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THE BASICS

       When the elements of time, budget and the ideal venue are properly aligned with one of the worlds leading sand sculpture service providers, there is a conjunction that can yield a fascinating albeit temporary display (a single sand sculpture) for all manner of occasions or special events, private or public.
        Further, there can be produced unique and elaborate shows (gated, with a paid ticket admission) of many sand sculptures and other dramatic elements, generally all revolving around a central theme. These shows are designed as an affordable and unique entertainment draw and/or cultural event open to the general public (a sand park).
       Sometimes Pro/Am sand sculpture contests, or even Master and Grandmaster level international competitions are implemented alongside of, or as part of these prodigious exhibitions.

The core function of Sandtopia is the development and operation of this unique and exciting new type of entertainment outlets.

       A single sand sculpture or a sand park or other sand event such as a competition or world record breaking publicity stunt can be as big as is practical & cost effective for any particular venue.
       Space permitting,
incredible sand sculptures may be created indoors or outside. They can remain up and on display for one day, or indefinitely pending certain conditions.
 It's entirely and up to the client or producer.  Individual sculptures can range in size from a few hundred pounds up to thousands of tons.
      Depending on the format of the display, the sculpture size and the amount of time for the run of the show are completely flexible aspects.


  The installation of a single sand sculpture can be done just about anywhere with minimal involvement, but a Sand Park is another story.  


     At a sand park, where there are many sand sculptures of various sizes, generally of a related theme, there are usually other dramatic elements included such as water features, plants and landscaping, dynamic light and sound systems. etc.
    Also, other non sculpture features may be added such as photo exhibits of the construction process, play areas for children, cafe, bar, food court and merchandise retail sales outlets.  This all makes for a
unique & captivating cultural attraction that is a compelling and entertaining draw. 
   
    The price of admission to these fenced off sand parks  is usually equivalent to the price of a local movie theater ticket or less, depending on various factors such as the local market conditions or the size and scope of the operation. Ideally, food and beverage concessions and other fun activities like carnival rides are present on site at various times to keep things at the venue fresh, exciting and changing, as well. Depending on the scope of the operation, sometimes other ancillary activities such as crafts or art shows or even concerts & carnivals are setup for weekends and holidays for an extended draw potential.

  Due to the permitting regulations in many areas, these temporary installations are often only up and in operation for up to four months at a time. In some cases where it is permitted, the site remains engaged as a sand park indefinitely, but the sculptures and theme of the show are changed periodically (seasonally). Thus creating even more opportunities for repeat customers and other (new) special events.

   Sand parks also  make superb settings for myriad catered special events and private functions such as weddings, meetings and family reunions or picnics.


   Inside the sand park other related operations besides just the static display of magnificent art in the delicate medium of sand can be presented. A prime area is in education.
   Professional sand sculptors the world over have been practicing the craft at an advanced level for more than a quarter of a century. This aggregate of experiences and awareness has fostered a body of knowledge that has been assimilated around the globe and utilized in practice by masters and the neophytes under their tutelage in various commercial settings. The vast majority of these learning sessions are as hands on experience in workshops given prior to and during the students/volunteers involvement in assisting the masters at particular shows. For instance at the annual major show we've been presenting for the last 13 years  in Jesolo (Venice) Italy, we utilize the service of a dozen students each year  from the Academy of Art in Venice each spring. The gain valuable knowledge of the medium and craft as well as school credit, in exchange for their labor and working as assistants to the masters. Some of the students start as freshmen and remain with us for years, some have even remained involved with us after they graduated University.   
      But it does not necessarily have to be hands on to be educational. Complete
novices and  accomplished  or adept sculptors alike can learn to understand some of the common but basic principles of sand sculpting through demonstrations or video presentations presented on site at the park, or elsewhere. These teachings range from the basic "Sand Castles 101" on the entry level, which is a brief workshop that anyone can benefit from. It covers the rudimentary principles and techniques for understanding why sand sticks together & more importantly why it does not.
    Course study can be advanced all the way up to master pieces.  Sand symposiums for learning about how to work in the craft can be regularly scheduled at Sandtopia parks.
   
       The
educational aspect is not limited to the physicality of working in the craft either, One does not need to get ones hands sandy at all so to speak. The history of sand sculpture, the science & physics behind it, and ecological and conservation aspects all are also relevant.
  The educational component can tie in to other aspects such as entertainment readily. Students & volunteers, especially during sculpture construction times serves a trifold purpose overall, quite well. Volunteer students/helpers or interested participants are:
   Invaluable physical help to the masters.

   Learning about a unique medium and farming future talent.

   Great publicity for the Sand Park or show.


