of the distinctively designed equipment, such as the giant tipi with pipe slide, the mail coach with horses, the fort and much more. Although the theme is that of the Wild West, the playground has been constructed in accordance with modern health and safety guidelines and all equipment conforms to the requirements of the European Playground Equipment Standard EN 1176.

According to the theme park’s director, Ernst Gr├╝nberger, “Pullman City was insolvent by late 2010. I and five of my colleagues decided to buy up the Wild West theme park and continue to run it. We made up our minds at the very beginning that we would ensure that our investment was attractive, particularly to families with children. ‘Little Pullman’ was designed as a play area in which children would be able to romp around as much as they liked and even immerse themselves in their own little Wild West world. I am pleased to say that it has achieved all we had hoped for and has proved to be particularly popular. One of our core aims is to make sure that we appeal to children; after all, all you need to do is convince the children and the adults will follow!”
The success of this concept convinced the theme park’s management to construct a generously proportioned additional facility. Visitors can now try out their skills and agility in mastering a new adventure trail.
The idea behind this recent project, which was again accomplished with the aid of the playground equipment manufacturer Obra-Design, was to exploit the current popularity of high rope courses and create something that would also prove attractive to young people in their teens. Central requirements from the very earliest phase of planning were that visitors should be able to use the trail without supervision and without the need to employ special safety climbing gear, while it was
also to be an attraction that could be used together by all the family. In the end, the decision was taken to construct an adventure trail with a wealth of different balancing, climbing and hanging equipment that would put users to the test while exposing them to the risk of falling from a height of more than one metre only at a few points. The trail has two difficulty levels and the two alternative routes are colour-coded and run in parallel alongside each other. Thanks to this arrangement, the trail can also be used by individuals to compete against each other. Parents will find it particularly challenging when they contend against their adolescent offspring, as the physical prowess of children in this age range is generally superior to that of adults when it comes to tests of this nature. With this in mind, the designers have thus provided overtaxed users with the opportunity to switch to the less demanding route in particularly difficult sections – to the satisfaction of their kids, who can continue to put their superiority on display.
Other important criteria for the equipment were that it should be particularly resilient and durable. This meant that only the very highest quality materials could be used, such as laminated timber for posts and platform substructures, Hercules cable for all rope elements, stainless steel for hanging and balancing systems and HPL with non-slip surface coatings for platforms. All posts are supported by steel plates and all wooden sections have been pressure impregnated
to ensure maximum longevity.
Following the well-attended opening ceremony held under wonderfully blue skies on 27 April, the owners of Pullman City were confident that the new adventure trail would be a further feather in their headdress.
Obra-Design is similarly delighted by the success of the Pullman City project. Obra-Design’s director, Mag. Michael Philipp commented:
“This and other outstanding projects demonstrate that generously proportioned play areas with attractive equipment and play opportunities for children in all age groups will draw in the visitors and increase the average length of visits, with the concomitant effect of also increasing turnover”.
Images: Obra
 

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