From the Wiarton Echo, Friday, April 21, 2017
Climbing challenges, including rock climbing, nets and a free fall experience will be offered by Ascent Aerial Park in Sauble Beach this summer.
TOWN OF SOUTH BRUCE PENINSULA – It looks like Mike Robinson, of Wiarton and Ryan Guardhouse, of Collingwood, will have residents and visitors to Sauble Beach swinging, climbing and free-falling at their new adventure park this summer.
Dubbed “Ascent Aerial Park,” the partners received approval of building permits from South Bruce Peninsula council at today’s council meeting.
If all goes according to plan, the park will open on main street in Sauble Beach, across from the municipal washrooms and Giggles Arcade.
“We definitely want to be open July 1,” Robinson said after today’s council meeting.
Mayor Janice Jackson said after council made its decision, “It’s going to bring something interesting to the beach. Last year we had a lot of closures of activities for the kids.
“We’re excited to have something interesting for kids and adults. Visually it will be interesting as well.”
Last week Robinson said everything is “lined up.”
“If we get our permit we’ll start building right away. It will take about five weeks.”
The park will be family friendly and geared to those age 7 and up, Robinson said.
The activities are designed to take around an hour to complete, and “We will be pricing our park more competitively than any similar park in Ontario to ensure that it is affordable for all,” he said.
When asked why the duo picked the Sauble Beach location, Robinson, who co-owns Giggles Arcade in Sauble Beach, said “the amount of people coming to the beach has been declining. We have the best beach in Ontario but we don’t have a lot to support their coming.”
He said Sauble Beach has a niche as a more family-oriented beach than other beaches, but there’s nothing else to do but shop.
“There was a need for a family activity,” he said.
The climbing obstacle course is designed with three different levels of difficulty so almost anyone, with any level of climbing experience, can participate.
Climbing activities range from 12 feet to 40 feet in the air and include bridges, vertical and horizontal net obstacles and swinging elements like tires.
There is also a free-fall activity called QUICKjump, where you step off a 45-foot tower and experience free falling before you are lowered gently to the ground by a magnetic braking system, Robinson said.
There will be trained staff at the beginning and end of each course to help.
Three rock climbing walls will also be available.
The new facility will have a ticket booth, washrooms and an area where customers will be helped to harness up for their adventure.
The owners are currently looking for about 16 staff members, including ticket sellers and “more mature” people to staff the course itself.
“We want them to be cheerleaders,” Robinson said, “while maintaining the level of safety. This is going to be a new experience for people who are using it.”
Because it’s a fairly niche business, he said he didn’t expect applicants to have a lot of experience but that training would be provided.
Robinson, who has lived in Wiarton all his life, said, “Sauble has a lot of potential. We really want to see good things there.”
To learn more or to apply, contact Robinson at Ascent Aerial Park’s Facebook page.