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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
Q: What is a sand sculpture park?
A: It is a fenced off and gated, paid ticket admission, outdoor entertainment / cultural event utilizing sand sculpture as the main draw. It usually has some elements under tents, or indoors, and often includes other aspects such as fair style food and beverage concessions and other non sand entertainment like carnival rides, games and amusements etc. As well as merchandise retail sales, a sand museum and educational facility, etc.  The sculpture garden aspect is comprised of many sand sculptures of various sizes, often of a unified theme, which are arrayed in an esthetically pleasing walk-through style of display. The size and duration of any given sand show at a Sandtopia park is entirely flexible, depending on local permitting and available resources of time, budget and local market or venue needs or constraints. A four month run is typical.
 The sculpture gardens are often complimented by landscaping and botanical gardens, water features and a dynamic lighting and sound systems
.
 Visitors can, for just the price of a local movie theater ticket, stay as long as they like.So it is very affordable family entertainment. The venues are ideal for catered special events such as meetings, picnics, weddings, birthday parties, corporate functions, etc.


Q: Don't sand sculptures just fall apart when they dry out?
A: No. Sand sculptures can be made to last indefinitely. There is a science behind the art, but most people are surprised at how durable sand sculptures can be when made by professional masters of the craft. This is an aspect that is covered in the Lessons and workshops that are offered to the visiting guests at the show
     

Q: Why Have I never heard of a sand sculpture park before?
A: They are new to the USA. They have been enjoying growing popularity in Europe and Asia since the 1990's. The
y are a hit with crowds of all ages as the appeal of sand sculpture cuts across all demographics. Sand parks will undoubtedly be cropping up all over the USA soon, and will be enjoyed by thousands more people everywhere, each year. The Sandtopia franchise is ready to be doing business now.


Q: What's required to have a sand sculpture park erected?
A: Time, budget and resources. Primarily a venue site that has good drainage, where water can be made available for the construction phase. The area needs to be accessible with shipping containers & heavy equipment, and able to withstand hundreds or even thousands of tons of sand being dumped there. It should also have good parking or heavy foot traffic  for later, when the show is open to the general public. Generally a show can be implemented and open for business within 30 days of breaking ground and sometimes even less. Funding for the hard costs associated with getting the show up and running are provided by sponsors. Profits are generated from the gate (ticket) sales as well as vending premiums.




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NUTS AND BOLTS REQUIREMENTS FOR A SAND PARK OPERATION:

    • A venue with space and permitting suitable for outdoor festivals.
     The site needs to have a water source, and adequate drainage (we can tap and meter fire hydrant plugs). The site needs to be accessible for heavy equipment and shipping containers required for the setup of the sculptures. Additionally it should be practical for parking, food and beverage concessions (and possibly ancillary draw attractions ranging from arts & craft shows to carnival rides) with rest rooms or portable facilities, etc. for the time after the setup, when the park is open to the public. The sculpture garden will be fenced, blocking the view of the sculptures from the outside. The other aspects of the event may possibly be outside of the fenced area.


    • Advertising, Marketing and Promotion (AMP).
     Naturally, advertising/marketing and promotion of the event to the local population and direct target marketing regionally is crucial to a good success. We can do teaser sculptures and publicity stunts utilizing sand sculpture as a media hook. We can align the event with local merchants and commerce through creative tie-ins such as discounted tickets with purchases of meals, retail merchandise, etc. We can also provide additional off site sand sculpture services (for any type of special event or occasion) as a promotional tool. Ideally a major sponsor will be engaged for the betterment of the AMP aspect, such as a television or cable service provider or other multimedia powerhouse. A wi-fi connection on site is a major plus.
    • Funding & Sponsorships.
       There are of course, hard costs associated with putting any sand sculpture operation into play. These costs will be supplied up front by fund raising and corporate sponsorship opportunities. The profits are generated by ticket sales, related merchandise sales and food & beverage concessions as well as any fees charged for other event draws such as craft (or other booth) registrations, kiddy rides, etc.

       As mentioned, above sculptures can range in size from a few hundred pounds to thousands of tons. But, depending on the format of the display or time, budget or other considerations, the sculpture sizes and the length of the engagement are completely flexible aspects. A similar and critical dynamic exists in the formula of  labor man hours over the total volume of sand to be dealt with and the amount of available time in which to do so.
      Besides designing and promoting prior, and operating and maintaining a show after it is opened, there are several other distinct aspects of a large or articulated sand displays that need to be considered. Most of these can be done from a basic" bare bones & minimal" approach up to an advanced and full blown level. Obviously costs are dependent upon all these factors, so advance planning is critical. But they all can be dialed in or regulated to maximize available resources for the purpose of  yielding the best product and result.

    Key aspects to implementing a sand park:
    1. Designing, administration and promotion of the show.
    2. The site prep (field engineering & the poundup).
    3. The sculpting (the art).
    4. The decorating (field engineering).
    5. Photo exhibit, food , beverage and merchandise sales.
    6. Operations and maintenance of the show after opening.
    7. Further marketing and promotions.
    8. Strike. (The removal of the show & sand, and returning the site to it's original condition) 
     
The HR aspect primarily falls into three categories:
  • Administration, (design crew) 
  • Field Engineers (tech crew) 
  • The Talent (carving crew). 
  1. (Sometimes people can crossover between these crews.)
      The population involved on any particular project will vary depending on how many people are required in their respective roles and for how long,  in order to produce the desired affect. Numerous details of design and construction will affect this ratio of people required depending on  how much sand and time is utilized. One person can do 'X' amount of work. in 'Y' amount of sand (or in an office) in  'Z' amount of hours. Altering the quantity (and some times quality) of any or all of these attributes will yield limitless possibilities and configurations resulting in different end results. These can be optimally configured as needed to suit a clients needs in terms of time, budget and available resources


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