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splashing out Kathleen LaClair and Brian Sands delve into the market potential of multiple waterparks and how such growth can be sustained



photo: ©AHHAA

aterpark design is wide ranging. The established traditional, standalone, outdoor waterpark market has been joined by present-day trends for combined water/theme parks and, most recently, the growing popularity of all-season indoor water-based facilities. Regardless of type, as waterparks typically have lower development costs and higher operating margins than theme parks, it’s no surprise that they continue to be developed, even within markets housing existing waterparks. In fact, in metropolitan areas (barring entertainment markets like Orlando), only one major theme park can typically be sustained compared with multiple waterparks. As every market differs according to varying degrees of population density, age distribution, disposable income, existing entertainment options and competition – and as every theme park ranges in size and entertainment offering – it’s most likely a combination of all these factors that enables certain markets to successfully support multiple waterparks.