Building a wakepark in a partially active gravel pit
East Park Bartenheim – Full Size Cable
Difficulty level: HIGH
Project type: Successful repurposing of an industrially used water body
Location: Bartenheim, France
Property: East Park Bartenheim
Installation period: 2022
Product: 1x Wakeparx Full Size Cable
Specifications: 5-tower FSC system, 9 carriers, 686,5 m cable length, clockwise, with 3 premium deflection units
With our reference project at East Park Bartenheim, we can demonstrate that the establishment of a wakepark is also achievable on a water body that is partially still used for industrial purposes.
Bartenheim is a small municipality in the northeastern part of France, situated in close proximity to the borders of Germany and Switzerland. Our clients, who are enthusiastic wakeboarders themselves, had the desire to establish a wakepark here, turning their passion into a profession and harnessing the potential offered by Bartenheim due to its location in the triangle border region. They identified an already excavated section of a gravel pit as the ideal location for their venture. The site was intended for alternative repurposing, while other parts of the lake were still actively used for gravel extraction.
Our clients’ goal was to create a successful wakepark business concept for site redevelopment, making the region more appealing economically and from a tourism perspective by introducing a new leisure attraction. Through the construction of a premium-quality Wakeparx 5-tower full-size facility we assisted in making this goal a reality.
© Vincent Jeannerat
Baseline: industrial used gravel plant
Soil: gravel and sand
Water: artificial lake created by gravel mining
Depth: 2 to 5 m
Access: had to be created (previously only possible via gravel plant)
The East Park Bartenheim project had two primary objectives. Firstly, driven by their passion for the sport, our clients aimed to make wakeboarding more popular and to bring its associated lifestyle closer to people, transcending the boundaries of France. The project’s location in the border triangle made it an ideal hub for this purpose. Their vision encompassed not only catering to experienced wakeboarders but also providing beginners with the opportunity to discover and learn the sport under optimal conditions.
Secondly, by establishing a wakepark, our clients sought to devise a sustainable and profitable plan for repurposing the gravel plant, which was still partially engaged in industrial activities. The goal was to create a recreational facility that would enhance the overall attractiveness of the site, generate tangible benefits for the local community and prove economically profitable.
Our clients demonstrated unwavering determination and perseverance throughout the long process of obtaining the necessary approvals. Our mission was to transform their vision into reality, utilizing our innovative technology, competence and experience. Right from the outset, we were met with a high level of trust, which greatly enriched our collaboration. The project presented us with various challenges, and in response, we developed ingenious solutions that we take great pride in.
© Vincent Jeannerat
© Vincent Jeannerat
The East Park Bartenheim project demanded a significant level of technical expertise and exceptional organizational skills. Numerous challenges needed to be overcome during the construction phase. Firstly, the wakeboard facility had to be adapted to suit the existing water body’s conditions. This required the installation of all five towers for our full-size cable system in the water, a task that involved a substantial amount of work, particularly for anchor placement. Moreover, at the explicit request of our clients, we incorporated three Wakeparx premium deflection units into the facility design, to make it more beginner-friendly. We were delighted to meet this request.
The client hired a company to build the starting dock, which was constructed as a steel girder framework, assembled on-site, and then placed into the water using a crane. Delays in the delivery of steel and material shortages posed a risk to the project schedule. However, thanks to the exceptional collaboration between our clients, their team and our staff we successfully managed to recover a significant amount of time that had been lost earlier.
Additionally, the establishment of the entire necessary infrastructure posed challenges. In particular, connecting to the public electricity supply proved to be problematic. It took nearly a year from the initial application until the connection to the public grid was eventually established. Consequently, we had to rely on an industrial generator temporarily, both during the initial construction phase and the early stages of operation. A permanent connection to the public electricity grid is of utmost importance as it offers greater sustainability and reliability. Hence, it should be pursued as an early consideration during the planning phase. This principle extends to other utility connections, such as freshwater and wastewater, particularly when the wakepark is situated in a rural, remote or underdeveloped area.
The entire construction of the wakepark occurred concurrently with the open-pit mining operations at the gravel plant. While the designated area for the wakeboard facility was no longer in industrial use, gravel extraction continued in the adjacent area. As a result, we needed to plan and execute our activities with minimal disruption to both operations, a feat we accomplished successfully through efficient time management and meticulous organization.
© Vincent Jeannerat
Existing water body: adjustments to existing water body
Coordination: installation of the facility had to be coordinated with gravel mining work
Infrastructure: construction work without a permanent connection to the main power supply
- Soil & Property Conditions
- Location & Accessibility
The East Park Bartenheim not only demonstrates that a wakepark is an excellent solution for repurposing an industrially utilized water body into a profitable venture, but it also exemplifies that the construction and operation of a wakepark are feasible even when the industrial primary use is ongoing in certain other areas. A wakeboard facility thus remains a viable option for those seeking an alternative reuse for a gravel pit, quarry lake or any other industrially used water body that still maintains economic activities.
Furthermore, East Park Bartenheim serves as a great example of the lucrative potential that can arise from a wakepark business. Our clients recognized the power of synergies from the very beginning and expanded the array of leisure and entertainment options for visitors, including stand-up paddling, yoga, an Aqua Park, events and gastronomy. The success of these endeavors speaks for itself. Despite its relatively young age, East Park Bartenheim has already established itself as a true flagship project to which we gladly refer other clients seeking advice or inspiration. The owners of East Park Bartenheim have become a valuable resource and knowledgeable point of contact for those interested in building a wakepark or advancing their facility.
We are delighted and proud to have assisted our clients in laying the foundation for such a successful venture with the construction of our Wakeparx full size cable. What began as an intensive and trust-based business relationship has evolved into a warm and friendly partnership, where mutual support and appreciation thrive. We hold great respect for the remarkable collaboration that characterizes our clients and their team and we are pleased that we could contribute to realizing their dream of a wakepark with our technology and skills.
© Vincent Jeannerat
Thank you for reading this far. If you’re interested in firsthand experiences, we’d be delighted to organize on-site visits and connect you with East Park Bartenheim!
Address: Lac de l’Est, 21 Rue du Printemps | 68870 Bartenheim, France
Get in touch!
Please contact us if you have questions or want to inquire about our services worldwide. Make sure to include all relevant information, like water depth and the size and type of the body of water to enable us to get a good understanding of your project’s circumstances. Don’t have the numbers at the ready or still doing research? Try our free online wakepark planning tool!