R735-million total development with 22 000 m3 of marine tanks, Water Park, 12 000 m2 retail, 475 m beach frontage. Estimated paid attendance of 1,5 million per annum with Design Day of approx 8500 persons.
Mirage Leisure and Development was the appointed development manager on the uShaka Marine World project responsible for the overall design brief and implementation. The company required an efficient access control, ticketing and counting system for the visitor paid areas at uShaka - ie Sea World and Wet and Wild World. This for a challenging situation - right on the beach.
Ease of access for the public and staff, yet secure control. To ensure a one to one correspondence between tickets sold and entrances made (reducing staff corruption), control of numbers to safe design levels and to have turnstiles and ticket systems able to cater for the Feasibilty Design Day numbers at both the ticket windows and the turnstiles, without having excessive wait time or congestion. Selected the Gateway Ticket System and Turnstar Turnstiles, Special Needs Gates, etc.
User friendliness and efficiency. Stats as to visitor numbers in the gated areas at any one time. Self check of admissions against revenue. The gap between motivation and reward. What had to be done to get there?
Obstacles en route to a final solution
The late selection of the ticketing system by the park operator was one of them. Direct sunlight on barcode ticket readers resulted in excessive heat build-up.
"The desired solution was achieved," says Mike Fraser. "With hindsight what we could have done differently was earlier determination of the ticketing system so as to integrate readers in a more visually pleasing way into turnstiles. We would also have investigated proximity tickets and done a full study on life cycle costs as such."
What gaps in the process could be identified as a warning to others, or as a guideline to best practice?
Key service providers, products and solutions.
Development managers: Mirage Leisure and Development, Mike Fraser, 031 566 5546, Mikef@mlddurban.co.za
Electrical engineers: CKR Wela.
Turnstiles: Turnstar, Mark Eardley, 011 786 1633, firstname.lastname@example.org
Ticketing system: Gateway.
Operators: uShaka Management Company.
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