Amy and Duane Cahill test drive some of the play equipment after taking over management rights of the Play Quest indoor children’s play centre in Lismore.
Amy and Duane Cahill test drive some of the play equipment after taking over management rights of the Play Quest indoor children’s play centre in Lismore. David Nielsen

Running business is child’s play

AMY and Duane Cahill didn’t know Lismore’s indoor children’s play centre Play Quest existed until one of their children was invited to a party there last Easter.

On their first visit it didn’t take long for the couple to realise the centre’s potential.

“We were looking for a change and we noticed a for sale sign out the front,” Mrs Cahill said. “We couldn’t afford it so we asked them about buying the management rights and they agreed.”

The couple took over running the centre a fortnight ago and are already adding their own touches, such as extended hours, and are making plans to boost business in the lead-up to the all-important summer school holidays.

The Cahills have a good pedigree for running the centre. They have five children of their own, and Mrs Cahill has previous experience running her own legal administration business for six years.

Most parents will already know the concept of Play Quest, but tucked away at the rear of the Magellan Arcade off Magellan Street, many may not know it is there.

The indoor play centre is bulging with equipment, including the compulsory slippery dip, a large jumping castle, a ball pit and a climbing wall.

There is a separate enclosed play area for younger children. While they play their older siblings can use the wireless computers or read from a selection of books; while parents indulge in coffee and food at tables with a full view of their children.

The centre can cater for about 110 children at any one time and has separate party areas that can be booked.

“It’s a safe environment for kids to play,” Mrs Cahill said. “In the park they can run away and you can’t keep your eye on them all the time.” Over the last two weeks, the couple has been slowly modernising the business.

With the rise in nut-related allergies, particularly in children, the Cahills are in the midst of re-doing the cafe’s menu. “We are working towards making it totally nut-free so children with allergies can come here,” Mrs Cahill said.

“I have coeliac disease so we are also bringing in gluten-free items on the menu and generally healthier fresh foods.”

For those interested in buying the centre with management in place, it is still for sale through Wal Murray and Co at Alstonville.



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