A single sand sculpture of almost any size, can be created with minimal effort and resources
just about anywhere, anytime, i
ndoors or outside.
 (On the beach, or several stories up in an office building)

   This sort of thing is being done everyday all over the world.
Depending on the available time, space and resources, a sand sculpture can be a few hundred pounds or thousands of tons.
small medium large colassal
If desired, the sculptures can be made to last indefinitely.

      These types of entertaining displays have been the hallmark of Varano Sand Sculpture Company LLC since the mid 1980's.

But now VSS co. is developing a new and exciting type of outdoor entertainment facility
utilizing the captivating medium of sand sculpture
installations as the main draw.
These popular and wildly successful often temporary and massive sand sculpting operations are...
Sand Sculpture Parks!
The amazing world of sand sculpture

~We are currently seeking venues to host Sandtopia parks ~
 Contact us about having one of these amazing draws, great for local commerce and tourism, in your area!



    • 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 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 depending on  how much sand and time is required 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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Rich Varano at age 6
Rich Varano age 6

 Rich Varano began sand sculpting at age six on New Smyrna Beach, in Florida.
  When his father Frank, and avid amateur sand sculpture enthusiast himself showed the boy how a big pile of sand one could shovel up in ten minutes or so could quickly and easily be rendered into fun and amazing sand sculptures, he went home and threw away his play-doh.
Varano practiced the craft as a hobby periodically, ever since. Until one day as a young man in his mid twenties, he discovered people would pay him to do it. Within a year, that was the only thing he did for a living ever since.

Rich Varano
Varano March 2010
   That was over two decades ago. At that time, he established Varano Sand Sculpture Co.
 Shortly after that, he was employed at Sea World in Orlando where he was the full time sand sculptor creating captivating sand art displays 40 hours per week
as entertainment for the thousands of guest visiting the park each day. There, he honed his sand sculpting (and people) skills even more.

Rich at age 49
Varano age 49

 After eight years of doing both his full time sand sculpting job at Sea World and running his burgeoning sand sculpture business, which was providing sand sculpture entertainment for the special events industry worldwide, he became too busy to do both.  So, although Sea World was a great company to work for and provided good benefits, he let that go to dedicate himself full time to his growing global sand sculpture company. He immediately was on tour and has spent much of the time since then living in various hotels around the world.

 He now has over 100 associate worldwide who work for him on an as needed basis.
The group is collectively known as the Sultans Of Sand Worldwide.
 Varano is now in his second decade of spending a portion of each year abroad as a touring professional sand sculptor.
 He spends two months each year in Jesolo (Venice) Italy, where he directs the International  Sand  Sculpture Festival each spring, and the Sand Nativity  just before christmas.
 He is currently producing the United States Sand Sculpting Championships and the Italian National Championships, both expected to come online in 2011.