The temperature dial might not indicate it just yet, but Summer 2021 is rapidly coming to a close. Students around the country are heading back to school, leaving waterparks and waterslides across the country a little emptier than they were.
With the season winding down, you’re probably looking forward to a well-deserved break! But before you go off the grid, it’s important to take a step back and do a little planning for Summer 2022. It may not feel like it, but the end of summer is the perfect time to plan for next season.
Below, the Splashtacular team is discussing five reasons why now is the time to plan, along with five things all park owners need to consider when planning.
Why Now is the Time to Plan
This season is fresh on your mind
If you wait until after you’ve taken a break to plan for next year, you’ll likely forget a lot of what happened this summer. Planning while this season is still fresh in your mind will help ensure that everything you need to remember from this year to plan for next is accounted for.
You have enough leeway to do it right
Procrastination is not a luxury that those of us in the waterslides industry are afforded. Waterslides and waterparks take a ton of maintenance and forethought. If there is a new attraction you want to add or a major renovation that needs to take place, you can’t delay it. Doing so will likely force you to wait a whole additional year again.
Your team is still accessible
Waterslides are seasonal and once the season comes to an end, your team is moving on to whatever the colder months have in store for them. Before your park and their jobs become an afterthought, talk to your team. Survey them on how they think the summer went and ask what changes they would like to see for next year.
Recommended: SUMMER SAFETY TIPS FOR YOUR PARK
Guests can vividly recall their experiences
Like your employees, your guests will get busy in the fall with school, sports, and the holiday season. Before they do, you should also survey them on their experience with you. Consider sending ticket purchasers a survey asking them to rate their experience with your waterslides, amenities, cleanliness, and team. Use this information to make informed decisions about next season.
You have enough data to do so
While planning ahead is important, you also can’t plan too far ahead. In order to make the best choices possible for Summer 2022, you need to have a clear picture of Summer 2021. By this point in the season, you should have a pretty good sense of how things went, what your earnings were, and whether any waterslides or attractions need updating next year.
What You Should Consider
Start with the facts and figures
When planning for a new season, we always want to tell our park owners to dive right into the fun stuff - new waterslides! But, we know that isn’t the best advice. Start by looking at the facts and figures from this year. Carefully review all of the data you can from this year (and even last year). This should include earnings, losses, employee information, and guest count.
Guest experience and satisfaction
Once you start getting your guest satisfaction surveys back, take these into account. Review this data carefully to see if there is a common thread as to what your guests did and did not enjoy about your park this summer and use that to plan for next year.
Employee experience and satisfaction
Same with your employees. They are your eyes and ears on the ground and on the waterslides, they likely know better than you about what’s working and what’s not. Use their feedback to help propel your business forward and make changes to succeed.
Improvements and additions to your park
As we mentioned above, if you’re hoping to add any additional waterslides or make any major changes to your waterpark before next season, you need to start taking action now. Major additions or renovations take time and planning, you certainly don’t want to work with someone who can do them on the fly. Carefully consider this as you plan.
Potential earning goals
Planning for next season wouldn’t be complete without discussing your earning goals. In most states, waterslides are only used a few months out of the year. This means that park owners need to make a majority of their income in a short period of time. Planning ahead will help you stay on track to hit your goals and continue to grow year over year.
As you are planning for Summer 2022, if the addition of a new waterslide (or waterslides!) is part of that plan, the Splashtacular team is here to help. Contact our team today to ensure your new waterslides and other aquatic features will be up and running in time!