Ben Lonsdale, CEO of Global Wave Parks, discusses the various considerations that go into the successful surf park planning, building and execution in this week’s Surf Park Summit video release.
Flesh out your concept: Core values, ideals, overall goals & intentions. We work with the worlds best sports and entertainment architects. However, the design process is not one-way. We create the design briefs and define the essential elements and requirements of every project. Our architects then build the parks around this set of core variables. This process avoids the common problems caused by an unguided overall design followed by a ‘retrofitting’ of some necessary elements, which can result in operational inefficiencies, and Frankenstein features. Our architects bring individuality to each project, and build for the local market. Each project is designed with a ´live´ culture in mind, building in pre-determined flexibilities for the changes and innovation that will be spurred by the local creative community. We manage the design process from start to finish, from initial concept design to detailed construction documents, ensuring optimized capex, maximum returns, ´live´ local integration, and the most beautiful parks in the world.
Business Plan & Overall Surf Park Planning: The number one thing you’ll do. A sports infrastructure investment of this size is expected to be in place for a minimum of 20-30 years. In order to achieve full potential and the best possible Surf Park for investors and the local community, planning is essential. A failure to plan effectively may mean spending limited capital resources on unnecessary elements that provide no use or return, or it may mean missing a fantastic opportunity to deliver a product and service to a market with demand. By ensuring comprehensive planning across the following elements, it is possible to avoid mediocre returns (or complete failure) and guarantee fantastic returns and a facility that becomes an integral and fundamental part of the local community.
Research: Primary research is perhaps the most important element of a rigorous and reliable business plan. A project not aligned and tailored to the local market is a project doomed for mediocrity or failure. A project which is based on the local market, and designed to deliver what that market demands, is a project that will provide stellar returns, and become an integral part of that local community. Primary research is also very hard to get right. Too many research projects from big reputable companies are ill-concieved, do not test the right elements, do not reach a representative market sample, and do not treat and analyse the numbers properly. Each research projects should be custom designed to the local market and the needs of the stakeholders. Where necessary, hand-selection of the best local partners to help in execution should be considered. Once all of the necessary data is in hand, you can work with the world´s best analysts using an extremely rigorous methodology to ensure the most accurate and relevant results. This allows for informed decision making throughout the design process and capex investments, as well as setting you up to maximize the results from the day-to-day operation.
Operational Costs: Walk through every single step of a customer’s day, and staff worker’s day – figure out exactly who you need on operations and where and in what volume. The capability to develop complete operational models is extremely important. By intricately linking this through to design and to revenues, this enables maximum efficiency and maximum effectiveness. The focus should be on training staff to deliver the best possible experience to your clients, who in turn will look after the financial health of the Surf Park. Through investments in training, comprehensive KPI´s and strong leaders who understand the business through and through, you can ensure the smooth and reliable operation that each surf park needs to allow it to reach its full potential.
Financial Structuring: Another make or break aspect of your business. Financial aspects vary by country and locale, but proper structuring is crucial in every project. Together with the business plans, we simulate structured finance options to identify the most efficient and effective way to complete financing for the projects. Financing for long term sports infrastructure projects can make or break the investment.