Mad business idea no. 3249


Imagine an indoor swimming pool with a sand beach ringed by palm trees, with banana lounges, Balinese huts, waiters in boardies, Girl From Ipanema on the sound system, a hunky lifeguard, and a beachy homewares store at the entrance

Welcome to ZanziBar … My fantasy kids’ waterplay centre by day, kitschy bar by night. Mothers groups would flock to it, as would bored kids on school hols and families on rainy weekends. Even the funky set would oooh and ahhhh, raving that it echoed the ambience of Sky Bar at the Mondrian Hotel in Los Angeles (except with sand, even better!)

People could get their year-round tropical fix, no matter the weather, without fear of blue bottles or sunburn.

The Japanese, who specialise in doing over-the-top stuff right, created an indoor beach called Ocean Dome, south of Tokyo on Kyushu Island (and currently closed for renovation). It’s pictured above and cost $2billion to build … Which is a bit more than I was planning to spend. Unless there’s a cashed up billionaire lurking around who thinks my idea rocks.


Speaking of rocking, the Hard Rock Hotel in Singapore has an awesome sand pool – pictured below – that’s pretty fabulous too. We took the Sprogs there last year and they absolutely loved it. Bugger any other attractions Singapore might have, they didn’t want to leave the fake beach (created at vast expense using sand shipped from Western Australia).


I was chatting yesterday to an old friend who reckons if she won the lottery she’d build a roller skating rink. Well, if I win I’m building ZanziBar. At least, that’s the plan today. Tomorrow I might revert to the stuffed-toy pet shop, or the ’80s disco, or the wine bar, or the Babies R Us for dolls, or the retro magazine, or the shop full of cool American stuff. I’m fickle like that.

Do you have any crazy business ideas?

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