Studying to Build a Water Park
If you don’t have the market draw in your location, building a waterpark too big will increase your expenses, but not your revenues. If you build it too small, you may not have the amenities to attract a large segment of the population. Paying for a feasibility study at this early stage may be the best money you could spend in helping to define your market while determining realistic outcomes. It’s a small fraction of what your waterpark will cost that will save you from making expensive mistakes later.
One of the biggest mistakes people make is underestimating the cost of operating a waterpark. Labor alone can make up 50-60% of your operating budget. With all the turns and blind spots in a waterpark, the lifeguard requirement is significantly higher than a traditional style pool. Also, it’s not just one recirculation pump running now. You may have a dozen or more pumps running aquatic activities and features, which demand a lot of energy. And don’t forget all those patrons coming to your waterpark bring dirt, organic matter, bacteria, hair, makeup, suntan/body oils, and other debris into your pools, which significantly increase your chemical demand.
The other mistake is getting too excited about all the money that can be made. People often go to a waterpark on a Saturday and think, “Wow look at all these people … this place must be making a fortune.” But during the week there might be a fraction of this attendance. You may hit your capacity every Saturday, but during the work week attendance drops off, not to mention the weather factor that could cause closer and school calendars that recess for the summer in mid-June, while others start back in mid-August.
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