Why Jamberoo Action Park is growing significantly while many other theme parks are struggling to maintain numbers

Last summer Jamberoo Action Park bucked industry trends with strong growth in visitation.

Investing in more fun: James Cook in front of the Perfect Storm which has been improved for the new season starting on September 23. Picture: Robert Peet.

Investing in more fun: James Cook in front of the Perfect Storm which has been improved for the new season starting on September 23. Picture: Robert Peet.

At a time when many theme parks are struggling to maintain numbers the Eddy family run attraction has grown on the back of continual investment to keep the adventure playground new, exciting and fresh.

This spring and summer will be no exception when Jamberoo Action Park re-opens at 10am on Saturday, September 23, with work for up to 300 people.

The first thing visitors will notice is The Perfect Storm has been improved with strobe lighting to add to the experience inside and more landscaping and theme elements added outside.

Winter was the time for months of maintenance and improvement.

And the Eddy family has big plans for more ongoing investment in the pipeline with a master plan for another major attraction underway.

It is a large world first attraction designed by Jamberoo Action Park itself based on what visitors like. 

General manager Dax Eddy said it combines exciting elements from other attractions he has seen around the world and will be three rides in one. Once the plans are finalised and a development application is lodged he will reveal more about what is planned and the timing of what is expected to be a $6.5 million construction.

Mr Eddy said visitor numbers have been growing from Sydney and the Illawarra. He puts that down to the $38 million his family has invested in the park on new rides during the last decade-and-a-half.

“Ours is one of the very few theme parks that saw an increase in visitation last year. We are a very safe facility and excellent value for money. We are trying to keep the price down and deliver on value add strategies throughout the season. Like our Dive In Movies that are free to any season pass-holder. They can watch these movies in our back bay while swimming around after the park closes.”

There will be five PG rated movies across five Saturday nights this summer starting Boxing Day.

Jamberoo Action Park spent $5 million on The Perfect Storm last year after a $15 million investment three years before.

“In the last four years we have spent $20 million on new rides at the park,” marketing director James Cook said.

Mr Eddy said if you keep giving people something new, exciting and fun and improving existing rides and keeping them safe people will keep coming and tell their friends. And that is just what is happening with more people buying season passes.

Mr Eddy said Jamberoo Action Park had tried to keep the season passes as affordable as possible while continuing to invest millions to ensure the Illawarra remains home to the largest theme park in NSW. One that welcomes more than 300,000 people each year.

“You have to continually expand and improve to stay relevant as a valued experience. That is our ongoing strategy to keep developing and improving,” he said.

“This winter we have completed extensive theming and work on the new Perfect Storm to give it a story. A look that will immediately gives guests and understanding of what they are about to experience,” he said.

 “This is one of the first rides of its kind in the world that has several different experiences throughout. It is a faster more exhilarating ride than what they will experience in the Funnel Web right next to it. They are very similar in the but it is faster and little bit more exciting. It is a different ride experience to traditional water slides.”

For those who rode The Perfect Storm when it was first built last season they will notice many differences this year. Some new engineering and design work will help those about to ride think about a tornado and how they are so powerful the wind can pick up animals, building and machinery. Inside there is strobe lighting and large speakers to create the effect of lighting and thunder to enhance the experience by impacting on more senses during the ride.

With the new season starting in 10 days the Eddy family is in the process of employing up to 280 casual staff in addition to the 22 permanent staff. Many of the jobs are filled by youth in the 18 to 24 age bracket which is the highest unemployment demographic in the region.

Mr Eddy said the park had provided great work experience and skills development for thousands of young people in the Illawarra in recent decades.

“It is practical experience in a disciplined environment,” he said.

Jamberoo Action Park Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/JamberooAction/

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