22 Sep 2023 World leisure: news, training & property
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Attractions Management
2023 issue 1

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Leisure Management - No matter the venue aquatic play delivers


No matter the venue aquatic play delivers

Aquatic play helps keep kids happy, resulting in higher spend from families. WhiteWater’s Cassidy Newman shares some of the attractions using aquatic play to bring in more visitors and increase spend

The Nickeloden-themed Aqua Nick waterpark in Cancun, Mexico Photo: WhiteWater
The alligator at Audubon Zoo in New Orleans was carved by WhiteWater’s artists Photo: WhiteWater

Kids are always looking for opportunities to play. That’s why restaurants have crayons at the ready — they know the secret to higher spend is to keep children occupied so the entire family can stay longer to enjoy more food and drinks.

Aquatic play helps different venues keep kids happy. The ultimate playground for both children and adults, these multi-level play structures offer a myriad of paths for guests to explore and whimsical elements to discover. They could go down a waterslide, spray each other from interactive features, or giddily wait for the tipping bucket to spill over on their heads.

Because aquatic play keeps children engaged and families on-site longer, it may come as little surprise that it’s found in many different venue types.

Diversifying Mixed-Use Developments
Long known for its casinos, Macau is now aiming to become a family entertainment hub for China’s Greater Bay Area. Centered in the heart of it all is Studio City, a mixed-use development that includes a hotel, a theatre, a shopping mall, restaurants and amusements, as well as the region’s first waterpark.

Open to both hotel and non-hotel guests, Studio City Water Park features an AquaPlay 1750, which serves an important role in the entire development. Whether families split up to try different slides or parents leave older kids some free time while they shop or try their luck in the casino, AquaPlay 1750 creates a central meeting point due to its eye-catching build. Strategically located next to lounge chairs, the AquaPlay unit provides families a place to come back together after a day of exploring the park.

Building an Icon at the Zoo
Even in the educational setting of zoos and aquariums, aquatic play can be found to offer interactive fun and attract guests. Audubon Zoo in New Orleans, for example, uses an AquaPlay 550 as a cost-effective way to add value to its venue in the summer. With an instantaneous capacity of over 180 guests, this multi-level play structure is an integral part of its Cool Zoo waterpark.

The most striking element of the park is the giant white alligator climbing the play structure. Towering over three metres (11 feet) above the ground, it’s inspired by the zoo’s famous resident and takes its place outside the Louisiana Swamp exhibit. The white alligator sculpture was hand carved by WhiteWater’s professional artists to create an image synonymous with the zoo. This image is also used to help drive demand by building excitement before guests even step foot inside.

Boost Hotels & Resorts Revpar
The hotel sector has similarly been taking advantage of aquatic play to help boost occupancy and RevPAR.

To capitalise on their investment, it’s important that properties look at the ride mix and form a plan that caters for different demographics. That’s why Nickelodeon Hotels and Resorts Riviera Maya built not one, but two aquatic play structures at their Aqua Nick waterpark in Mexico.

Using brands from Nickelodeon, the waterpark built a Paw Patrol-themed AquaPlay 200 and a SpongeBob SquarePants-themed RainFortress 5 to ensure the entire family had something they could enjoy. Perfect for the youngest members of the family, the smaller AquaPlay 200 has a pool size of 181sq m (1,950sq ft) so little ones can develop confidence on smaller slides before working their way up to larger attractions.

On the other hand, RainFortress 5 has nearly double the pool size and over four times the number of features as AquaPlay 200, so older kids also have their choice between exciting slides and cause-and-effect interactives, and they get splashed by larger volumes of water.

Bring Play to Your Venue
Whether you have a hundred square meters or a hundred square acres, aquatic play is a great addition to attract guests and extend their length of stay.

With the largest range of multi-level play structures in the industry, the WhiteWater team can tailor a solution for you that makes sense for your site and budget.

To get started, go to:

WhiteWater’s Cassidy Newman

Originally published in Attractions Management 2023 issue 1

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