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CRS’s Playgrounds Wow ‘Army’s’ Camp Kids

April 4, 2013 by · Comments Off on CRS’s Playgrounds Wow ‘Army’s’ Camp Kids 

Commercial Recreation Specialists provided the equipment for this playground at a Salvation Army camp in Ohio.

When officials from The Salvation Army Eastern Territory decided to upgrade the playground equipment at eight of their youth camp properties and one large community worship center in Puerto Rico, they knew they needed to work with a company that understood the importance of safety, as well as the importance of play.

“Our first priority is the safety of the children in our care so it was critical that the new play equipment meet our high standards in that area but we also wanted to put a strong emphasis on fun,” says Robert Jones, assistant risk manager for the Eastern Territory. “We wanted the new playgrounds to be something different – we wanted to give the kids something that would really wow them.”

With these priorities in mind, Jones contacted Commercial Recreation Specialists (CRS) of Verona, Wis., a provider of Xccent Play, a line of play equipment that specializes in promoting active, non-scripted play. Their revolutionary, moving equipment with ultra-safe polymer hinges is like a kid magnet, attracting kids of all ages and abilities to play and work together. Their many independent pieces are combinable and allow for flexibility in layout to accommodate different age groups.

These features were important to The Salvation Army. Each year thousands of children enjoy its summer camp programs and the playgrounds get a lot of use.

“We may have up to a hundred kids playing at any one time,” says Jones. “It’s also important that the playground equipment caters to a broad age range—anywhere from 7 to 14 years old.”

To accommodate this diversity, CRS installed in each of the 10 playgrounds a combination of Xccent’s Triax curved, three-post deck systems, which included fun slides, challenging climbers and intriguing rooftops. They also installed independent pieces such as the X-Wave 2, an innovative see-saw that attracts groups of children to “ride the wave,” or the Rock N’ Rider, a momentum-building, muscle-testing, boat-like rocker.

Camp Swoneky, in Oregonia, Ohio, added additional play elements from Playland and SportsPlay to their order, as well as waterfront pieces to enhance their lake recreation experience.

Because the youth camps are summer-oriented, timely installation of the playgrounds was another crucial factor. Knowing they had “a lot to do, in not a lot of time,” CRS Principal Rich Wills dedicated the project to meeting its June 15 deadline.

“We had worked with CRS in the past and had confidence in them,” says Jones. “They came through, as usual. They coordinated the removal of the old equipment, helped us select our new playground pieces, and then installed them. They did this for ten playgrounds in two months’ time.”

So how do the children like the new playgrounds?

“They definitely had the ‘wow’ factor,” says Jones. “The kids love them. We had an unbelievably positive response.”

Background

Commercial Recreation Specialists is headquartered in Verona, Wis., with representatives in New Jersey and Minnesota. It serves customers throughout the United States and the Caribbean. With over 40 years of combined industry experience, CRS not only supplies the highest quality equipment from a variety of sources, it also offers design, planning, installation and operations services. It provides a careful analysis of each client’s facility and business goals in order to achieve the best recreation solution possible. CRS delivers unparalleled industry knowledge and proven success in the commercial recreation market with clients including municipalities, schools, YMCAs, athletic facilities, sports venues, amusement parks, family entertainment centers, campgrounds, resorts, summer camps, zoos and other recreation venues.

 

CRS Promoting New Wiggle Bridge from Wibit

February 14, 2013 by · Comments Off on CRS Promoting New Wiggle Bridge from Wibit 

Wibit Wiggle Bridge

Commercial Recreation Specialists, based in Verona, Wis., is touting the abiilty to “walk on water” in its Wibit Wiggle Bridge product. The Wiggle Bridge bends, twists and wobbles as kids (or adults) navigate their way across. Add more discs to create an even longer balancing challenge or create your own unique arrangement. This durable inflatable provides endless active recreation for outdoor pools and waterfronts, as well as the confined space of indoor aquatic centers and municipal pools, according to a news release. Built with Wibit’s stable FlatTop technology, the Wiggle Bridge is lightweight, easy to set up and portable. For more information, call Commercial Recreation Specialists at (877) 896-8442 or visit www.crs4rec.com

 

 

CRS Turns’ Mud Hole’ into Popular Rec Area

February 13, 2013 by · Comments Off on CRS Turns’ Mud Hole’ into Popular Rec Area 

Part of the award-winning installation by Commercial Recreation Specialists in a Stoughton, Wis., park

Commercial Recreation Specialists (CRS) is again the recipient of the Wisconsin Parks and Recreation Association (WPRA) Outstanding Aquatics Facility Design Award.

