Developing a New Water Park; the First Step

Leisure Business Advisors (LBA) conducts the feasibility study, the first step in developing a new water park. Industry consultants typically prepare this study for the developer, and it is generally required by financing institutions or investors. 

The study forecasts targeted usage by applying market penetration rates to market segments. These rates are influenced by market size, demographics, competition, and the experience of comparable facilities elsewhere.

The feasibility study also projects potential financial performance and recommends the maximum development costs that would allow an acceptable return-on-investment. These are key issues for those developing the project.  

The study also provides initial physical planning parameters to assist the water park designer during the design stage of development. It is critical that the designs are in line with market needs and expected cash flow. These physical planning guidelines need to be in place before the construction part of the developing process can start. Designers, builders, and managers can all benefit from the guidance provided in the study. 

As part of the feasibility study, LBA can work closely with you in preparing the initial image package that would assist designers in the design stage of developing a new water park, which follows the feasibility stage. We could provide a walk-through description and color artist conceptual images of your new water park seen through the eyes of a typical visitor. These would preliminarily suggest the general "look and feel" of the new park in financing and marketing presentations.

Selected Projects

John Gerner, our managing director, has been a consultant for more than 20 years and has conducted feasibility studies for many water parks and theme parks in the United States, Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East, He has been a speaker at the World Waterpark Association (WWA) annual convention. Selected projects are highlighted below.

Water Park Expert Testimony (Niagara Falls, New York)

LBA was retained by Empire State Development, a public authority of the state of New York, to evaluate the feasibility of reopening Fallsville Splash Park in Niagara Falls. It was the subject of a New York State Supreme Court case. John Gerner served as an expert witness in water park development in this court case in early 2009. Harris Beach was the attorney for this state authority and the main client contact.

Morgan County Aquatic Center (Madison, Georgia)

The Morgan County Aquatic Center opened in 2009, and is a public facility operated by the Morgan County Parks and Recreation Department. LBA conducted a feasibility study for the aquatic center as a subcontractor to Doran & Karwoski, Inc.

Boardwalk at Hersheypark (Hershey, Pennsylvania)
The Boardwalk at Hersheypark is a water park area of the theme park that opened in 2007. It includes a wave pool, lazy river, seven slides, and a children’s play area. Gerner Consulting evaluated the market and financial potential of water park activities for Hersheypark management as a subcontractor to Economics Research Associates. 

More Details on the Feasibility Study Process

We pride ourselves on prompt service and are sensitive to time constraints. If needed, assignments can be accelerated for an extra fee. 

To learn more about our feasibility study process, click here.