Which Markets Are Good For Stationary Surf Simulators?
Stationary Wave systems, or endless waves, are an incredible amount of fun. Just ask the millions of patrons who ride this type of attraction every year. The one thing that makes these products so special is the diversity of market channels that they serve. Whether they are located indoors or outdoors, there are plenty of opportunities in numerous diverse markets, for these types of systems.
The original, and most logical location for a surfing simulator to be installed is a waterpark. Roughly half of all the stationary wave systems in operation are installed in Waterparks. The Waterpark Market in the past looked at these systems as “just another attraction” and were consumed with capacity and throughput. This has changed and now they are also focused on what a system can do for their park. Integrating an attraction into the front of a waterpark allows for it to be used for private events such as birthday parties, corporate events, and perhaps privatizing it for before and after hours use. This is a valuable alternative revenue stream for any waterpark.
Another key use for a waterpark, is to integrate food, beverage and retail around the attraction. Because these types of attractions are “eye candy,” dwell time around them is high and presents plenty of opportunity to increase revenue through F&B.
One of the fastest growing sectors is the Hotel Resort market. Back in the day this was mostly found in heavily themed indoor waterpark resorts like, Kalahari, Wilderness or Great Wolf Lodge. Lately, there has been massive growth in the more traditional hotel sector, be it Westin, Hyatt, Waldorf Astoria or Marriott. Many clients in this sector are achieving success, which is really promoting the growth of this market. The cruise ship industry is another strong hotel market for stationary wave systems. Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines have done a great job of implementing these types of attractions, and it really sets them apart from their competition. It also drives the teenager to say “Yes, I will go on a cruise!” instead of “No, I want to stay home….alone!”
The Municipal Market has seen growth over the last 10+ years. With the virtual death of the swimming pool being the absolute centerpiece, the time is right for surfing simulators to continue to create a little buzz in this market segment. There are many municipalities that see great value in adding a healthy surfing element to their Aquatic program. Not only does this generate revenue for the city, but it is also a great way to provide fantastic services to your community. Board sports by nature are addictive and a good system will have the same return visitation as the skate park.
The Stand Alone Market is probably an area with potentially the greatest growth potential. With the death of retail and vacant commercial real estate at an all-time high, there is an opportunity to create entertainment venues that cater to fun, whereby the surfing simulator is the entertainer and the F&B are the ancillary byproducts of the venue’s success! These types of venues can be found in all different shapes and sizes – from 5,000 sq ft to 20,000 sq ft plus – depending upon climate and location.
One of the last markets that is seeing small but steady growth is the Residential application. More and more people are tired of waiting to ride and want to ride a system of their own. There are excellent home systems available – but you will need a fairly large budget. You would be surprised how often this is happening, and more and more frequently. It is a global phenomenon, not tied to any one location.
As you can see, the applications for these types of products abound! Just make sure you do you research in advance, as there is content abounding in this market today!