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As the knowledge and development organization in the field of challenging adventure concepts, we address the four major trends in the adventure industry for 2015: safety, expanding and differentiated offerings, adding exciting attractions that generate new revenues and zipline trolley innovation.

Trend 1: Safety

While we think safety should be a top priority every single day, that isn’t always the reality when you look at actual day-to-day operations. Running a “safe” operation is multi-faceted, covering staff training and expectations and equipment inspection and upgrades. We were happy to see a definitive effort being undertaken to increase the safety of zip line operations and make the activity more enjoyable. Running a safe operation not only reduces your risk and liability, it helps satisfy customers and both of these have a big impact on your bottom line. Risk is expensive. Unsatisfied customers limit future revenues. It’s in your best interest to do everything you can to increase safety this year.Specific to zip lines, we have noticed a few common risky mistakes, many of which are easily fixable.

Trend 2: Expanded Offerings

One of the main themes we took away from the show this year was the desire to expand offerings at zip line operations and challenge courses to include jumping and free fall activities. Facility owners and operators are constantly looking for new ways to set themselves apart from the competition and create a fun and unique space for customers. In an effort to keep people coming back, you need to consider ways to keep them engaged and thrilled. Perhaps this means expanding your facility, adding more infrastructure features, and building new elements. Or perhaps it’s as simple as adding jumping and free fall options to your existing set-up.

Facility owners and operators at the show really embraced our QUICKjump Free Fall Device and FlightLine offerings and many are ready to add them for their upcoming season. Our devices are modular, cost-effective, and fun, meaning you can add them easily to increase customer satisfaction without much up-front cost.

Trend 3: Multi-Use Towers

This trend is similar to trend 2, but different in that while adding additional thrilling and revenue-generating attractions to your operation, you can maximize ROI by using your existing platforms, towers, and structures. The idea that every activity needs its own infrastructure just isn’t cost-effective or true. 

On the topic of multi-use spaces, the brand-new Adventure Tower received much attention at the show. Show participants really embraced the idea of having many activities on a tower with a small footprint with a low staff requirement. Owners and operators can buy one structure and use it for myriad adventures and activities, including rock climbing, rappelling, jumping, and zip-lining. The days of building separate towers or platforms for every activity will go away, instead opting for multi-use and high-throughput structures like the Adventure Tower.

Trend 4: Zip Line Trolley Innovation

For zip line owners and operators, having the best components is important to the safety and longevity of your line. One factor that often goes overlooked is trolleys. We have been watching the trolley scene for a while and quite frankly, weren’t excited about what we were seeing, so we created the Impact Trolley, the only trolley specifically designed for high-speed impact braking.

The Impact Trolley was a big hit at ACCT. Show participants were incredibly excited to see the new Impact Trolley in action and were immediately able to see the benefits of our optional capture system and t-handle. Operators are tired of losing money from rider retrievals and are excited about the ability to easily bring riders to the platform if they fall short. Also, using trolleys that are not designed for impact braking leads to unnecessary wear to the zip line and also leads to an uncomfortable and jolting braking experience for the rider. The Impact Trolley solves these problems and revolutionizes the way zip line components and are engineered and manufactured. Learn more about the Impact Trolley.

Creating extraordinary High-Rope Adventures: Skywalker develops up-market concepts for Family Entertainment Centers (FEC) and Outdoor activity sites and manufactures ECO forest high-wire parks, high ropes courses, adventure towers, outdoor playgrounds and adventure parks. Experience, innovative design, high quality, and the safety and durability of their products earmark Skywalker as one of the leading manufacturers of adventurous leisure facilities in Europe. The unique services portfolio, combined with ERCA (European Ropes Course Association) certified training programs, enables customers to run a safe and profitable operation with a fast ROI.