Press Releases

OpenAire showcases accomplishments in retractable enclosures at IAAPA Attractions Expo 2017

November 9, 2017

The retractable enclosure company celebrates record-breaking work on Epic Waters in Grand Prairie, Texas; Kalahari Pocono Mountains; and other successes internationally

The OpenAire team is very excited to showcase their company’s recent accomplishments in year-round retractable enclosures at this year’s International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA)’s Attractions Expo in Orlando, FL. OpenAire has created hundreds of highly successful custom enclosures for waterparks, aquatic attractions and many other venues around the world since 1989. At this year’s IAAPA, the company has chosen to highlight several of its recent successful developments and other projects now in progress.

One of OpenAire’s more recent accomplishments is also one of its most notable: the incredible new Epic Waters Indoor Waterpark in Grand Prairie, Texas. Epic Waters covers 80,000 square feet and includes a huge 62,000-square-foot retractable roof enclosure, the largest indoor waterpark under a single custom curved retractable roof in the USA. The soaring enclosure was completed by OpenAire this fall and unveiled to the public at an exciting media event where the Mayor of Grand Prairie opened the curved roof’s 40 operable panels for the first time with the flip of a switch. Participants were amazed as daylight and fresh air flooded the huge space. Beneath the dynamic enclosure, this innovative year-round facility features some of the most exciting waterslides and attractions in the southwestern United States, which can all be kept in ideal sunlit conditions at any time of year thanks to its translucent panels. These are the kinds of quality features that clients have come to expect from OpenAire.

Epic Waters is only one part of the City of Grand Prairie’s ambitious 172-acre Epic Grand Central recreation center, which features innovative indoor and outdoor facilities for people of all ages and abilities. Both Epic Waters and Epic Grand Central have helped the City of Grand Prairie earn the National Recreation and Parks Association (NRPA)’s 2017 Gold Medal Award for communities demonstrating innovation and forward thinking in parks development. OpenAire is excited to bring this epic project to the public at the park’s grand opening later this year.

One of San Diego’s most iconic parks, The Plunge in Mission Beach’s Belmont Park, is undergoing a 29,330 square-foot transformation. OpenAire is currently building an aluminum-framed retractable enclosure for The Plunge’s indoor swimming pool. The enclosure features a brand-new, 25-foot-wide two-story mezzanine along its 203-foot length, providing an enjoyable place for swimmers to access the pool or relax. This durable, sunlit enclosure will be faithful to the pool’s beloved 91-year-old design while adding a beautiful new architectural solution that will resist corrosion and require very little maintenance for years to come.

Earlier in 2017, OpenAire completed another record-breaking aquatic development in Pocono Mountains, Pennsylvania. Kalahari Pocono Mountains Resort and Waterpark returned to OpenAire to create a series of three skylights, two large translucent roofs, three glass clearstories and two high glass walls for a 120,000-square-foot addition to its African-themed waterpark. The new addition was made following the success of the resort’s first 100,000-square-foot expansion in 2015. These renovations brought the waterpark to a total of 220,000 square feet, making it the largest indoor water park in the United States. OpenAire’s retractable enclosures and skylights provide vast areas of the waterpark with natural light. The newly-expanded park opened in the spring of 2017 to tremendous enthusiasm from visitors; the resort has been consistently booked since its opening as guests flock to experience the outdoor-style aquatic space.

2017 also proved to be a year of great growth for local community pools and waterparks across the United States, including the Batesville Community Center and Aquatics Center in Batesville, Arkansas. This year, Batesville opened a 21,000-square-foot double slope retractable enclosure built by OpenAire. The enclosure’s natural lighting and ventilation helped to make the indoor section of the Aquatic Center cost-effective for the town and has dazzled swimmers since its opening.

Innovative work is also underway on many new projects internationally. In Moscow, Russia, OpenAire has now shipped all required materials to begin installing a custom 75,000-square-foot curved-roof retractable skylight for a new indoor Aquapark facility at the iconic Luzhniki Olympic Complex. The aluminum-framed, polycarbonate-paneled enclosure will let visitors from around the world enjoy a naturally-lit aquatic experience year-round. Meanwhile, in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, an OpenAire crew is hard at work installing a unique elliptical dome skylight for the new Sharjah Shopping Mall. The insulated glass dome measures 243 feet long by 154 feet wide and 69 feet high above the rooftop. It is designed in a series of concentric rings to create a vibrant, weightless feeling for those inside. The first ring has now been installed with more soon to be completed. It is an exciting time for these projects and many others around the world.

Since last year, OpenAire has also completed many successful projects for local businesses, including several enclosures for restaurants across the USA and Canada. These are: the second of two 20-foot by 48-foot skylights for the Crooked Cue Restaurant and Pool Hall in Toronto; the Hyatt House Jersey City’s 3,600-square-foot rooftop bar in Jersey City, NJ; a 70-foot by 23-foot skylight for the new Gibson Italia steakhouse at River Point Tower’s fourth-floor rooftop restaurant in Chicago; a 30-foot by 44-foot glass patio enclosure for Kellys Landing in Toronto; a new restaurant property with a 120-foot by 18-foot patio skylight at 3080 Yonge Street in Toronto; and a telescoping rooftop skylight for a historic 4,600-square-foot property at 150 State Street in downtown Boston. Most recently, a new Boston Pizza restaurant in the heart of Downtown Toronto unveiled a 50-foot by 30-foot retractable skylight built by OpenAire this October, the first of its kind in the Boston Pizza franchise.

Two more exciting restaurant developments are now underway as well. In Toronto, hip-hop superstar Drake has confirmed that he will be opening a new restaurant and bar known as Pick 6ix Toronto. The new bar will feature an eye-catching 2,200-square-foot, lean-to retractable patio enclosure from OpenAire. This highly anticipated project is sure to become a hot feature of downtown Toronto’s nightlife. OpenAire was also appointed this year to build a retractable enclosure for a rooftop restaurant at the brand-new 711 Building in Columbus, Ohio’s Short North neighbourhood. This 1,200-square-foot patio enclosure will span across one side of the tower’s ninth story, providing panoramic views of the surrounding area. The restaurant will be the crowning feature to one of Columbus’ most ambitious multi-use tower developments in recent history. OpenAire is proud to continue bringing natural light and open skies to new restaurant clients internationally and looks forward to more successful projects.

These are only some of the innovative retractable enclosure projects that OpenAire is building for amusement attractions, restaurants, and other venues around the world. With a wide variety of successful custom designs and many design advantages, such as year-round operability and energy savings thanks to their abundant natural light and ventilation, OpenAire solutions are the clear choice for attraction owners and organizations looking to expand their business opportunities throughout the year.

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