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Survey says...: our second annual waterpark survey reveals a confident industry that is embracing new technology and renovation. Find out the latest on everything from lifeguarding to water quality.

PARK PLACE The majority of waterparks are in the under 25,000 annual attendance category, suggesting that the community waterpark remains healthy. That is also reflected in the price of daily admissions and the number of season pass holders.
WHAT IS THE ANNUAL ATTENDANCE AT YOUR
WATERPARK?

More than 300,000     11.1%
200,000 to 300,000     5.8%
100,000 to 200,000    14.8%
50,000 to 100,000     24.3%
25,000 to 50,000      16.4%
under 25,000          27.6%

Note: Table made from bar graph.

HOW MUCH DOES A WEEKDAY GENERAL
ADMISSION PASS COST FOR YOUR PARK?

Less than $5,    36.3%
$5 to $10,       32.4%
$10 to $20,        14%
$30 or more,      9.5%
$20 to $30,       7.8%

Note: Table made from pie chart.

THIS YEAR DO YOU EXPECT YOUR PARK
ATTENDANCE TO:

Increase         63.5%
Decrease          3.2%
Stay the same    33.3%

Note: Table made from pie chart.

WHAT IS YOUR MAIN METHOD OF MARKETING?

Internet/e-mail    17.2%
Print media        43.1%
TV                  5.6%
Radio               7.2%
Direct-mail        23.1%
Billboards          1.5%
Other              12.3%

Note: Table made from bar graph.

WHAT PERCENTAGE OF YOUR GUESTS ARE SEASON
PASS HOLDERS?

100 to 75 percent         15%
75 to 50 percent        14.4%
50 to 25 percent        16.7%
25 to 10 percent        22.2%
Less than 10 percent    31.7%

Note: Table made from bar graph.

IN WHAT REGION OF THE COUNTRY IS YOUR
PARK LOCATED?

Midwest          38.4%
Northeast          19%
Southeast        16.4%
Southwest        10.3%
Northwest        10.3%
South Central     5.6%

Note: Table made from pie chart.

DO YOU PLAN TO RENOVATE YOUR PARK IN THE
NEXT FIVE YEARS?

Yes    50%
No     50%

Note: Table made from pie chart.

WHAT KINDS OF TECHNOLOGY DO YOU USE AT
YOUR WATERPARK?

Internet-based admissions                18.1%
Smart-card admissions and concessions    16.7%
Thumb-print keyless locker systems          7%
Bar-code scan wristbands                 15.3%
Point-of-sale system                     86.8%

Note: Table made from bar graph.

IS YOUR PARK INDOOR, OUTDOOR OR BOTH?

Indoor     26.4%
Outdoor    56.8%
Both       16.8%

Note: Table made from pie chart.

IS YOUR PARK CONNECTED TO A HOTEL OR
OTHER LODGING?

Yes   11.7%
No    88.3%

Note: Table made from pie chart.

WHICH TYPES OF AMENITIES DOES YOUR WATERPARK OFFER?

Spraypark              40.4%
Extreme rides          12.6%
Surf machine            3.8%
Lazy river             37.7%
Tube slide             38.3%
Body slide             53.6%
Wave pool              19.1%
Kiddie area            73.8%
Concessions            73.8%
Sand volleyball pit    23.5%
Minigolf                  6%
Locker rooms           85.2%
Retail shop            32.2%
Climbing wall           8.2%
Go-carts                3.8%
Arcade                 16.4%
Kids' dry play area    28.4%

Note: Table made from bar graph.


SURFING WEB AND WATER

Waterparks are slowly moving toward Internet-based admission systems and similar technology. On the hardware side, sprayparks remain a popular feature now and in the future, with surf machines gaining strength.
WHICH TYPES OF AMENITIES WOULD YOU LIKE TO ADD?

Spraypark              48.5%
Extreme rides          18.4%
Surf machine           27.2%
Lazy river             18.4%
Tube slide             28.2%
Body slide             21.4%
Wave pool               8.7%
Kiddie area            21.4%
Concessions            11.7%
Sand volleyball pit     6.8%
Minigolf                3.9%
Locker rooms           15.5%
Retail shop             3.9%
Climbing wall          12.6%
Go-carts                  1%
Arcade                  2.9%
Kids' dry play area    15.5%

WHAT IS THE GENDER BREAKDOWN OF
YOUR LIFEGUARDS?

Male      41%
Female    59%

Note: Table made from pie chart.