Together with the city of Stoughton Parks & Recreation Department, CRS’ team of aquatic play specialists won the 2012 award for helping to transform the city’s 52-year-old natural swimming pond into an award-winning water-based family entertainment center, according to a news release.

“Stoughton’s new aquatic facility is the best of the best,” says Steve Thompson, CEO of WPRA. The association’s 2,400 members represent the parks, recreation and therapeutic recreation industries throughout Wisconsin.

Two years ago, Stoughton’s swimming pond, then named Mandt Park Pool, was a declining “mud hole,” as area locals affectionately called it. Competition from large regional water parks left little interest for what was once the community’s prized aquatic recreation facility. But last year, CRS helped change all that.

In 2012, Stoughton brought in CRS to help them renovate the area and develop a Water-Based Family Entertainment Center, complete with themed site amenities and coordinating signage compatible with its new name, “Troll Beach.” With the addition of a commercial shade structure and aquatic inflatables including the 16-foot Aquaglide Summit Express, Free Fall 6, the Wibit Slider and AquaTrack, the community’s enthusiasm for the pond exploded. According to Troll Beach’s data, its attendance doubled from the year before and its revenue increased by 400%.

“Stoughton’s Troll Beach is a great example of how inflatable modules can immediately and actively revitalize a community’s water-based recreation,” says CRS President Ron Romens. “We’re excited to win the WPRA Outstanding Aquatic Facility award with Stoughton. It is an honor being involved with an award winning facility once again.”

CRS is headquartered in Verona, Wis., with representatives in New Jersey and Minnesota. It serves customers throughout the United States and the Caribbean.

For more information visit www.crs4rec.com.

 

Berens Joins Commercial Recreation Specialists

January 21, 2013 by · Comments Off on Berens Joins Commercial Recreation Specialists 

Andy Berens

Commercial Recreation Specialists (CRS) announced that Andy Berens has been hired as the product sales manager.

Berens will work primarily with national customers on aquatic recreation products and systems for waterfront and commercial pools.

“Our team is very excited to have Andy as we gear up for the 2013 recreation season,” said Ron Romens, CRS president. “CRS is growing, and Andy’s experience and skill set will significantly benefit our customer service and overall customer satisfaction.”

After earning his bachelor’s degree at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Berens  went on to attain over 12 years of business development experience in the fundraising and media industries in addition to being a certified teacher, tennis pro and coach. While balancing these initiatives, Berens returned to the UW to earn his MBA.

Commercial Recreation Specialists is headquartered in Verona, Wis., with representatives in New Jersey, and serves customers across the United States and the Caribbean. Founded in 1999, CRS performs a careful analysis of each client’s facility and business goals to provide recreation solutions based on the unique needs of each client. With over 40 years of combined industry experience, CRS is not only an equipment supplier for select vendors, but also offers design, planning, installation, training and operations services. CRS delivers unparalleled industry knowledge and proven success in the commercial recreation market with clients including municipalities, resorts, campgrounds, summer camps, schools, YMCAs, athletic facilities, family entertainment centers, amusement parks, zoos and other venues.

 

CRS Touts Pool Inflatables’ Success Stories

December 18, 2012 by · Comments Off on CRS Touts Pool Inflatables’ Success Stories 

Wibit course in pool

When Commercial Recreation Specialists (CRS), of Verona, Wis., began providing modular inflatable challenge courses to commercial swimming pools, they knew patrons would have tons of fun with them. What they didn’t predict was how wildly popular this new category of aquatic play would become and the innovative ways clients would use it to achieve positive results.

“Our inflatable challenge course systems are designed to revitalize active recreation in the water,” says CRS President Ron Romens. “These are modular, sealed-air pieces that, when connected, create an exciting challenge course for running, jumping and climbing. They create a continuous flow of motion, thus encouraging patrons of all ages to move more and play longer. What we’ve found is both outdoor waterfronts and indoor pools are successfully working them into their programs, often in new ways we didn’t even envision.”

The results of these challenge courses have been phenomenal, with customers raving that they are attracting more patrons, generating excitement, revitalizing programming and increasing revenue. In addition, CRS works with a number of top manufacturers, including Wibit and Aquaglide, to create customized systems that fit a customer’s needs and budget.

The premier U.S. provider of commercial-grade modular, inflatable challenge courses, CRS is headquartered in Verona, Wis., with representatives in New Jersey. It serves customers throughout the United States and the Caribbean.

