Industry Report - 2002
|by Jeff Coy and Bill Haralson
November 18, 2002 - The hotel industry measures the performance of different types of hotels including ski resorts and golf resorts. But no one tracks the performance of waterpark resorts. Recently, hotels and resorts with indoor waterparks have experienced rapid growth outside Wisconsin Dells, where the concept originated. Neither the hotel industry nor the theme park or outdoor waterpark industries provide any benchmarks or statistics for this new phenomenon.
Therefore, Hotel Waterpark Resort Research & Consulting, a collaborative effort of JLC Hospitality Consulting Inc of Rochester MN (Jeff Coy) and William L. Haralson & Associates Inc of Richardson TX (Bill Haralson), was formed for the purpose of building an industry database for this product sector. Their first industry report focuses on supply trends while future reports will incorporate demand trends, operating expense ratios and construction costs.
USA Competitive Supply
Fifty (50) hotel indoor waterparks are open and operating in the USA with a total of 7520 rooms, 750,904 square feet of indoor waterpark and 213 meeting rooms covering 300,454 square feet of meeting space.
Of these 50 hotel indoor waterparks, 30 are independent while 20 are affiliated with a national hotel brand name. Hotel brand names include Holiday Inn, Ramada, Best Western, Quality Inn, Hilton and Marriott and a few others.
These 50 hotels indoor waterparks are located in
the following states:
Top 10 Largest Hotel Waterpark Resorts in the USA
The largest hotels with indoor waterparks are concentrated
in Wisconsin Dells, where 18 hotels with indoor waterparks now exist.
Forty other hotels with indoor waterparks are located in Branson MO, Green Bay WI, Minneapolis MN, Owatonna MN, Baxter MN, Watertown SD, Fargo ND, Minocqua WI, Detroit Lakes MN, Madison WI, Casper WY, Nisswa MN, Aberdeen SD, Bismarck ND, St Cloud MN, Rochester MN and Lake du Flambeau WI.
Profile of USA Hotel Waterpark Resorts by Size of Indoor Waterpark
Among the top five mega resorts, the average indoor
waterpark is 56,300 sf or 209 sf per guest room.
Among the top ten hotel waterparks, the average waterpark size is 43,250 sf or 143 sf per guest room. Among the top 20, the rule of thumb for sizing an indoor waterpark is 130 sf per guest room. Among the top 30, the size of the indoor waterpark is 185 guest rooms times 123 sf to reach an average of 22,690 sf. Among the top 40, which reflects the overall industry, the size of the indoor waterpark is 109 sf per guest guest. This is only one of several methods the hotel waterpark developer should use to determine the size of a proposed indoor waterpark.
Top 10 Hotel Meeting Facilities with indoor waterparks in the USA
Almost all of the Top 10 largest hotel waterparks
are also in the meetings business. However, the amount of meeting space
drops off dramatically within the Top 10. The other forty hotel waterparks
in the USA tend to be designed primarily for the individual leisure traveler
Other hotel meeting facilities with indoor waterpark locations include Sandusky OH, Owatonna MN, Madison WI, Minocqua WI and Green Bay WI.
Profile of USA Hotel Waterpark Resorts
by Size of Meeting Facilities
Among the top five hotel meeting facilities with indoor waterparks, the average is 17.2 meeting rooms totaling 29,940 square feet. Among the top ten, the average is 13.7 meeting rooms totaling 20,860 square feet. Among the top 20, which better reflects the overall industry average, the hotel waterpark developer that wants to cater to the meetings market should consider 222 guest rooms, 22,625 sf of indoor waterpark and 12,429 sf of meeting facilities averaging 8.7 meeting rooms. This is only one of several methods a developer should consider using to estimate the size of meeting facilities.
