More than $550 million in new investment were made in indoor and outdoor waterparks and their related resorts in 2016, according to Hotel & Leisure Advisors.

THE WATERPARK INDUSTRY saw more than $550 million in new investment in indoor and outdoor waterparks and their related resorts in 2016, according to Hotel & Leisure Advisors. H&LA also forecast further growth this year, with more than 40 expansions and new facilities opening.
The U.S. had 1,029 waterparks as of February, an increase of 34 waterparks over last year’s reported 996, according to H&LA. Most of the growth was in the outdoor segment and was split between private and municipal facilities. “This year, we will see growth across all segments of the waterpark market. Of 40 anticipated waterpark additions, 29 represent new facilities and 11 represent expansions of existing facilities,” H&LA wrote in its report “2017 Waterpark Forecast: Continued Growth.”
The association predicts 16 municipal and nine private outdoor waterparks will open this year, outpacing 2016’s nine municipal and five private outdoor additions. An additional 243,000 square feet of indoor waterpark space is planned. “Two of this year’s most anticipated additions are Universal Orlando Volcano Bay in Orlando, Florida, and the Kalahari Resort phase two expansion in Pocono Manor, Pennsylvania,” the report states. “The 30-acre Volcano Bay waterpark will feature 18 state-of-the-art attractions and is poised to set a new standard in the outdoor waterpark market. Kalahari Resort expanded in March 2017 to nearly 1,000 guestrooms and a 220,000 square foot indoor waterpark. It is one of the largest indoor waterpark resorts in North America.”
The largest predicted indoor park is the 114,000 square foot, 520-room Kalahari Resort Phase II expansion in Pocono Manor, Pennsylvania. The Epic, a municipally owned stand-alone indoor waterpark in Grand Prairie, Texas, will add 60,000 square feet of indoor waterpark space. “Families continue to show strong interest in waterpark attractions and are particularly interested in new facilities or additions of new rides to existing parks,” H&LA said.

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