 

CRS Touts Adventure Series Water Sports Line

November 2, 2012 by · Comments Off on CRS Touts Adventure Series Water Sports Line 

The Aquaglide-Adventure Series in action

Commercial Recreation Specialists (CRS) now brings the action of outdoor water sports to the shallower depths of pools with the new Adventure Series.

The Adventure Series is an exciting new line of water sport products that inspires more active play, according to a news release. The compact, modular inflatables connect to create custom challenge courses as expansive as your imagination. Their ultra-low profile makes boarding from the water easy at any point and each piece allows for multiple activities and programming possibilities.

From the Challenge Track I and its 29-person capacity in a Short Course (25-yard) pool, to the Challenge Circuit I and its 60-person capacity in the Long Course (50-meter) pool, the Adventure Series offers something for almost any pool setting.

CRS, the primary provider of Aquaglide products to commercial clients, is headquartered in Verona, Wis., with representatives in New Jersey. It serves customers throughout the United States and the Caribbean.

 

CRS Offers AquaClimb to Campgrounds

October 5, 2012 by · 5 Comments 

Since its first summer in 1922, Camp Modin in Maine’s Belgrade Lakes region has provided generations of children a dynamic recreational camp experience. This past summer it added a challenging water adventure like none other — a floating climbing wall.

“The climbing wall was a very exciting addition,” says Howard Salzberg, camp owner. “We had seen this AquaClimb product at a trade show and really liked the look of it. It was a climbing wall used primarily for pools. But we don’t have a pool. We have a waterfront and we knew our existing dock probably wouldn’t work with this product.”

Here’s where Commercial Recreation Specialists (CRS), headquartered in Verona, Wis., came into play, according to a news release. As premier providers of water recreation products, CRS had previously developed Camp Modin’s waterfront with an inflatable water playground.

“I’d been working with CRS for as long as I can remember. Our entire waterfront is made up of CRS products,” says Salzberg. “So I talked with Ron Romens, CRS president, and he assured us they could handle the challenge of where and how we could install the AquaClimb. It was the first of its kind.”

Being the first of its kind meant there were issues no one had dealt with before — things like a floating dock, the structural loads, water depth requirements and other safety concerns.

“These were important details well beyond what we could do,” says Salzberg. “CRS went to work and dealt with both the dock company and AquaClimb to develop a solution. They even brought in engineers to stamp the plans for approval before installation. There were a number of parties involved in the technical aspect of it and CRS coordinated them all.”

So how do the campers like the AquaClimb?

“The kids love it! It’s something they’ve never done before,” says Salzberg. “It’s a great addition. We haven’t had any safety issues and it has performed just as we expected.

“Our AquaClimb is unique. We’re always trying to add something to our program, something that’s a challenge. We have a climbing program on land, and we thought it would be fun to have one on water as well. The more activities we have, the more campers we can entertain and the more opportunities for those kids to have a meaningful camp experience,” says Salzberg.

With the success of Camp Modin’s AquaClimb project, Commercial Recreation Specialists  announced it is now the exclusive camp and campground supplier of AquaClimb.

CRS serves customers throughout the United States and the Caribbean. With over 40 years of combined industry experience, CRS not only supplies the highest quality equipment from a variety of sources, it also offers design, planning, installation and operations services. It provides a careful analysis of each client’s facility and business goals in order to achieve the best recreation solution possible. CRS delivers unparalleled industry knowledge and proven success in the commercial recreation market with clients including municipalities, schools, YMCAs, athletic facilities, sports venues, amusement parks, family entertainment centers, campgrounds, resorts, summer camps, zoos and other recreation venues.

 

CRS’s Wibit Aquatrack Revives a N.J. Pool

August 16, 2012 by · Comments Off on CRS’s Wibit Aquatrack Revives a N.J. Pool 

Wibit Aquatrack in use

In partnership with Commercial Recreation Specialists (CRS), Graydon Pool in Ridgewood, N.J., hosted its first official Wibit tournament in late July, offering a way for patrons to beat the heat, as well as to spark renewed interest with local youth of all ages.

Utilizing the pool’s new Wibit Aquatrack, the “2012 Wibit 50-Meter Splash” featured teams of five participating in a relay race across the floating challenge course, according to a news release. Offering musical entertainment, a cook out, and prizes worth up to $200, the city’s goal was to engage not only the younger generation but to entice “big kids” from high school age on up to find the fun again at the local swimming pond.

“There hadn’t been much change over the last 50 years to Graydon pool,” explains Steve Diamond, who has been the pool’s director for the past two decades. “We didn’t really have anything for kids to do other than swim in the pond and jump off the diving board.”

