ICC profits down after new hydroslides opening

The new hydroslides at Splash Palace.

THE Invercargill City Council (ICC) lost more than $11,000 in the first 15 weeks of the new $3.2 million hydroslides opening at Splash Palace.

Three new hydroslides were installed on April 19 – two shorter  body slides and a 101m raft slide with a large sphere section.

The new feature increased the number of admissions, but discounts and the closure of its main slide for maintenance, meant the facility had lower revenue than expected.

A report from ICC chief executive Clare Hadley said Splash Palace had $70,554 in revenue and spent $81,795 on staff wages, electricity, chemicals and loan repayments, during the first 15 weeks of the new slides’ operation.

This left a deficit of $11,241.

Mrs Hadley’s report was presented to ICC at the infrastructural services committee meeting this week.

She explained in the document the facility noticed an increase in admissions during the 15 weeks, with 1288 users, on average, per week.

However, the entry price was discounted three times – a 60% opening discount for four weeks to manage expectations, a 60% discount for the week the two body slides were closed and a current discount of 30% due to the closure of the raft slide.

“If no discounts had been applied at all, then the hydroslides would have taken a revenue of $136,829 in the 15 weeks.

“However, not having a discount could have potentially impacted the participation numbers and the actual revenue may be slightly lower than the estimate.”

Another factor which might have affected revenue was the closure of the raft slide just before the school holidays. ICC staff noticed a structural issue with one of the supporting columns, which had to be replaced.

Mrs Hadley believed during the two weeks of the July school holidays alone, it was estimated there was a potential loss of revenue of $24,637.

“Although we are slightly behind on recovering our costs after the first four months, the slide has only charged normal entry prices for 50% of the time.

“When the operation of the hydroslides becomes more stable and consistent, management would expect to see better overall recovery on the hydroslides’ use.”