25 Sep Leisurepark – Balga improves access for all
A refurbishment to a popular leisure facility in the City of Stirling including state of the art ‘speedgates’ has improved accessibility for the facility’s less mobile patrons, enhanced customer service and boosted efficiency through automation.
Leisurepark – Balga is a community leisure facility in Western Australia. It receives around 320,000 visits annually, and has meeting rooms, sports courts, a gym and swimming pools.
Facility Manager Luke Ellis said the facility had wanted to enhance accessibility for people with reduced mobility and improve the customer experience. EasyGate SG speedgates from Centaman Entrance Control were chosen for this purpose.
The new speedgates are wide enough to accommodate wheelchairs, mobility frames, and extra-wide buggies. The facility experiences higher visitor numbers at certain times of the day, and the gates are sandblasted with entry and exit symbols to improve wayfinding.
“We’re finding the speed of access has greatly improved. With the new speedgates, it’s very clear what is an entry or exit”, said Mr Ellis.
“Previously, people had to push open a gate or go through turnstiles with rotating arms. That led to some compromises. You’d get people with prams who had to hold the gate open to the side, and also young children attempting to duck under or get around the turnstiles. The new gates work hands-free, so that doesn’t happen anymore.”
The facility has separate entrances for the pools and fitness centre. Each gate is now equipped with a scanner so swimming pool and fitness centre members can enter with an access card. In case of a fire alarm or other emergencies, an automated panel is programmed to open the speedgates so visitors can exit easily.
Mr Ellis said other efficiencies arise from the turnstile’s ability to connect with Leisurepark – Balga’s facility management software. The software now receives data from the gates to inform business reporting, and staff can operate the gates from the front desk if necessary.
The primary motivation for installing the speedgates at the facility was to reduce operating costs and improve the visitor experience by allowing customers to self-manage their own entry and exit to the facility. This also meant staff could focus on good customer service rather than ‘transacting’ with people, Mr Ellis said.
“From my perspective, the best thing about effective entrance control is that I don’t have to worry about or think about it. We are not having to assist customers who have issues with getting in, they are finding it easy and it’s very intuitive. The new turnstiles allow us to direct resources to the right place to get the best bang for our buck.”