How to Start a Waterpark

Posted: Aug 19, 2020
How to Start a Waterpark

As a water slides manufacturer, the team at Splashtacular has gotten to participate in the initial construction of hundreds of waterparks across the country. This unique position has allowed us to see the inner workings of a waterpark company. And understand all of the complexities that go into creating a new one.

Many times when a new customer approaches us, they use us as a resource to help answer not just their waterslide questions. But all of the questions they have about starting a new waterslide company from the ground up. To help our current clients and any potential clients who are thinking about opening their own waterparks, we decided to compile many of the frequently asked questions we get about starting a waterpark into one easy to read article.

Today we are sharing all of the Splashtacular team’s advice on how to start a waterpark with you. If you dream of one day owning your own waterpark company, keep reading below to learn more.

Starting from Scratch or Franchising?

One of the first decisions you will have to make is whether or not you want to create a new park from scratch or buy into an existing waterpark company franchise. Both options have pros and cons and neither is necessarily a better option than the other.

When starting a business from scratch it is important that you have a comprehensive business plan outlined before you begin anything else. This will help keep you on track to achieve your business goals. It is also advised that you go in with a partner and a mentor, especially if this is your first-ever business venture.

When franchising, many decisions like advertising, branding, and vendor partnerships are chosen for you, taking some of the pressure off of your back. You also have the support and guidance of a large corporation behind you. However, when going the franchise route it is important to ensure that your parent company’s goals, vision, and values align with your own.


Financing Options

No matter which route you choose to take, starting your own waterpark company is a substantial investment. Very few people can afford the startup costs out of pocket on their own, making it necessary to secure capital from other sources. Some of the financing options waterpark owners typically rely on include:

    • Applying for a business loan from a commercial bank
    • Sourcing capital from friends and family
    • Partnering with a venture capitalist firm or angel investors 
    • Selling high-value assets and putting the funds towards the venture

Like starting your waterpark company from scratch or opting to franchise, there is no right answer for financing. Consider your own personal financial circumstances and consult with a financial advisor before making any decisions.

All Things Business

In order to build your own waterpark company — or any other company for that matter — there are many businesses, legal, and operational decisions that you need to make. Before putting any money down for your new venture, you need to understand the ins and outs of starting a new waterpark company in your area. Rules and regulations vary state to state, but questions to ask and things to consider include:

    • What is the best legal entity to use for a waterpark company in your state?
    • What insurance coverage is required to operate a waterpark in your jurisdiction?
    • How will you protect your intellectual property?
    • Do you need a certification of any sort to run your waterpark?
    • What type of medical facilities/equipment required onsite?
    • Will you serve alcohol at your waterpark and if so what are your state’s liquor laws?
    • Will you play music at your park? If so how will you acquire music licensing rights?

These are just a few of the questions that you will need to answer before beginning any work on the creation of your waterpark company.

Location, Location, Location

Where you choose to build your waterpark company is one of the most important business decisions that you will make. You need to choose a location with plenty of lands to build on, somewhere that your park will not have an issue with any existing noise ordinances, but that is also easily accessible for the masses. Strategically placing your park near a major highway on the outskirts of a major city is a great idea. You also will want to consider public transportation near your park, especially if your city or state relies heavily on public transport.

Choose Your Partners Wisely

When building your waterpark company you will have to make many decisions about vendors and partnerships. Everything from the waterslide manufacturer you partner with such as Splashtacular to the vendors. That you use for dining options to the suppliers that deliver your cleaning supplies will need to be selected. Carefully evaluate each of the vendors you are considering before making a decision. Ask all of your potential partners for current client references and be sure to have a clear understanding of their contract terms.

Build Your Dream Team

There are a lot of people needed to make a waterpark function and in order to deliver the best possible experience to your patrons. You need to build your dream team. Start at the top, bringing in your leadership team first. And build the rest of the organization from there. Make sure each and every person you bring onto your team has a clearly defined role. A path for growth, and career development opportunities to retain your talent.

At Splashtacular there is nothing we love more than seeing a waterpark come to life and we would be honored to be a part of your venture. If you are thinking about starting a waterpark company. Give us a call today to discuss how we can partner together for all of your attraction needs. Contact water park builders in Kansas now!