One look at the latest headlines — a volatile stock market, high gas prices and a faltering residential housing industry — may send you reaching for the antacid, but from where I sit, there’s no need to hit the panic button just yet. In spite of the fact that more of the experts are starting to use the “R” word, opportunity is knocking! Because it offers a relatively inexpensive escape, something that we all need, even in a down market, the industry has been called recession-proof. Although that may be overly optimistic, numbers suggest there is some truth to that sentiment.
The Construction Report 2008, an annual report from JLC Hospitality Consulting, suggests this will be another growth year for the indoor waterpark resort industry. Author’s Jeff Coy and Bill Haralson predict that 55 new resorts will open in 2008. This means that even with all of the negatives, operators have a unique opportunity to attract new markets and consider cutting edge trends.
According to the report, a weak dollar means you’re likely to see more international tourists. In addition, the growth in the industry over the past several years (more than 450 percent since 2000) means the indoor waterpark resort industry is changing and that, in itself can create opportunities for new markets. Have you considered how you might attract business travelers or adult-only traveling parties? Dan Martin of Economic Research Associates discusses this idea in the current issue of Waterpark Resorts Today.
To sustain growth, indoor waterpark resorts will have to stay on the cutting edge and when it comes to new trends, one thing you might want to consider is the idea of extreme aquatics. Several developments throughout the nation are embracing this idea, featuring high-thrill attractions that engage participants and spectators. You can also learn more about this in the current issue of Waterpark Resorts Today.
Whether your property is brand new or more established, if you continue to take advantage of these and other smart opportunities for expansion, it’s a safe bet patrons will keep coming and you’ll weather whatever storms the economic climate develops.