On Jan. 15, the ACCT Board of Directors approved creation of the Adventure Park Operations Task Force, and Sarah Oosterhuis as the Task Force Chair.
The genesis of this move occurred In August of 2014, when leaders from six industry companies—Challenge Towers, Challenges Unlimited, Experiential Systems, Outdoor Ventures, Project Adventure and Sea Fox Consulting—started small group discussions on the need for adventure park-specific standards. Other operators and vendors agreed.
“All the operators and builders we talked to were using some form of a customized company-specific standard based on a conglomeration of other U.S. and international standards to base their operations and staff training on,” said committee member Bahman Azarm. “While there were many similarities, it’s clear the industry needs an adventure park-specific standard for operations.”
Several conference calls and a two-day meeting in November at the Adventure Park at Virginia Aquarium crystalized their intent to create just such a document. It will harmonize relevant sections from ACCT’s 8th Edition Design, Performance and Inspection standards and the European Ropes Course Standard (EN 15567-2:2007).
The new standard will include specific aerial adventure park definitions, scope, operation standards and appendices as required. The Task Force will follow the guidelines set by ACCT for standard development and seek input from diverse industry stakeholders—operators, installers, regulators, equipment manufacturers, etc.
While there is no timeline for completion, the Task Force was expected to make a presentation on its work to date and discuss the process for becoming a contributing stakeholder at the ACCT conference in Palm Springs, Calif., Feb. 5-8.