Surf Lakes plans global expansion after CQ prototype
SURF Lakes says it is entering a '"global expansion phase” following the success of its demonstration facility at Yeppoon.
However, in a blow to local surfers, the demonstration site at Yeppoon (20km east of Rockhampton) will remain just that unless an investor buys the facility.
Spokesman Wayne Dart said the wave demonstration last month was enough to satisfy investors as more than 200 parties scrambled to seek licensing information.
"The footage that we gathered from the few test days basically circulated throughout the world,” Mr Dart said.
"The potential licensees were so excited, and now they are really, really keen to move forward with their own constructions.
"Now that they have seen it, they love it and they want to move forward.”
Surf Lakes has already dealt licences for wave pool technology to six developers in Australia, the US and Europe.
Locations include Western Australia, California, Arizona, Spain, London and Brazil.
The licensing means the technology - the mechanism that creates the wave - will be exactly the same as the Yeppoon model.
However, the waves in the developments are expected to vary from the initial trial, Mr Dart said.
"There will be different shaped lakes, different shapes and sizes of waves built with different purposes,” he said.
The developments will be a far cry from the prototype at Yeppoon.
"Some are resort-style models built within an existing private community with golf courses and mountain biking already established,” Mr Dart said.
"Others will be full commercial water park styles.”
"The concept and technology will be the same but the lakes and intentions of developers will change.”
Mr Dart said Surf Lakes would continue to control the Yeppoon site for "at least two years” but it was unlikely to become a commercial facility.
"Short term, it will be maintained as a demonstration site for licensees to visit and further understand the technology; and demonstrate the concept,” he said.
There had been local inquiries into the project about public accessibility, but Mr Dart said it was a long way off being up to public safety standards.
He believed unless an investor was willing to pay to get it up to standard, it would not become a commercial park.
"It was never built to be a commercial facility, and there is no infrastructure around to support it,” Mr Dart said.
"It would almost need a complete rebuild to get to commercial standard.”
Mr Dart said a backer buying the site's licence was the only way the Yeppoon lake would become a commercial venue.
Surf Lakes has recently appointed a new independent chairman, Paul Hardy, former CEO of Aurecon.
Mr Dart said Mr Hardy would help drive the company through its massive expansion phase.
"He has a wealth of experience managing global companies; he has managed over 8000 employees around the world,” he said.
"He has a good knowledge of high-end engineering all over the world, and the ins and outs of big business.”
Mr Dart said Mr Hardy would give "solid direction” to the Surf Lakes board as it continued to revolutionise surfing.