The past two years have been difficult for the waterpark industry, but the frustration of shutdowns and difficulty attracting guests are finally coming to an end with loosening COVID restrictions. To make their waterpark a success, smart waterpark owners are pivoting to cater to the call of a changing market: more surf and sport attractions for people who want to live life more fully post pandemic.
Growing Interest in Outdoor Exercise-Based Activities
While COVID was at its height, families across the United States turned to new, creative ways of getting active as gyms, workout classes, and sports leagues came to a total halt. Outdoor activities that allowed people to get exercise such as hiking, skateboarding, and surfing saw a major increase, with nearly 75% of outdoor activity participants stating that they would like to continue after the pandemic.
With this increased call for recreation centered around exercise, waterparks have a unique opportunity to increase their demographic appeal and attract repeat guests by adding activities that offer the chance to exercise and work at a skill, like a FlowRider®, to their venue. Not to mention, a FlowRider brings an incredibly shareable cool factor with great social media potential for riders—because when you master that trick, you just have to share it.
Demand for Surf
Additionally, the emergence of surf parks showcases a demand for surfing globally and speaks to the consumer demand for this lifestyle and sport. Waterparks can choose to compete with this growing industry for consumer’s attention, or they can capitalize on the surf trend by adding in a deep flow stationary wave machine, like a FlowSurf, which allows guests to carve a stationary rive wave with a real surfboard.
Deciding to install a stationary wave machine is only the beginning of the journey of using the consumer’s desire for outdoor recreation and exercise to increase profitability. These are our top tips on increasing a waterpark’s revenue with a stationary wave machine:
1. Optimize Your Wave Machine's Location
Whether you are adding a FlowRider to a current waterpark or creating a park from the ground up, when choosing the location, we recommend factoring in two other park features: food & beverage and entrances/exits.
Flowboarding is a spectator sport, and we see time and again the uptick in F&B revenue by placing the wave near some incredible smelling food. Adding restaurant-style tables and bar seats for viewers to sit at while they watch will naturally make them search for lunch or a treat. Plus, nothing works up an appetite like time on the wave.
Flowboarding fanatics could spend hours on the wave, and they will if you let them! Placing your wave near entrances/exits means it’s easier to keep the FlowRider open outside of normal park hours while blocking off other areas of the waterpark. This allows you to make additional profit from parties or FlowRider pass-holders without worrying about them accessing other areas of your park.
2. Program Your Wave Machine for Profit
As we touched on above, adding a stationary wave to your waterpark leaves you with many opportunities to generate revenue. People become addicted to the sport of flowboarding, so many waterparks sell FlowRider-specific passes that only allow guests to access the FlowRider area or allow them to ride outside of normal park hours.
There’s also nothing quite like a FlowRider for a birthday party or corporate bonding event. Allowing guests to rent hourly timeslots on the stationary wave is a great way to increase profit, and hosting these parties is an excellent way to get people into your waterpark and make them realize they want to come back for more!
3. Lean into the Sport for Maximum Revenue
Flowboarding is an excellent way for people to get exercise and develop a new, thrilling skill. While people may tend to avoid waterslides or pools when its chilly outside, flowboarders who are hooked on the sport have no problem throwing on a wetsuit and jumping in the water! These board sport lovers really help to offset the dreaded off season and generate additional revenue through day, month, and season FlowRider passes.
The yearly FLOW Tour also offers opportunities for additional profit. The FLOW Tour is a series of competitions that take place each summer, bringing flowboarders of all skill levels from rookie to pro as well as tons of spectators to fill up your waterpark. Any FlowRider venue is eligible to participate. We help set up this exciting event, and your waterpark rakes in the F&B revenue and ticket sales!
As the weather warms up, the consumer’s excitement to visit waterparks increases. A wave machine will keep them coming back all summer and longer. If you’re interested in learning more about what a FlowRider could do for your park, click here to get in contact with us