Ensuring a smooth finish for Fiji resort pool

By Alice Richard
Monday, 05 December, 2016 | Supplied by: Blue Glass Pebble Company

There’s no good time, really, to close a resort pool. But the pool at the Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort was 16 years old and was in need of some love: the existing finish was breaking down and there was spalling in some areas.

A cost-benefit analysis revealed that it wasn’t economically viable to do spot repairs. Given the age of the existing surface, and the size and surface area of the pool, it needed to be completely closed down and emptied.

The resort’s management earmarked late January and February — the quietest time of the year — as the best time to undertake the repairs. They also reduced occupancy to 25% so the guests who were in residence could use the adult pool without it getting too overcrowded.

Image of the pool at the Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort.

While the resurfacing of the pool took about four weeks, the project actually commenced way back in 2014, with a whole host of factors needing to be planned out in detail first, including budgeting, supplier selection, resurfacing contractor selection, capital expenditure approval, workplace health and safety requirements and work permits. Travel wholesalers and travel agents also needed to be notified that the pool would be closed to guests.

“Research was carried out on different types of surfaces that would be suitable for our resort environment in Fiji. We had to be mindful of the time that would be required to carry out the project and we required a relatively smooth surface that looked great and stood out,” said Peter Hopgood, the resort’s general manager.

“We also had to be aware of other issues such as the weather, pool balancing and cleaning, maintenance and the ongoing costs associated with these. Having researched different products and then spoken with a number of pool finishers experienced in resort pools, we then carried out reference checks with other resorts.”

The resort pool at night.

The contractor selected to carry out the work, Graham Jones from Apex Pool Interiors, had worked extensively with the Blue Glass Pebble Company’s products and recommended them to the resort. Resort management travelled to the SPASA show in Melbourne in 2015 to meet with Michael Kettewell from the Blue Glass Pebble Company to discuss their needs.

“Michael was very responsive to any requests and satisfied us that we would get the end result we were after,” said Hopgood.

The resort pool is far from small: it has a surface area of approximately 1100 m2, a circumference of 220 m and holds 1.3 megalitres of water. In all, the project required 1100 bags of the Blue Glass Pebble Company’s premixed glass finish in the ‘Noosa’ colour, with each bag weighing 20 kg.

“From our perspective, as suppliers of the material, it was a very large order of ‘Noosa’, which had to be made on a schedule and packed in a way that would survive a sea journey well without going off in the extremely humid environment of a shipping container,” said Kettewell.

While it wasn’t the first order that the company had shipped overseas, it was the first of this scale. Kettewell said he researched the best way to transport the materials and also tried to envisage any problems that might arise during the shipping.

Image of the finished swimming pool.

“Michael ensured the product was shipped to Fiji in plenty of time prior to the project commencing and installed dehumidifiers in the container to minimise any product spoilage as he had taken into account the conditions that would be experienced in shipping and also the high humidity experienced at that time of the year in Fiji,” Hopgood said.

“The material was triple-wrapped and I bought 44 x 700 mL moisture absorbers (two for each pallet) which would take a total of 18.5 L of water out of the air in the humid container,” Kettewell explained.

“Feedback from contractors was that it worked perfectly and the material was in excellent condition when they used it.”

In the end, the project was completed ahead of time — and just as well. Cyclone Winston hit the island the day after the pool was completed. Needless to say, the resort management were very happy with the overall project, from start to finish.

“The pool looks great. We have had plenty of great comments from guests — in particular return guests who had seen and used the pool prior to the resurfacing,” said Hopgood.

Online: www.blueglasspebble.com.au
Phone: 1800 281 991
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