Back in Business: Fresh start for Top Fun Merimbula

Top Fun welcomes vaccinated patrons to the amusement venue in Merimbula. Photo supplied

Top Fun welcomes vaccinated patrons to the amusement venue in Merimbula. Photo supplied

Merimbula amusement centre Top Fun has opened its doors to welcome vaccinated visitors back to the popular venue.

Top Fun manager Andrew Fox said although he had mixed feelings about allowing only vaccinated patrons in, he and staff understood it was the only way forward.

"I think people are starting to realise the only way that we're going to get back to some sort of normal, is to do what the government wants us to do, to get vaccinated, whether you agree with it or not," Mr Fox said.

Mr Fox said being a holiday destination, Top Fun needed visitors from Victoria, ACT and other NSW local government areas.

"We need the tourists to come back, so everyone needs to pull up their socks, so when they eventually come across the border we've got nice, clean, welcoming venues for them to come to," he said.

READ ALSO:

Like other businesses in the Bega Valley, Mr Fox felt conflicted about refusing entry to non-vaccinated patrons.

"I'd rather be able to welcome everyone in and not have to turn anybody away. Especially the ones that have only had one shot," he said.

"I think it's silly that if you've had one shot, you can't come in. There's not a single person I've ever come across that's had one shot that's not going to have the second shot.

"Their money is the same colour as everyone else's, I've no problem with them coming and spending it either. But we can't afford the $5000 fine, so we're just trying to follow the law the best we can," he said.

An inside peek of the Top Fun amusement centre located in Merimbula CBD. Photo supplied

An inside peek of the Top Fun amusement centre located in Merimbula CBD. Photo supplied

Mr Fox said so far Top Fun hadn't had much trouble with visitors following the rules.

"We haven't had to turn a lot of people away, but the ones that you do turn away seem to be the people that want to get on the internet and give us a bad review," he said.

Mr Fox said it's not the fault of the business and that most businesses don't want to cause issues.

"You don't want to start a slanging match with people, when you're just trying to trying to do what you're told to do," he said.

READ ALSO:

Mr Fox said they have come up with ways to break the ice with customers after demanding check ins and proof of vaccination status.

These include bringing up conversational questions and learning to smile with their eyes.

"It's hard at the moment because you can't see smiles on people's faces, which is a bit of a shame, so you've got to learn to start smiling with your eyes, which is a bit of a skill."

Mr Fox said he'd also noticed resilience in the kids coming to Top Fun and their ability to remember all the steps of checking into a venue.

"They'll go straight up to the sanitising station, they'll sanitise their hands, it's almost like a reflex action now," he said.

"Half the parents don't have to tell them to do it, they just know to do it, it's becoming sort of part of their life. It's not so alien anymore."

Are you getting our daily headlines in your email? Sign up below

This story Post-COVID playtime at Top Fun Merimbula first appeared on Bega District News.