A PLAYTIME Feature Article – by Janalee Chmel
Ocean Lakes Family Campground just opened its latest phase of expanded water park amenities in its continuous efforts to give families the vacations they so deserve. Called Sandy Harbor, the newly expanded aquatics features two more acres of water park style features including giant water blasters, buckets, slides, a lazy river and more. PLAYTIME contributed multiple Sandy Starfish water play elements to help theme the entire experience.
Barb Krumm, Director of Marketing and Public Relations, says, “I have heard from annual lease holders who have been here many years who said, ‘I want you to know, I have goosebumps. This is absolutely amazing.”
Ocean Lakes Family Campground is located on 310 oceanfront acres in Myrtle Beach, SC. The land was first developed in the 1970’s by Mary Emily and Nelson Jackson and today it is owned by their five daughters. The campground opened in 1971 with 30 campsites and one bathhouse. Today, it boasts 859 campsites and 2,560 annual lease sites.
“On an average seasonal day, we have 30,000 to 35,000 guests in the park,” says Krumm, who says that the company continuously reinvests in the property in order to provide a fun family experience to guests, some of whom have been returning for many generations.
In 2002, the campground opened Sandy Harbor Family Fun Center, which includes an Olympic size pool, two kiddie pools, an interactive area called “Splash Zone”, 18 holes of mini golf, a game center with redemption tickets and a café. But by 2013, they had outgrown their pools and knew they wanted to offer additional water play amenities to their guests.
Just after Labor Day 2015, Ocean Lakes broke ground and by Memorial Day 2016 work on the new Sandy Harbor water park was completed and opened to raving guests! PLAYTIME got in on the fun by creating multiple Sandy Starfish elements that are strategically placed around the new facility, helping to theme the entire park.
“Theming and branding was very important to our team,” explains Krumm. “Guests love all the many versions of Sandy Starfish. The soft Playtime features were a great addition for our littlest guests and look great in the shallow waters of the Tad Pool, Splash Zone and Adventure River’s Lounge Ledge.”
Sandy is the campground mascot. PLAYTIME designed bolt-downs that feature Sandy laying on her back in the pools, squirting water out of her mouth. She’s made out of PLAYTIME’s unique soft materials, giving the campground’s younger guests a fun element to climb and splash around on.
“We love how everything turned out,” says Krumm. “We wanted something softer that young kids can play with safely. We also placed two on our Lounge Ledge where parents and younger kids can sit and watch older kids as they play in the lazy river. With two Sandy Starfish bubblers on the Lounge Ledge, everyone can stay together and have fun.”
With summer in full swing, Krumm reports that the newly expanded Sandy Harbor is a huge hit and has achieved all of the campground’s goals.
“We love our guests,” she says. “We all have a huge sense of pride in the service that we offer our families. We knew we needed to give them more but we also run a very responsible business. This was a big project and I think we did it right.”