Every day the company's employees take blank pieces of foam and turn them into masterpieces. In their case, however, the works of art are not meant to just be admired. No, they're meant to be climbed, played with and jumped on.
That is because PLAYTIME is a manufacturer of indoor, outdoor and water play areas. The company designs and creates climbers, slides and crawl tunnels meant to engage children and encourage them to play. Their interactive playgrounds can be found in various locations from airports to water parks and shopping malls to sporting arenas worldwide.
In Denver, the company is best known for its very first play area, the breakfast sculptures at the Cherry Creek Shopping Center, as well as its replacement, "The Rocky Mountain Play Park," a village of Looney Toons characters, installed last August.
Work on each product begins in the company's "Creative Chamber," where artists take the clients ideas and turn them into conceptual drawings.
Dreams, however, are turned into reality in PLAYTIME's production shop where specialists interpret the two-dimensional drawings and begin to sculpt the creations out of large blocks of foam. In some cases a large computer-guided machine assists them, but the majority of the work is done by hand.
Over time, sculptors turn the white rectangles of foam into giant fish, bears and even castles.
These sculptures are eventually covered in a fiberglass coating, which strengthens them and then covered in an outer layer of foam, which makes the sculptures squishy. In some cases a steel skeleton is placed inside to provide additional support, especially in items that must support kids' weight.
Next, in a closed-off room, a giant rotisserie turns the creations as they receive a coating of what the company refers to as "goop." That coating is what creates the durable rubbery shell.
Each sculpture is then custom-painted and layered with a protective and glossy outer coating. The company says the shiny, smooth look attracts kids and helps repel germs.
The company doesn't miss a detail. It even designs special carpeting that is not only cushiony, but ties into the theme of the play area.
Each item is custom-designed, handcrafted and assembled at the company's headquarters in Englewood.
PLAYTIME has finished play areas for several large companies including McDonald's, Warner Bros., Coca-Cola, Toys "R" Us and LA Fitness.
PLAYTIME is one of 50 companies selected as a Colorado Company to Watch by the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade. For more information about the company go to their website: experienceplaytime.com
The Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade is accepting nominations for the 2011 Colorado Companies to Watch program. More information is available at companiestowatch.org
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