Seagulls Club diversifies for survival
SEAGULLS hopes a family entertainment centre which has opened on its premises helps turn around the fortunes of the iconic club.
According to the Tabatinga Family Fun Centre owner Brian Parker, opening on the club premises is a gamble that has paid off.
Last Sunday, 350 excited kids and adults gathered for the launch of phase two of the centre.
The new attractions include a glow-in-the-dark nine-hole mini-golf course with a rainforest theme and the Balladium Ball Blaster where foam balls shoot across the room from a cannon.
They join a climbing frame, toddler play area, private party rooms, interactive floor ("like a giant iPad") and a family cafe in a space that once hosted a Chinese restaurant and poker machines.
Mr Parker said the centre, which opened in April this year in a 1200sq m space leased from the club, was an immediate success and was averaging 10 to 15 children's parties every weekend.
He said he was nervous when approached by the club 18 months ago on the back of the success of a similar standalone operation at Coffs Harbour.
He admits to reservations due to the Tweed's older demographic and the club's decline in recent years.
"The figures are better than we expected and that's even before we even opened the new attractions which are catering to older kids," he said.
"It was a bit of a gamble on our part but it was an opportunity to get into the club industry."