WHICH ORGANIZATION DO YOU MAINLY USE
TO TRAIN LIFEGUARDS?

Red Cross,                 69.7%
Starfish Aquatics Inst.,    0.5%
NASCO,                      1.4%
Other,                      2.4%
YMCA,                      10.1%
Ellis & Associates,        15.9%

Note: Table made from pie chart.

WHERE DO YOU RECRUIT LIFEGUARDS?

Local high schools           85.7
Local colleges               68.5
Local aquatics facilities    26.6
Community job fairs          30.5
Other                        18.7

Note: Table made from bar graph.


TEEN TEAMS Lifeguard staffs are mostly female and quite young, with the bulk of them falling in the 15- to 16-year-old range. Many would say that's due to the relatively low pay offered to waterpark guards: Approximately 60% of facilities pay in the range of $6.25 to $7.75 an hour.
WHAT IS THE STARTING PAY FOR LIFEGUARDS?

$7.26 to $7.75,    18.8%
$6.76 to $7.25,    18.4%
$6.76 to $7.25,    18.4%
$6.25 to $6.75,    22.7%
Other               9.7%
$9.26 to $9.75,     3.4%
$8.76 to $9.25,     3.4%
$8.26 to $8.75,    10.1%

Note: Table made from pie chart.

DO YOU HAVE A DIFFERENT STARTING PAY RATE
DEPENDING ON THE AGE OF THE LIFEGUARD?

Yes    15.2%
No     84.8%

Note: Table made from pie chart.

IF YES, WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE IN
STARTING PAY?

0 to $.25,           14%
$.26 to .50,       25.5%
$.51 to .75,         14%
$.76 to $1.00,     11.6%
$1.00 to $1.50,    11.6%
$1.51 to $2.00,     4.7%
Other,             18.6%

Note: Table made from pie chart.

HOW OLD ARE YOUR LIFEGUARDS?

Age 16       22%
Age 17       21%
Age 18-21    31%
Age 21+      22%
Age 15        4%

Note: Table made from pie chart.


TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS

Waterparks remain healthy, safe places for guests to relax and energize, but a disturbing percentage still don't require people to shower before entering the water. Also of possible concern are the parks that sell alcohol to guests.
HAVE ANY OF YOUR GUESTS FALLEN SICK DUE TO
A WATERBORNE ILLNESS AT YOUR PARK?

Yes     2%
No     98%

Note: Table made from pie chart.

DO YOU REQUIRE GUESTS TO SHOWER BEFORE
USING RIDES OR ATTRACTIONS?

No      2.3%
Yes    74.7%

Note: Table made from bar graph.

DO YOU ALLOW OUTSIDE FOOD AND DRINKS IN
YOUR PARK?

No     55.3%
Yes    44.7%

Note: Table made from bar graph.

DO YOU SELL ALCOHOL AT YOUR PARK?

Yes    15.2%
No     84.8%

Note: Table made from pie chart.

HAS YOUR FACILITY HAD A DROWNING IN THE
PAST FIVE YEARS?

Yes     1.9%
No     98.1%

Note: Table made from pie chart.

DO YOU ALLOW VISITORS TO EXIT AND RETURN
IN THE SAME DAY?

No     17%
Yes    83%

Note: Table made from bar graph.


MAINTAINING QUALITY Equipment tops the list of operator concerns, followed by chloramines. Sand filtration and manual water checks remain the water quality methods of choice.
WHAT ARE YOUR BIGGEST MAINTENANCE ISSUES?

1 Water-play
equipment/slides

2 Chloramines

3 Clarity (tie)

4 Stains (tie)

5 Algae

WHAT TYPE OF FILTRATION SYSTEM DO YOU USE?

Sand         83.2%
Cartridge     1.4%
DE             13%
Zeolite       2.4%

Note: Table made from pie chart.

WHAT BEST DESCRIBES YOUR METHOD OF
WATER TESTING?

Manual       63.8%
Automated    36.2%

Note: Table made from bar graph.


ABOUT THE SURVEY

Results are from a nationwide online survey of 274 waterpark operators, conducted in May 2006.

ILLUSTRATIONS BY TIM BOBKO
COPYRIGHT 2006 Hanley-Wood, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2006 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
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Author:Bobko, Tim
Publication:Aquatics International
Article Type:Statistical data
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 1, 2006
Words:1163
Previous Article:The price is right; buying used waterpark equipment is a tricky business. Here's how to avoid getting a lemon.
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