Ballast VR, a pioneer in aquatic virtual reality experiences for waterparks, has expanded its partnership with Welk Resorts, in order to offer the DIVR underwater virtual reality experience at Welk’s Breckenridge vacation resort. The product has already proved popular at two of the company’s California resorts, where it has been available since 2020.
Delivering cutting-edge experiences
While announcing an impending acquisition by Marriott Vacations Worldwide, a press release from Welk Resorts said: “Over the years, the company has also become known for its award-winning activity programming called INSPIRED For You with underwater virtual reality, escape rooms, digital printers and other innovative experiences.”
Despite the global pandemic, Welk Resorts has been able to offer innovative socially distanced activities, like themed escape rooms, 3D printing courses and underwater virtual reality.
Patrick Dolan, Welk Resorts’ Chief Fun Officer said: “Our resort group prides itself on offering the most cutting edge on-site experiences and this year, DIVR has delivered that for our guests. They are fascinated to find out what underwater virtual reality is and always come away with a sense of amazement.
“DIVR differentiates our resorts from others in our market. It helps us book rooms, sell memberships and create organic social media buzz. It has been a profitable decision for us since the outset.”
Exploring new worlds
The company first offered the DIVR experience at its San Diego, California location in Spring 2020, followed by Palm Springs, California in autumn 2020. Now, from spring 2021, guests at the Breckenridge, Colorado location will be able to enjoy DIVR too.
The activity takes place in the resort pool where visitors don the DIVR headset, allowing them to virtually explore underwater wrecks, caves and submarines while swimming with sea life or adventuring in the sunken city of Atlantis. But that’s not all – they can also fly down a mountain slope, over waterfalls and through canyons, or even explore the International Space Station.
“Most pool attractions involve heavy capital investment and long development timelines,” said Dolan. “With DIVR, we have been able to offer something entirely new to our guests and monetize the pool experience, without shutting down facilities for development. The system has been extremely simple to implement at our resorts. It can be stored in a small space and takes about a day to set up and train the team.
“It’s extremely straightforward to operate and delivers an enormous impact on our guests.”
After connecting with Ballast VR at IAAPA Expo 2019, Welk Resorts decided to add DIVR to its award-winning INSPIRED For You activity programme, which offers a wide range of interesting and family-friendly experiences.
Ballast VR also recently announced that DIVR is available at Yas Waterworld in Abu Dhabi, making it the UAE’s first aquatic VR experience.