Since the Wibit installation in 2011, Graydon Pool has seen significant change. “In the summer, Wibit sign-up lists fill quickly every day,” says Diamond. “We also have noticed more external community groups and out-of-town residents purchasing day passes to use the Wibit course, from day camps, to the local YMCA, and swim lesson groups…and the lifeguards love it just as much as the younger kids do!”

The Wibit 50-Meter Splash generated a lot of community interest, with registration sheets “flying out the door all month” according to Sean Martyn, the event’s coordinator. With the turnout a success, Martyn assures it will be the first of many annual relay and community Wibit events throughout the coming seasons.

Commercial Recreation Specialists is headquartered in Verona, Wis., has local representatives in New Jersey, and serves customers across the United States and the Caribbean.

CRS Extends Offerings for Pools and Aqua Zones

February 20, 2012 by · Comments Off on CRS Extends Offerings for Pools and Aqua Zones 

Commercial Recreation Specialists (CRS) has expanded its pool and waterfront line to meet a wider range of clients’ needs, according to CRS founder and president Ron Romens.

Offering a mix of Wibit and Aqualide products, including both smaller stand-alone products designed for pools or small ponds as well as large-footprint, fully configured floating activity zones, allows CRS to uniquely meet the entire spectrum of water-based recreation needs.

CRS also assists clients in planning how different components from multiple vendors can work together to create an exciting new activity or waterfront area that will help boost attendance and revenue.

As the U.S. authorized Wibit distributor, CRS now offers the new Wibit+ products along with two new Wibit Sports Parks. These include some of the 15 stand-alone Wibit+ items that can be purchased individually, or combined with other components to create a new waterfront activity area or enhance an existing aquatic playground.

Romens explained, “For clients with large-scale settings, Wibit Sports Park 60+ accommodates up to 60 guests at once, on a circuit integrating over 20 modular pieces and seven independent components.”

He continued, “Clients with pools or smaller water venues can benefit from the Wibit+ Floating Volley, Splasher or Kayak Polo, as well as the Aquaglide Freefall 6 inflatable slide and Splashmat.”

Splashmat is perhaps the most versatile addition to any pool or waterfront as it allows guests to literally walk on water. This floating magic carpet can be used as a “slip and slide” type of water activity, a wrestling mat, a stage for dance contests and other competitions, or even as a way to connect other Aquaglide products. It is also lightweight and convenient to transport, weighing in at only 49 pounds and with a storage box sized at just 21 inches x 15 inches by 15 inches.

Commercial Recreation Specialists is headquartered in Verona, Wis., with representatives in New Jersey, and serves customers across the United States and the Caribbean.

CRS’s H2Whoa Zone-Unleash Your Potential ROI

February 16, 2012 by · Comments Off on CRS’s H2Whoa Zone-Unleash Your Potential ROI 

H2Whoa Zone is a revolutionary new business model with a focus on creating revenue-generating water-based recreation, according to Ron Romens, founder and president of Commercial Recreation Specialists (CRS).

Customized for location and budget, an H2Whoa Zone can turn any lake, waterfront, marina or parcel of land into a water-based family entertainment attraction, according to a news release.

“Waterfront assets are often the most valuable areas found on a property and H2Whoa Zone creates a system for owners to leverage those valuable assets,” said Romens.  “With decades of experience in recreation development, our H2Whoa Zone specialists combine unsurpassed industry knowledge, product understanding, and management expertise with landscape architecture and aquatic biology to provide a turn-key business opportunity.”

The H2Whoa Zone concept accommodates affordable phasing to yield immediate revenue. It is also easily expandable, so as profits grow, additional elements such as shade structures, water slides, or food and beverage kiosks can easily be added. H2Whoa Zone can then further increase revenue through the success of adjacent recreation-oriented hospitality facilities, additional activities, and/or concessions.

CRS provides support from initial concept until the first guest begins to enjoy the new aquatic amenities, working with clients every step of the way to ensure success. Services included with an H2Whoa Zone contract can include site assessment, feasibility analysis, concept development, site layout and installation, pond construction services, water quality management, revenue modeling, product analysis, program development, operations consulting, marketing, advertising and assistance with setting up project financing. The CRS team even offers eco-friendly options that do not rely on chemicals, but use methods that create a healthy, self-sustaining ecosystem, suitable for more natural settings.

Commercial Recreation Specialists is headquartered in Verona, Wis., with representatives in New Jersey, and serves customers across the United States and the Caribbean.

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