Letter from the Editors — I Spy With My Little Eye

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I Spy With My Little Eye …    Several operators have confessed how much they enjoy reading “Park Spy,” which inspired our cover photo. Some use Spy as a tool to train staff, others read it just for fun. But until now, none have said they look forward to getting a call from the Spy.

The following was published Sept. 3 on the Adventure Park Insider Facebook page from the folks at Adventura in Washington:

“Full Disclosure: Reading Park Spy is one of our guilty pleasures. Kira is still waiting for them to call, but in the meantime, here’s our answer to the question, ‘What happens if I get up on the course and I freeze?’

“Our philosophy at Adventura is ‘Challenge by Choice.’ That means it is YOUR choice what level of challenge you experience at Adventura, and it is the role of our staff to support you in that, whether that means giving you ninja warrior-level challenges on every element, or telling you silly pirate jokes on the greeting deck while you hug a pole. … We pride ourselves on our ability to help you achieve just a bit more than you believed you could, whether that is taking one step onto the cargo net or completing a challenge that first seemed impossible. And if you find yourself in a spot you just can’t get out of, our staff can bring a participant back to a platform or lower them all the way to the ground from any point on the course.

“By the way, what’s a pirate’s favorite letter? We’ll give Park Spy the punch line as soon as she calls.”

We appreciate your sense of confidence, Adventura. And we love your answer. However, Park Spy aims to put the person who answers the phone on the spot. He or she must handle our question spontaneously, with no time to craft a well thought out answer—like the one above—unless he or she is already prepared for it. You can see how parks handled this issue’s question on p. 20.

And Kira—you’re officially not immune. The next call you get could be from Park Spy. We shall C.

For more fun stories, industry news, and interactions from readers like you, connect with us on Adventure Park Insider’s Facebook page. Let us know what you think of Park Spy, and anything else we cover.

Speaking of Park Spy, this issue’s question—How do I know your course is safe?—is one that adventure parks and zip line outfits have probably been hearing recently. This stems, in part, from national media coverage of recent incidents at amusement and water parks. The headlines have surely gained the attention of lawmakers—and their constituents. Which means the pressure is on for increased oversight of outdoor recreational activities.

That leads us to risk management and how to manage the story following an incident, which are covered in “Gravity Sucks” (p. 22) and “How to Handle an Incident” (p. 28). Risk management is also front-of-mind for ACCT’s new executive director Shawn Tierney. Learn more about the association’s leader in the Insider Interview, p. 58.

Speaking of learning: The growth of this industry has happened so fast it’s been challenging for anyone to keep up. How many zip tours are there in North America? How many aerial adventure parks have opened in the last two years? To find out, we’re launching an all-out data collection program. Our goal is to compile a vital resource for the industry. Watch for our survey in the coming weeks, and please take the time to complete it. The more data we collect, the better a resource it will be. After all, as the inscription on the statue in “Animal House” says, “Knowledge is good.”

—The Staff at Adventure Park Insider

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About Author

Olivia Rowan, Publisher — olivia@adventureparkinsider.com
Rick Kahl, Editor — rick@adventureparkinsider.com
Dave Meeker, Senior Editor — dave@adventureparkinsider.com
Sarah Borodaeff, Digital Editor –– sarah@adventureparkinsider.com

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