There was no one to be seen at Mini Monkeys Play Zone on the first day of school holidays on Monday.
There was no one to be seen at Mini Monkeys Play Zone on the first day of school holidays on Monday.

‘Not a soul’: School holiday struggles for Gympie business

A POPULAR, family friendly Gympie region hotspot is struggling to get any numbers through the door, even with school holidays underway.

The Mini Monkeys Play Zone (formerly the Gympie Jungle) had “not a soul in sight” as of Monday morning, and was forced to cancel a disco late last week because there had only been one booking.

Tamara Monaghan of the Mini Monkeys Play Zone.
Tamara Monaghan of the Mini Monkeys Play Zone.

Mini Monkeys owner Tamara Monaghan said the latest setback was “a big shock” on top of everything else the business had endured so far this year.

“It’s a big shock for us, especially because since we’ve had the business we’ve already gone through quite a bit,” Ms Monaghan said.

“We got broken into within two weeks of being there, and then one of our good friends who used to own the business passed away, so that was very hard for us.

“We’re quite lucky that we’ve got really good landlords who have helped us out through COVID, which has given us some backing to revamp a little bit, changing the name and repainting it.

“It’s still not picking up.”

Mini Monkeys (formerly The Jungle) is a favourite for kids all over the region.
Mini Monkeys (formerly The Jungle) is a favourite for kids all over the region.

Despite the ongoing help of their landlords, Ms Monaghan said Mini Monkeys faced a grim future if conditions didn’t improve.

“To have a small business in Gympie is really quite hard. Even though our landlords are wonderful our rent is still significantly high. What we pay is something I would expect to pay in Sydney,” she said.

READ MORE: ‘Mary St landlords have to drop rent’, experts say

“My friend owns a play centre down there and she pays what I pay.

“It’s getting to the point where we are struggling. I don’t want to see the place close down, my kids love it here and I hear how great it is for the town from a lot of parents.”

Ms Monaghan said Mini Monkeys wouldn’t require bookings unless there were more than 60 patrons in the play zone at one time, and access to the arcade area was completely free.

The Mini Monkeys opening hours through the school holidays are 9:30am to 4pm Monday to Thursday, 10:30am to 9pm on Friday, 10:30am to 5pm Saturday and 10:30am to 4pm Sunday.

Mini Monkeys is located on 23 Tozer St, across the road from the Mary Valley Rattler.