Summer 365: Bringing the Excitement of Summer to Indoor Water Parks

Manta Akvamir Novosibirsk Russia

Wouldn’t it be nice if it was summer year-round? You wouldn’t have to worry about blistering cold, piles of snow, black ice, slipping on the sidewalk, or walking in melted slush and ruining your shoes. Of course, most of us don’t live in places with year-round sunshine, so this is impossible; but what if your venue could provide guests with that warm feeling of summer, no matter the time of the year, no matter your location? By taking a nod from summer, indoor water parks introduce a plethora of unique benefits; not only do they help operators outsmart the elements and escape short seasons, but they can also create dynamic attractions that draw guests and boost a hotel property’s ADR. Keep reading to learn all about the reasons why indoor venues might be a great fit for you and your business.

Introducing: The Year-Round Venue

In a crowded hospitality market, having an aquatic venue that can welcome guests year-round can be the secret ingredient for success. There is nothing worse for guests to book a hotel or resort only to discover the aquatic entertainment facilities are shut for the season, under renovation, or unusable due to the weather. One of my favourite examples is Epic Waters Indoor Waterpark in Grand Prairie, Texas. The wave pool and beach area are outside in the glorious Texas heat, whereas the rest of the park is nestled inside of the building under a UV coated polycarbonate and aluminum, over 60,000 square foot retractable roof. This gives guests the ability to decide if they want to be out in the elements or inside, any time of year. This is a win-win for parks and guests; having the flexibility about whether they want to be indoors or outdoors and enabling the park to extend its season from roughly 100 days to 365 days a year.[1]

A Summer Breeze

Another thing I love about summer is the season’s warm breeze, there is nothing like a gentle wind to cool you down on those warm summer nights. In a similar function, indoor parks need that fresh wind and air to circulate in the venue to keep guests safe and refreshed. Looking again to Epic Waters, the use of a retractable roof can serve both as a safety function and guest enhancement tool to replace the mechanical ventilation with good old-fashioned fresh air. This will help reduce the potential cross-infection of airborne transmitted diseases. By having the retractable roof open and providing a higher naturally driven ventilation rate, Epic Waters have been able to exhaust the air inside of the venue and decrease the risk of cross-infection.

Any Summer Plans?

At the end of the school year one of the most common questions I remember getting asked was “any big summer plans?” Summer, while a great time for escape and adventure, was also a season that required some planning to make the most of your time away from the stressors of everyday life. Water parks, especially those within proximity to home, are destinations that many families plan to visit. By enclosing them, this allows for year-round visitation.

Indoor water parks are often smaller spaces that require designers to be creative while they strategically plan how they design the attractions to fit inside of them. While these projects can be more complex to design, you can create a much more dynamic play space by appealing to multiple demographics at once. At WhiteWater we encourage indoor venues to maximize floor space by pulling lazy rivers outside, using vertical space to achieve experiences at different levels, and maximize the volume of space by being creative about where we put runout lanes. If venues design their indoor parks properly, they can maximize play value in a smaller footprint. They can also ensure that family visits are filled with fun and joy and make memories that last.

Replicating the Summer Escape

The addition of an enclosed pool to a hotel’s facilities is a win-win that will reap rewards for hotel owners by generating more occupancy points and higher room rates. When we go to a hotel, be it for business or pleasure, we look at the amenities the facility offers as one of the key decision-making tools when selecting where to stay. One study found that hotels with indoor water parks achieved nearly 21 points higher occupancy and $14 higher room rates annually than hotels with just ordinary swimming pools, this rate only goes up when you compare the rates during the traditional shoulder seasons.[1] Having exciting amenities like a water park is a differentiator helping hotels draw visitors as they provide them a similar feeling of a summer escape.

The Next Best Thing

While we can’t have summer 24/7, indoor water parks can serve as the next best option. While they require expert planning and design to overcome the challenges of space and capacity, air quality, and water quality; WhiteWater’s team of experts know how to design these parks with the perfect balance between comfort and safety and revenue driven capacity. To learn more about how to upgrade your park to be a year-round venue, contact our team at sales@whitewaterwest.com or email OpenAire at sales@openaire.com, to learn more about the benefits and cost savings associated with adding an aluminum retractable roof.


[1] https://ishc.com/wp-content/uploads/18Predictions-FutureofHotelWaterparkResorts.pdf

[2] http://www.hotelfun4kids.com/hotelproducts/waterpark.htm

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Mat Racer, Gui'an Water Park, Fuzhou, China