REQUIREMENTS FOR A SAND PARK OPERATION:

       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.
   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.
   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, time, budget or other considerations, the sculpture sizes and the length of the engagement are completely flexible aspects. A similar and key 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) and The Talent (carving crew). Sometimes people can crossover between these crews.
      The population of any particular project can vary on a sliding scale of how many people for how long are required to be engaged in their respective roles in order to produce the desired affect. Numerous details of design and construction will affect this ratio of people involved with how much sand and time on any given project. 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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 (This is a "Blue Sky" idea for a permanent sand sculpture park, and ultimately a worldwide franchise of them. We will start small, and grow it to the dream state.)
Sandtopia...
The PERMANENT sand sculpture resort park / wellness center & artist enclave. Inn, campground and RV park


Just imagine ...
   A green & values based resort/park & outdoor entertainment complex with a twist.  As a constant anchor, Sandtopia features the captivating medium of sand sculpture, in ever changing displays set amongst beautiful botanical gardens. A place where the public can enjoy viewing the amazing works of resident and touring professional master sand sculptors from around the world. A place where one may learn the craft and create their own sand sculptures as well.
  Additionally, the park offers many other elements that make it attractive as an outdoor entertainment venue and tourist destination.
 Because it was originally designed as an enclave for professional master sand sculptors (and other artists/crafters) and purpose built by sand sculptors, it naturally has everything a sand sculptor could ever want or need, to showcase their own designs in their own way and time. All in a natural setting with the best sculpting quality earthen materials available. In a completely non constrictive and non competitive atmosphere.
~ Open to the general public! ~
  The sand sculpture aspect of Sandtopia is a dynamic entertainment draw. Visitors can pay a nominal admission fee to the sculpture garden for a day, a season or even an annual pass to access the ever changing sculpture garden area of the park. There, visitors can tour by foot, boat, bicycle, seqway or tram, a landscaped "garden" of sand sculpture installations both large and small.
   The larger, theme displays are changed seasonally. Each one is opened with the spring, summer, fall, or winter festival as the case may be. These four festivals each year also host craft fairs, art shows, concerts and other cultural events and season appropriate activities. The smaller individually displayed sculptures, which showcase the art of the respective resident or touring masters, are otherwise changed on an ongoing and regular basis as the "sand folk" rotate in and out of the realm. There will be an archived digital library of all works created, as everything is recorded (and much is web cast). Plus there is a brick & mortar as well as virtual  museum on the web, and a sand academy for historians and students of the art form.

 For the viewing public, photo opportunities continuously abound. Besides the changing season sculptures, every major holiday also brings a new theme display to the sculpture garden as well.
  Large and small pavilions are available for weddings and special event parties. So custom sand sculpting service is available both on site and off property. From basic rentals, to full blow custom tailored and catered dream events.
  Occasionally there are sand sculpture competitions hosted at the venue.
  Two particular highlights each year are the annual Sculptors (masquerade) Ball, which caps the April Fools' Festival during the first week of April, and  the All Hallows Eve Bash during the last week of October.  Additionally, the festival of lights at Christmas time is of course, always a big hit as well.

**************
It can be a park or even a resort. It can include a sand academy (school) & even a health & wellness facility/retreat.

  It is an outdoor entertainment facility and complex, and potentially, so much more...
~ Designed by and built for touring (international) pro sand sculptors, it is also open to the general public! ~
 From professional sand sculptors established in the craft, to budding sand enthusiasts everywhere, it is a place where sand dreams can become a reality. A low impact, eco-friendly resort/park open to the general public that has everything a sand sculptor could ever want or need, to showcase their own designs in their own way & time. All in a natural or uniquely configured setting and in a noncompetitive and relaxed atmosphere.

More about the dream...
     Sandtopia is first and foremost, a sand sculpture theme park which is open to the general public (guests). It is a resort paradise that is also a second home for touring pro sand sculptors from all over the world (Sandtopia guild members).
    A constant feature running in the background, is the ever changing and captivating works of these masters of the craft. These amazing sculptures are created and continuously changed by these award winning international master sand sculptors in real time, during operating hours so the public can see any aspect of the creation from start to finish. These talented artisan  who continuously rotate in and out of Sandtopia, stay for various lengths of time not only to create new works, but also teach the craft to guests who may wish to sign up in advance for classes, workshops and seminars that range from one day to a week long or longer, each. At any given time the resident members, who are all touring pros working at the highest level of the industry in this, the modern era of professional world class sand sculpture, can be seen changing out the seasonal or holiday displays, or working on their own feature displays, or teaching in the various formats that are geared for the public to study and learn, and in some cases, perhaps even exhibit on display, along side with the works of the pros.
    There are the four cardinal season festivals that feature contests and exhibitions for pros and amateurs and other cultural events, entertainment and seasonal appropriate activities.  In addition to the sand academy where lay persons can learn and show the craft, there is also a museum and archives that have digital libraries that contains all the works ever created on site. Sandtopia is also a nexus for all the world sand sculpture tour events and members who wish to participate in the pro world sand sculpting tour calendar of events, globally.
Sandtopia also features numerous indoor and outdoor amenities.
 But the unique feature of Sandtopia are the fascinating displays that change seasonally for the larger installations, and on a more regular ongoing basis for the smaller works many of which feature the individual styles of the best of the best working and competing in the industry and sport of pro sand sculpture worldwide, today. Each major holiday always features it's own theme sand sculpture, and is an ideal spot for the family to make their seasonal greeting card photos. Come for a day, a week or two, a month or longer, and stay in our deluxe hotel, private bungalows or cabins, or you can setup your tent in our primitive campsite area. You can even stay in our RV park with your own RV or rent one of ours.
 There is a lake and closed circuit watercourse for canoeing and kayaking,  


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