15 Feb Altiplano: Lyon’s excellence in outdoor and indoor leisure activities
By Claire Le Meur, CEO of Blue Bees.
Today we are at the heart of the 3rd Exalto park, the latest addition to the Lyon-based Altiplano group, which has just opened its doors, a stone’s throw from the Groupama Stadium. Laure Teissier, assistant manager and Swiss pocket-knife of the group, opens the doors of this new playful sanctuary, imagined by Luc Peyre, president of the group, and Fabrice Deygas, his partner… Despite her young age, Laure will soon celebrate her 10th anniversary within the company, after having started as a co-op student worker!
The Altiplano group, which specializes in leisure activities, includes several branches: Altiplano Exploitation manages the France Aventures outdoor parks, located respectively in Fourvière (Lyon), Saint Etienne and Amneville, which are famous for their tree climbing courses. Exalto focuses on the indoor version, with three parks (Dardilly, Décines, Villeurbanne). Altiplano Construction, under the Urban Koncept brand, designs and manufactures all of its equipment (trampolines, Ninja courses, playful climbing walls) but also supplies other national and international leisure industry players. Finally, Altiplano Consulting puts all the French and European real estate companies in touch with a large base of operators to support their respective leisure development plans. And let’s not forget Treetop Quest, the American version of France Aventures, which already has four parks in Georgia and Pennsylvania!
The adventure began exactly 20 years ago! The adventure parks initiated the adventure, soon followed by the indoor parks to complete the offer, depending upon the opportunities that arose over time.
The group’s dream? To offer quality moments for all, as much in terms of the welcome, in the place itself as in the activities, on all occasions. Altiplano also aims at continuing to cover Lyon with a fourth Exalto park, in addition to those already in Décines, Villeurbanne and Dardilly, in the south-west of Lyon… (Right next to the Bees‘ headquarters, that would be wonderful!)
The Exalto concept is clear: combine a playful space with a quiet restaurant area and meeting/anniversary rooms, welcome people of all ages, but also companies.
However, the activities are different from one park to the next, depending on the audience for which the activities are intended. Thus, at the heart of the latest park, there are two unique activities: Air Warrior (giant inflatable obstacle course) and Prison Island, especially dedicated to corporate events and seminars. Prison Island is a Swedish concept, unique in the Lyon area. A sort of mini Fort Boyard, with an olympic feel, with a puzzle to solve, in thirty rooms, in a limited time. Enough to make muscles and neurons work together! Dardilly, on the other hand, has 7 indoor activities including a bowling alley, four karaoke boxes and three escape games, which will delight children, families and companies alike.
It must be said that there is no lack of space to develop multiple and varied activities: each location has a total surface area of more than 3,000 m2 – 3,500 m2 for the latest Exalto!
However, the adventure has not always been easy. There have been difficulties. For instance, Dardilly site was designed in two stages: the bowling alley opened two weeks before the first lockdown! The communication budget had been used up at the time of the launch and it was necessary to deploy as much effort as imagination to make the place known, once the reopening was possible. The group decided to open a King Marcel franchise in Dardilly – a Lyon-based brand – in order to offer a nice restaurant. If everything is ready in June, the beautiful terrace will have to wait until the beginning of October to welcome the hungry ones because it is extremely difficult to recruit in the restaurant business – especially when it is a matter of recruiting a whole team… The problem of recruitment is also true for the leisure industry as a whole, which involves working when most people are not working: weekends, evenings, vacations.
But there are also great memories, especially with each new Exalto park opening. There’s nothing like the line-up that forms on opening day after months of hard work to warm the heart.
Since its creation, the group’s success has not wavered: each park now welcomes 60,000 people per year. Thirty people work full time for the Altiplano group, in addition to the seasonal contracts and students recruited each year. The average age of the teams is 25 years old and 30 years old in the offices: perfect to create a great dynamic!
And if the flagship activity of the Exalto has long been the trampoline – which made their reputation – the other activities of the leisure multiplexes (escape game, Prison Island, karaoke box, laser ball, etc.) are now competing for the podium. Laure admits that her favorite is the cosy and warm bowling alley in Dardilly.
The parks are also masters in celebrating all occasions: birthdays, bachelor’s parties, company seminars or simply a fun moment with friends. Numerous theme parties are also organized in the Exalto parks. The next event to mark your calendar is the Prison Island Carnival, which promises to be very colorful!
The Bees wish a long life to the adventures of the group, a reference in Lyon in terms of leisure activities, which we are honored and proud to accompany on a daily basis.