For many, an overwhelming sense of nostalgia often takes over at the sight of an old-fashioned playground. The mass of bars, the worn-down grass interspersed with patches of exposed dirt, and even the blisteringly hot surface of a metal slide ... they all hearken back to the more carefree days of childhood.
And while the phrase “some things never change” can be applied to a great many things, the ever-evolving playground is not one of them. Today’s play systems are designed to be fully customizable, age appropriate and environmentally friendly. They are also extremely safe, and incorporate all sorts of materials: from galvanized metal and specially treated lumber to brightly colored (and recycled) plastics and rubber. The Goalsetter basketball hoops are 98-percent recycled steel and are made in the USA.
In central Ohio, these thoroughly modern contraptions are the bread and butter of Nick Andrews, manager of Pete Delois’ Recreations Outlet in Powell. The company’s inventory ranges from the nationally renowned Woodplay
Play Systems, to Goalrilla and Goalsetter Basketball Systems, to Springfree Trampolines. The 14,000-square-foot indoor showroom is also a hotspot for young children, as it’s open year-round for play and can be reserved for birthday parties.
“One thing we try to do here is sell high-quality products that are built to last a lifetime,” says Andrews. “Parents want to give their kids what they didn’t have, or better than what they did have. We look at warranties, durability and how well our products will hold up against the elements.”
And while mass merchants like Sam’s Club, Walmart and Toys “R” Us have started getting into the play system market, Andrews notes one big limitation. “Mass merchants just want to sell non-customizable swing sets,” he says. “Our clients can add to their chosen system, get replacement parts, or adjust the system without leveling their entire yard or building retaining walls.”
For more information, visit www.recreationsoutlet.com