API Summer 2021

Left to Right: A tree-friendly aerial adventure at Blue Mountain, Ont.; a multi-zone netted attraction at Blue; a multi-level netted attraction in a quarry at AGOGO Valkenburg, the Netherlands; family play time at Blue.

API: IT SOUNDS LIKE YOU’RE SAYING THAT SINCE THIS IS A RELATIVELY YOUNG INDUSTRY, IT STILL NEEDS TO KEEP RAISING THE STANDARD AS MUCH AS IT CAN AND AS FAST AS IT CAN.

est level you can achieve in the world of entertainment. For us, that’s the next step in progressing as a company. This industry may not be ready for the next step, but I think we need to get ready. How do we build things? How do we think about service? How do we think about the customer? All of us need to get ready to do the next level, the next step. API: CAN YOU DESCRIBE HOW YOU WORK WITH YOUR CUSTOMERS, HOW YOU INTERACT WITH THEM? Kees-Jan: We developed a strategic plan in 2019. Our ambition is providing people the best offline experience in nature. So, as long as we can see people happy, smiling, enjoying our projects, we are going to be happy as well. It’s always nice when we have new clients who are happy to be guided to that point, to that achievement. When you do feasibility studies, it’s all about honesty. If you want to survive in this industry, you have to be really honest and do what you promise. So, one of our values is very simple: a deal is a deal. We do make mistakes. We make a lot of mistakes. But we always resolve them. It hurts sometimes, because we do things where we don’t know how it will end up. And sometimes it costs a lot of

money. But at the end of the day, if it’s done right, and it’s working, and people are again happy, it’s OK. It’s a learning process, it’s development. We often ask ourselves, “How can we improve this industry?” Because I start- ed out as a cowboy. API: IT SEEMS THAT JUST ABOUT EVERYONE STARTED AS A COWBOY IN THIS INDUSTRY. Kees-Jan: Yeah. We really think that we should help everyone who started as a cowboy get to the next level as soon as possible. Whether it’s a competitor or a client, we all need to get to that next level. API: SO, AFTER GETTING YOUR START BY LEARNING FROM OTHERS, YOU ARE NOW TRYING TO SET THE EXAMPLE. YOU’RE AIMING TO BE THE STANDARD THAT OTHER PEOPLE ARE TRYING TO ACHIEVE. Kees-Jan: Yeah, but we don’t really want to be that. We want to show that everybody can achieve this, but we need to be there together. It’s not that we are important, it’s this industry that should be important. And actually the end users are the most important peo- ple in the industry. That’s another rea- son why we were really happy to find a client who wanted to go for ADIPS.

Kees-Jan: Exactly.

API: WHERE DO YOU THINK THE INDUSTRY IS GOING TO HEAD AFTER COVID IS IN THE REAR-VIEWMIRROR? WHAT SORT OF TRENDS DO YOU SEE? Kees-Jan: What’s really happening because of Covid is that families need to be entertained. A zip line is for a person, but an attraction park is for a family. So, the ropes course industry, or net park industry, or zip line indus- try, we all need to think of how we can entertain the whole family. I think that’s really the trend for the future. You can give the little kids a nice zip line, a mini zip line, and a net adventure is suitable for kids two years old all the way up to 70 or 80 years old. I think family entertainment in the outdoor industry is the way forward. It’s about getting families together in nature, doing outdoor activities in safe environments. The standalone installations will be diffi- cult, I’m afraid. They need to offer more. If the family wants to go home because the little kid is bored, your operation has made a mistake.

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