The largest indoor waterpark in North America creates a spectacle with their massive wave pool and newly added FlowRider stationary wave machine. They are a great example of how a variety of waves supports a variety of customers. With a wave pool for the whole family and a FlowRider for the thrill-seekers, World Waterpark at West Edmonton Mall provides a well-rounded experience while leveraging their attractions in unique ways.
Jim Winters, the Director of Operations at West Edmonton Mall, knows just how important waves are to his business at the World Waterpark. In an interview with Winters, he shares with us how the wave pool and FlowRider stationary surfing machine at World Waterpark drive revenue and attendance, even during off hours.
What is the most popular attraction at World Waterpark?
The wave pool is the major feature of our waterpark. It is the first thing our guests see as they approach the location. It’s our number one attraction!
What makes the waves at World Waterpark the top attraction of the park?
The wave pool is a family-friendly attraction that provides an experience similar to being at an ocean beach front. One can enjoy the movement of the waves either using an inner tube or by body surfing. Everyone from toddlers to seniors and even guests with disabilities can enjoy the experience it provides. There is also something calming and visually entertaining by watching the waves without jumping into the pool.
“The wave pool helps drive revenue from the nearby rental spaces.”
How does the Wave pool drive revenue within the waterpark?
The wave pool helps drive revenue from the nearby rental spaces. The areas around the wave pool are usually taken very soon after opening, if not booked weeks in advance. All the rental spaces are usually fully utilized on a daily basis which is great for business!
Why did you choose to add a FlowRider stationary wave machine in 2014?
Our guests had been asking for a FlowRider over the last few years and it was time to add an attraction to our park that would appeal to a new target market. We chose to add a stationary wave because it’s visually entertaining to watch; it’s a unique attraction compared to a waterslide; it’s a more interactive and skill-based attraction for our guests; and it provides us with an additional revenue source.
The FlowRider, although it is family friendly, is geared more for those seeking a thrill experience. One can test their initial skills by body-boarding and work up to doing more skills and tricks by stand-up surfing.
The FlowRider gives you a continuous wave, which in turn provides more surfing time and a longer surfing experience.
“We have seen an increase in both park attendance and revenues since adding the FlowRider to World Waterpark.”
How does the FlowRider support the revenue goals of World Waterpark?
The FlowRider is a separate price and not included in the waterpark admission fee so additional revenue is earned as our guests pay as they go. Plus the FlowRider is a great visual addition to the park because guests like to sit and watch those who are on the FlowRider.
FlowRider has brought in more repeat business, especially those who come specifically to use the FlowRider because they want to improve their skills. We have seen an increase in both park attendance and revenues since adding the FlowRider to World Waterpark.
How do you leverage your wave products in unique ways?
We host a surf club that provides lessons, boards,and meets three times a week in our wavepool. The surf club has been active for about three years and has been very successful. We are just now establishing a FlowRider club and are planning to host our first competitive FlowRider tournament this coming August 2016.
Also, local kayaking and paddleboarding clubs rent out the wavepool during our off-hours.
World Waterpark hosts a concert series called SoundWave, Canada’s largest indoor beach party. This licensed event, for the 18- to 30-year-old demographic, is held four to six times annually and features a top electronic performer and opening acts. During SoundWave, guests are able to enjoy the wavepool and get up close to the artists. Without the pool atmosphere, this event would not be as successful; it is what makes this event unique.
“Without the pool atmosphere, this event would not be as successful; it is what makes it so unique.”