Luna Park Sydney hosted the 2016 Australian Amusement Leisure and Recreation Association Conference (AALARA) this week, marking the first time the national conference was held at an amusement park and a return to Sydney after a 15-year hiatus.
Over three days, 200 delegates experienced the vast scope of Luna Park’s offering, including a carnival-style welcome reception at Coney Island, conference sessions in the heritage listed Crystal Palace, Sonar Room and Popcorn Hall, before rounding out the event enjoying a gala dinner in the Grand Ballroom.
Conference delegate, Greg O’Neill from Amusement & Leisure Services, was thrilled to be enjoying the hospitality of one of the most famous amusement parks in Australia, saying:
“AALARA being hosted by Luna Park, one of the most recognisable amusement parks in the country, really inspired us delegates to put our heads together and discuss what we offer the public, individually and collectively, and ways to move the amusement and leisure industry forward in the future.
“The attractions industry in the Asia Pacific region is booming and new attractions are driving more and more people to seek out hands-on entertainment even in the current digital age. The attractions industry is always evolving and we are constantly coming up with new experiences to surprise and delight our visitors,” Mr O’Neill said.
Speaking at the conference’s welcome reception on Wednesday evening, Luna Park Sydney’s Managing Director, Peter Hearne, gave a brief overview of the Luna Park’s 80-year history and touched the elements that make Luna Park such a sought-after venue space.
“At different points over the years, we have upgraded the Park and venue spaces with state of the art modern refurbishments, while managing to preserve its authenticity and 1930s style design. We’ve nurtured a deep sense of history and tradition within the Park and our venue spaces, but we’re constantly innovating and modernising to remain competitive and relevant in today’s marketplace,” Peter Hearne said.
“Our dedicated team, waterfront location and world-class catering are just some of the things that keep our guests coming back. We hope that you experience the magic and leave with a smile on your face,” he said.
Warwick Doughty, Luna Park’s Director, added:
“The attractions industry in the Asia Pacific region is booming and new attractions are driving more and more people to seek out hands-on entertainment even in the current digital age. The attractions industry is always evolving and we are constantly coming up with new experiences to surprise and delight our visitors.
“What better location to discuss the industry of fun than right here at Luna Park. It was a pleasure to welcome our industry colleagues and friends to Luna Park to experience our award winning facilities and service.”
Award-winning Executive Chef, Mark Taylor, prepared fresh and local ingredients for the delegates to enjoy in the conference sessions, as well as the three-course gala dinner on Wednesday evening.
Guests began the meal with an alternate service entrée consisting of curry leaf and chilli marinated prawns, served with a coconut ad tamarind chutney and a side of crispy turmeric tortillas or a pulled pork salad with caramelised shallot charred baby corn, quinoa and coriander, topped with a smoked chilli jam and yuzu dressing.
The main course was a tarragon and preserved lemon roast chicken breast, red capsicum fettuccine and a warm asparagus, olive & haloumi salad napped with a sun dried tomato jus and a sage, or a garlic marinated lamb shank nestled upon a bed of chorizo potato mash, served with wilted almond spinach, honey roasted baby carrots and topped with a sage jus.