``Everyone in Doetinchem benefits, including the retailers.``
Thanks to unique software and water and light effects, it is possible to create dozens of water games. From amusement parks to inner cities, Ice-World's experts can build the PlayFountain anywhere. The unique fountain is also located in Doetinchem. Jos Tiemessen is activities manager of Stichting Binnenstadbedrijf Doetinchem and is more than enthusiastic. ``Everyone in Doetinchem benefits, including the retailers.``
Doetinchem is a compact city with a population of 60,000. 260 stores and 80 catering establishments make for an attractive city center to visit. Yet something was missing, Tiemessen and his team also thought. With Stichting Binnenstadbedrijf Doetinchem, they set out to make the city center attractive, to attract more visitors to the city, extend their stay and encourage return visits. With the Doetinchem downtown brand, Lekker. Doetinchem, they put the center of Doetinchem on the map.
The PlayFountain turned out to be a hit. “The fountain is located on a very beautiful square around the Catharinakerk. This square is lined with terraces, there really isn’t a more beautiful spot. Then you see that it offers a plus in a lot of areas, because if children are enjoying themselves, then the parents or caregivers are enjoying themselves as well. It’s a wonderful marketing tool and everyone benefits. We all want people to stay downtown longer and spend more money. The PlayFountain provides that.”
From place to buy to the place to be
Ice-World has been ensuring that Doetinchem has an ice rink in winter for almost 20 years. Tiemessen: “But during the hot days, what to do in the inner city? In one of the conversations with Ice-World, we came up with the possibility of the PlayFountain for downtowns. “I’d like to have that here,” I said immediately.”
According to Doetinchem’s marketers, the city center is increasingly becoming a place to be, rather than a place to buy. They are becoming meeting places for young and old. Stichting Binnenstadbedrijf Doetinchem is making every effort to appeal to as large a target group as possible. “With PlayFountain, not only people from the region, but also tourists consciously choose to visit. It makes the shopping city more attractive. And on the weekends, dance schools from Doetinchem organize dance performances. They do the same on the PlayFountain, with the sprinklers on. Together with the light show it makes a beautiful spectacle. We then have just a thousand visitors standing around the performance, and that at ten o’clock in the evening.”
Success for any inner city
We live in a time of change and redevelopment. And with the current climate, inner cities should also have heat stress spots. “Now in the hot months we have a prime spot for cooling,” he said. If it’s up to Tiemessen, the PlayFountain can last for years to come. “People choose Doetinchem because there is a PlayFountain. It’s what you’re looking for as a city to attract more people to your downtown. I like having been part of the development of PlayFountain. And the investment is well worth it. A success story.”
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