Canadian Competitive Supply
In Canada, we have identified 82 hotels indoor waterparks,
typically smaller properties such as Super 8s, averaging 3200 square feet
of indoor waterpark. Often, these are hotels that have enhanced their indoor
swimming pools with the addition of play structures and waterslides with
minimal theming. These hotels are located in the following provinces:
Major Canadian hotel indoor waterparks include the Ramada Hotel & Suites in Lethbridge, Alberta with 13,000 sf of indoor waterpark and two waterslides, two pools and two spas, the Sheraton in Calgary and a large independent in Edmonton.
Hotel Waterpark Resorts Under Construction in USA & Canada
Eighteen (18) hotels with indoor waterparks are currently
under construction in the USA and Canada. The major projects are:
Kalahari Resort is doubling its indoor waterpark space to 120,000 sf --- the largest in the USA. Wilderness Hotel & Golf will bring its total indoor waterpark space to approximately 109,000 sf. Great Lakes Companies expects to open its 309 room property in Traverse City in April of 2003 --- reportedly the largest log building in the world.
Other hotel indoor waterparks project of less than 10,000 sf are under construction in Dubuque IA, Boyne Falls MI, Maple Grove MN, Missoula MT in the USA and in Drumheller AB, Edmonton AB, High Level AB, Fort Nelson BC, Fort St John BC, Ottawa ON, Moose Jaw SK and Regina SK in Canada.
Hotel Waterpark Resorts In Development
Twenty eight (28) hotel indoor waterpark projects are in the planning stages for the following locations: McGregor IA, Utica IL, Kansas City KS, Toledo Bend Lake LA, Dundee MI, Escanaba MI, Grand Rapids MI, Breezy Point MN, Brooklyn Park MN, Hastings MN, Thief River Falls MN, Minot ND, Syracuse NY, Niagara Falls ON, Lake Harmony PA, Pocono Mountain Area PA, Sioux Falls SD, Tyler TX, Green Bay WI, Oconomowoc WI and Sheboygan WI.
Hotel Waterparks Out-Perform Regular Hotels
In one Wisconsin Dells survey, hotels with indoor waterparks achieved nearly 21 points higher occupancy and $14 higher room rates annually than hotels with ordinary swimming pools.
In 2001, hotels WITH indoor waterpark performed at 26.9 points of occupancy higher than hotels WITHOUT indoor waterparks at Wisconsin Dells. The survey also revealed that hotels WITH indoor waterparks captured $69 higher average room rates than hotels WITHOUT indoor waterparks. In 2001, the eighteen (18) hotels WITH indoor waterparks captured 85% of the total market room revenue while forty-four (44) hotels WITHOUT indoor waterparks captured only 15% of the total market room revenue.
Indoor waterparks increase hotel occupancy, increase average room rates and increase annual room revenues. Hotels with indoor waterparks extend their peak season from 100 days to 365 days. Hotels with indoor waterparks are almost filled 100% every weekend and school holiday break all year long. Hotel owners that want more visitors are thinking cars instead of airplanes. They are shifting their gears away from far away feeder markets. Instead, they are focusing on backyard marketing within 200 miles of their hotel. The drive-to regional resorts are performing much better than the fly-to resort during the current economy.
Hotel waterpark developers are focusing on new markets for new construction, while owners of existing hotels are thinking about enclosing their pools, raising their roofs to install 30 to 50 foot high structures that include waterslides, lazy river, activity pools, kiddie pools and adult spas. The indoor waterpark is a growing phenomenon what some experts think will become as common as the free continental breakfast. To find out what to do, contact a pro about your situation and ask for a proposal.
Hotel Waterpark Resort Research & Consulting is a collaboration of Jeff Coy & Bill Haralson. For more info, contact Jeff at 507-289-7404 or email [email protected]. Website is www.jeffcoy.com. Reach Bill at 972-231-7444 or email [email protected].
|Also See||So You Want to Build a Hotel Indoor Waterpark / Jeff Coy and Bill Haralson / Sept 2002|
|Hotel Indoor Waterparks Boost Revenues, Extend Peak Season to Year Round / Jeff Coy, ISHC / January 2002|
|Hotel Waterparks Grow Throughout Midwest, Product Ready for National Expansion / Bill Haralson and Jeff Coy / April 2002|