No matter what the economic climate, spending money wisely never goes out of style. As with any large purchase, choosing the commercial playground equipment to invest your city, community or school’s finances in is a decision that requires research and the weighing of several factors.
Not all playground equipment is created equal; this is not to say that these products are not of high quality, but rather that their overall cost to acquire and relative play value may be significantly separated. This is an important factor to consider as there are products that offer a higher cost to play value ratio than others. For instance, many traditional structures have a high cost to play value ratio; in other words, much more money needs to be spent to get a relatively good return on play value. As an example, a single slide on its own may offer very little play value, however couple it with a vast array of components and the play value is now significantly increased. However, to acquire this structure, the cost may be prohibitive due to the cost of the additional components. In contrast, a product like Dynamo’s Apollo Rotating Climber has proven time and again that its play value is dramatically higher relative to its overall cost and requires less installation labour, less maintenance and has a smaller footprint.
Another consideration to make is the park footprint. Although this may seem obvious (since a smaller footprint usually means less equipment), there are many other costs associated with building a park other than equipment such as: maintenance, surfacing materials and green space. This means cost savings up front and in the future. Green space is especially precious in some cities and limiting the amount that is needed to put in a playground is very important. Maintenance also plays a crucial role in cutting costs. Many cities may have enough funding to purchase equipment; however, one of their biggest obstacles is often a reduced maintenance budget. Installing products that require significantly less maintenance may be the difference between designing a park now and leaving it for another time when finances are more stable.
Whether in good economic times or bad, commercial playground equipment will continue to be a source of fun and excitement and a catalyst to improving the well being and spirit of your community. We challenge you to make a difference in yours.