Center Parcs, a European network of resort villages, is one of the leaders in leisure and holiday parks in the UK. Since opening its first location in the Netherlands over 40 years ago, Center Parcs has revolutionised the holiday market. The company now occupies a special place in the hearts and minds of visitors, offering a unique escape from a normal holiday that clearly resonates with people considering its annual occupancy rate in excess of 97%. In a reflection of their success, Brookfield Property Partners, one of the world’s largest commercial real estate companies, recently acquired Center Parcs UK.
Bolstered by 40 years of thinking differently about leisure, Center Parcs is once again innovating in the holiday park market and AiSolve is pleased to be their partner. Today we are pleased to announce Center Parcs has brought our popular turnkey location based attraction WePlayVR to their UK village at Sherwood Forest in Nottinghamshire.
Leisure begins to think big
For years, leisure destinations have been finding new ways to capture visitors’ interests and keep them engaged. However, while they’re offering traditional activities and utilising indoor attraction space, there hasn’t been a huge period of experimentation with technology and enclosed attractions. Until now.
VR is becoming a contender in entertainment and leisure parks are taking a closer look at the headset technology and evaluating its viability in their market. They’re asking questions like “Is it too soon to introduce VR?” “Is the hardware durable enough for constant use?” “Are the games more interesting than what our other attractions offer?” These are all legitimate questions and well worth entertaining.
Here at AiSolve, we certainly don’t have all the answers, but we do know this: WePlayVR, our turn-key, free roaming location based attraction, continues to sell to global leisure and entertainment partners, opening eyes to LBVR’s true potential and making its mark as the solution for immersive family entertainment. Our VR hardware has been extremely robust: from our MSI VR One backpacks to the VR headsets and of course the WePlayVR arena itself. Guests and visitors are finding WePlayVR’s interactive, immersive experiences delightful and consistently comment on how much they love WePlayVR’s vibrating floor that responds to their gameplay. Creating an attraction that will always be more exciting than sitting at home playing VR was priority number one here at AiSolve and that is paying off for excited users and happy operators at holiday parks the world over.
Offering a high-tech holiday
WePlayVR is continuously a favourite for players in the UK, UAE and US with 27 locations going live since first launching a year ago. Our free roam LBVR arena turns users into explorers, discoverers and adventurers as soon as they step inside and judging by the thrilled and awed reactions coming from players as our haptic floor vibrates in reaction to their gameplay, we’d say we’re doing a great job of keeping WePlayVR a favourite.
WePlayVR was designed for families to enjoy. From the moment they put on a VR backpack and headset to the second they walk freely through the arena solving puzzles and testing their skills, daughters and sons, mums and dads are immersed in exciting worlds they can’t visit any other way.
Offering an experience that users can’t get at home is a crucial feature of any leisure destination or attraction and no different for LBVR. Center Parcs understands this and by featuring WePlayVR at Nottinghamshire, they can take their traditional holiday park and turn it into a diverse, multi-use leisure destination. They will continue to attract their current target market but also appeal to a new generation of holiday seekers looking for more high-tech experiences.
Having been involved with this partnership from its earliest days, Gurneam Bains, AiSolve’s Head of Sales and Marketing, reports that this activation of WePlayVR is one of the company’s most compelling. “When we first began discussions with Center Parcs we were excited that a leisure company known for very nature-focused holidays was interested in WePlayVR. It showed that our product has appeal beyond traditional FECs and theme parks. Now, with Center Parcs we’re showing that WePlayVR has a home in any venue where families gather to have fun.”
Extending leisure experiences through VR
At first glance it might appear that installing a WePlayVR at a Center Parcs would go against its brand identity. Center Parcs is known for its exciting outdoor activities after all, with open surroundings where families can enjoy large play spaces and children have freedom to explore open areas. However, when looking closer it’s easy to see how it’s a perfect compliment.
WePlayVR is a free-roaming VR experience with an attraction footprint that is defined and enclosed. The compact 3m x 3m space of WePlayVR, plus the haptic floor constantly reacting to the player’s game play, provides the feeling of endless exploration once players step inside. Having the ability to walk around freely transforms a finite space into infinite possibilities similar to the way Centre Parc’s wide-open spaces stimulate exploration and discovery. It’s a match made in leisure heaven and we’re thrilled to support Center Parc’s expansion into immersive entertainment.
Partners make the difference
Partnerships with powerhouse leisure destinations like Center Parcs highlight how WePlayVR enhances the leisure and holiday experience by acting as a portal to new and exciting worlds. In the coming weeks we’ll be sharing photos and stories highlighting this ground-breaking partnership. Working with Center Parcs has been an exceptional experience and we look forward to a long and rewarding relationship going into 2019.
Join us at the Family Attraction Expo on the 7-8th November to find out more about WePlayVR, our products and arrange a demo with the team at stand 9-640.
Alongside our Center Parcs installation, we also partnered with the Family Fun Centre in Tukwila, Washington where we installed our classic arena with a brand-new multiplayer game. Read more here.