A Customized Aquatic Adventure for Verébleu Camping on Île d'Oléron

This story was re-printed with permission from Pro Urba

Video: Crieur Public

This project, a water play area for toddlers, was built at the independent, family-run campground with the help of Vortex France, Pro Urba's aquatic subsidiary. Vortex France listened to the client's wishes and expectations and helped bring them to life. It's a wonderful success story!

The initial feedback on our Vortex France play area has been fantastic!

— Brice Mondamert, President of Verébleu Camping
    Ile D'Oléron, France

Verébleu Camping on Île d'Oléron is unique in the world of outdoor hospitality. Faced with competition from major chains, this family-run establishment has held onto its values and independence. Just like his parents, who created the establishment almost 40 years ago, president Brice Mondamert cultivates relationships with his customers and focuses on comfort and innovation. The proof is the fantastic new aquatic play area, which was inaugurated this year. Verébleu and Vortex France worked on this exemplary project together, to Verébleu's exact specifications.

Drone: Interaview Production

Tell us a little bit about your campground.

Brice Mondamert: Verébleu Camping is now ranked as 5* for tourism. We have 300 sites spread over 7 hectares. At the very beginning of the ‘80s, my parents bought a field and created this campground from nothing. With pioneering spirit, they installed the first pool, and they were the only ones in the area to offer tent and trailer rentals. Naturally, my sisters and I wanted to continue the adventure. We are always striving to improve what's on offer and prioritize high-quality service. In the high season, we now have a team of 35 people to ensure that everything works smoothly. Everything we give to our customers we get back in spades. Most of them are French families, regulars who come back every year.

So, what’s new this season is the play area. When did you decide to take on the project?

Brice Mondamert: It's been a long time coming, actually! Twenty years ago, we had already built the aquatic space and wanted to complete the infrastructure to offer our customers new amenities. Unfortunately, we had to prioritize our investments, and so the project was delayed. It was just last year that we decided to get it going again.

What were your specifications?

Brice Mondamert: We wanted a play area that was really fun and accessible to the whole family, because we recognize that our customers come here to spend precious time together and create memories. Our priority was to create a space for toddlers that was made specifically for them, with equipment that was structured differently than a traditional play area and with a safe approach to the water. The issue of safety was our number one concern. After that, our next priority was to create a long-term investment that would be profitable for many years to come.

Why did you choose Vortex France to accompany you on this adventure?

Brice Mondamert: We have been working with their team for a long time because we always want to keep up-to-date on what is happening in the market -  in our sector as well as in communities and shopping centers. Compared to its competitors, Vortex France seemed the most in line with the project on both the technical and human side. When we commit to such a big investment, it is essential that we are able to keep the lines of communication open. We relied on the Pro Urba group and the Vortex brand, which has over 7,600 installations all over the world.

How were you supported through the design phase?

Brice Mondamert: To stay true to what we wanted, we explored ideas about different age groups with the Vortex France team and particularly with Frédéric Hay, who supported us throughout the project. That's how we decided to create a zone for toddlers and another for bigger kids. We chose the Splashpad, the recreational part of the play area, and the famous Watermark, a curtain of water that makes the entrance to this new space aesthetically pleasing. The other elements were integrated around these two focal points. In total, five different 3D versions of the project were created. Then, we had to choose the colors. We could do anything we wanted with that because it was completely customizable. Finally, we were very well supported on both the technical aspects and the integration.

Interaview Production

Once construction began, how did it go?

Brice Mondamert: We validated the project in the summer of 2018 and began construction at the end of September. One thing that was a little bit unusual about our process was that we decided to construct everything ourselves. It seemed consistent with the way we do things. When you've had a project in your head for 10 years, it's impossible to let someone else lay the pipes! The only part of the project not built by us was the mechanical room. It was constructed by a company that often works with Vortex France.  The play area was finished in May 2019 and opened to the public in June.

What do you remember most about the day the play equipment was delivered?

Brice Mondamert: I opened up the truck, I looked in, and I said, "Wow!" We did it! We had been waiting for this moment for a long time, and it finally came. We worked on the preparations all winter. We were also under a lot of stress. We were asking ourselves whether we had anchored everything properly and whether we would encounter problems when the water was turned on. Everything was finished in 4 days. The pressure on us lessened then because it was finished in time and everything was working. We started to imagine the wonderful experience our customers would have.

What has the play area brought to the camping experience?

Brice Mondamert: It has allowed us to provide greater comfort for our visitors by spreading out the aquatic space, even though it is already quite large. The area is very large, 450 m², which is huge compared to the number of people at the campground. Most importantly, we are offering high-quality service and new activities for our customers - experiences that they can enjoy all day. For example, our team of animators organizes high points for the whole family.

During the construction phase, what role did Vortex France play?

Brice Mondamert: When construction started, technicians Lucas Jamet and Alexis Martel came to the site for a technical overview. We took a look at how things were going to progress and how we would set up. The team always answered our questions. From the moment we signed, Bertrand Fillot, the sales manager, really facilitated things. He was also there for the installation. These are the kinds of things that are really important: it's a long-term partnership. I know that if there's a problem in 2, 3 or 4 years, I'll be able to call them and they will find a solution.  With Vortex France, you get high-quality play equipment, experience, and an emphasis on the client relationship.

Our number of visitors has already increased, even though we haven't advertised...

— Brice Mondamert, President of Verébleu Camping
    Ile D'Oléron, France
Interaview Production

This summer was the play area’s first season. How did your customers respond to it?

Brice Mondamert: The initial feedback has been fantastic. When customers discovered the play area, they first passed under the Watermark. Then, they immediately tested the waterslide, the jets... Evidently, they really enjoyed it. We have also noticed that it really complements the aquatic space. Parents are reassured because we offer their children a calm approach to the water. Commercially speaking, it has started off really well. Our number of visitors has already increased, even though we haven't advertised the play area very much. We're hoping to make the most of it over the coming seasons!

  • Solution Types Elevations™ & PlayNuk
    Watermark • Digital Water Expressions
  • Location France
  • Opened July 2019

Related products