32 Are Under Construction or Breaking Ground in 2004
|By Jeff Coy and Bill Haralson, August 2004
August 3, 2004 --- Hotels with indoor waterparks are growing from 23% to 29% annually while the overall hotel industry expects new supply to grow only 1.2% in 2004 and 1.3% in 2005. In 2000, there were only 18 hotel waterpark resorts. Today, over 60 are open nationwide. Eighteen new additions and expansion projects are expected to open by year end. Hotel waterpark projects under construction have grown from 8 in 2000 to 32 that are under construction or will break ground during 2004.
Clearly, hotel waterpark resorts are both cool and
hot at the same time! Projects in the development phase grew from 19 in
2002 to 46 in 2003 to 69 in 2004.
The number of hotel rooms attached to indoor waterparks
is expected to grow from 5,400 in 2000 to a forecast of over 16,300 in
2005, which is an increase of 4X over five years.
Recent Openings: USA
In February 2004, Best Western Sterling Inn in Sterling Heights MI, a suburb of Detroit, opened the 9,000 sf expansion of its indoor waterpark, bringing the total to more than 30,000 sf. You can reach owner-operator Vic Martin by emailing email@example.com.
In March, Wilderness Resort & Golf Hotel opened its 47,051 sf Wild West indoor waterpark which connects to 160 rooms previously added along with a rear lobby and large arcade. Wild West Waterpark is the resort’s third indoor waterpark on site, bringing total indoor waterpark space to 161,000 sf --- the most of any resort in America. Wilderness now has 593 rooms and suites in Wisconsin Dells WI. Contact Tom Lucke or Peter Helland at 608-253-9729 for more information.
In April, Vance Castleman opened a 24,000 sf indoor waterpark in Minot
ND as part of his 126-room Sleep Inn & Suites, which opened in January,
2004. Waterpark features include a 2,500 sf activity pool, 3 major waterslides,
2 kiddie slides, 4 kiddie play structures and a 4-leaf clover-shaped hot
tub that accommodates 48 people. The Sleep Inn is connected to a 10,000
sf convention center and Dakota Square Mall with 85 stores. Ramaker &
Associates provided the preliminary plans and Associated Pools of Minot
designed and built the pools. Play structures were provided by Miracle
Recreation Equipment. You can reach Vance Castleman at 701-838-7611.
In June 2004, four hotel waterpark resort projects opened:
In July, Thunder Falls, a $12 million outdoor waterpark with 12 waterslides in Mackinaw City MI, completed construction on 20 acres at the first exit off I-75 into the city. Thunder Falls boasts having the largest dynamic wave pool in Michigan. Thunder Falls developer Joe Lieghio and his family own several restaurants and about 700 hotel rooms in Mackinaw City. In addition to his outdoor waterpark, he plans to start construction soon on a 40,000 sf indoor waterpark located near his existing 95-room Hamilton Inn. Plans call for the addition of 200 to 300 more guest rooms. The indoor waterpark is scheduled to open by June of 2005 and serve guests of numerous Lieghio hotels.
In August, Holiday Inn Express in Grand Rapids MI opened with 80 rooms and a 10,000 sf indoor waterpark. The owner is Sudhir Modi. You can contact him at 616-949-4600.
Ramada Spokane Airport opened its indoor waterpark in August 2004. The 5,300 sf waterpark includes a 2-story, 100-foot long waterslide, 4 pools, a 12-person hot tub, showers and an exercise room. "Currently, we are over-built with new competition in Spokane," says Jean Berg, sales director. "We’re hoping our new indoor pool and waterslide will help us retain customers and boost our weekend occupancy even higher." Hotel owner is Spokane Equities. Reach general manager Rick LeFleur at 509-838-5211.
As of July 31, 2004, the following waterpark resorts were under construction and scheduled to open later in 2004: Great Escape Resort & Waterpark, Lake George NY; AmericInn, Ashland WI; Grand Mackinaw Inn, Mackinaw City MI, Baymont Inn, Shepherdsville KY; Grand Rios Waterpark Resort, Brooklyn Park MN; Waterpark of America, Bloomington MN, Holiday Inn Select North, Indianapolis IN; Grand Bear Lodge at Starved Rock State Park in Utica IL; Radisson Castaway Bay, Sandusky OH; and the Splash Lagoon Expansion, Erie PA.
Great Wolf Lodge in Williamsburg-York VA started construction last December on 301 themed suites and a 70,000 sf indoor waterpark costing $48 million. The resort will feature 7 pools, wave pool, 12 waterslides over 400-feet long, spa, hot tubs, arcade, 250-seat restaurant, meeting rooms, gift shop, convenience store and an outdoor pool. Opening is expected in February 2005, according to Marc Pink, project superintendent of Stevens Construction Corp, who has helped build three of the six existing lodges. For more information, go to www.greatlakesco.com.
Ron Jon Surfpark is expected to open in March 2005 at Festival Bay Mall in Orlando FL. A surfpark is a new concept to create the perfect wave in a large indoor pool --- an idea developed by frustrated board-rider and entrepreneur Jamie Meiselman who earned his MBA at Columbia in 2002. Meiselman teamed with co-founder Doug Kirk to form Surfparks LLC, which is partnering with Ron Jon Surf Shops to create the first indoor Surfpark at Festival Bay in Orlando. Aquatic Development Group of Cohoes NY is building the groundswell wave system, which creates up to 6 waves per minute up to 8-feet high. ASR Ltd of Australia is designing the wedge pool to maintain wave height and power through the full length of the ride. ASR is also building an adjustable pool floor that changes the wave shape at the touch of a button on the computer. Meiselman is also planning to build a Surfpark as part of the Randall’s Island Aquatic Center in NY in 2006. Call Jamie Meiselman at 908-654-7063. Email is firstname.lastname@example.org. Website www.surfparks.com.
Boyne Mountain Resort in Boyne Falls MI will be the first ski resort in America to have an indoor waterpark. The 58,000 sf Avalanche Bay is under construction and expected to open Memorial Day 2005 along with the 200-unit Mountain Grand condo-hotel, bringing the resort’s total room count to 524. The indoor waterpark will feature 6 waterslides including a cannonbowl tube slide, 4 pools with a lazy river, 2 whirlpools, a Flowrider water coaster and climbing structure with tipping water bucket. The facility also has an arcade, food & beverage and retail areas. Water Technology Inc of Beaver Dam WI provided the design concept and engineering. Steve Kircher, owner-operator of Boyne Mountain Resort, hopes the new hotel indoor waterpark will help the resort regain its footing as the No. 1 ski resort in the Midwest, a Ski magazine ranking it held for many years. Reach Steve at 231-549-6005 or go to www.boyne.com.
Country Inn Hotel & Convention Center owner Dick Richards has always been innovative when it comes to promoting his hotel in Waukesha WI, a suburb of Milwaukee. But with increased competition and lost business over the last three years, Richards decided to build a $25.6 million, 40,000 sf indoor waterpark addition to his 187-room hotel. He says the indoor waterpark will draw more people to the hotel and the surrounding area year round. The indoor waterpark, which includes 3 waterslides, 4 pools and a hot tub, is expected to open in May of 2005 along with a 15,000 sf family entertainment center. Richards joined with Real-Cap LLC owners Mark Flaherty and Ed Carow to form a separate entity for the project, CIP Equity LLC. The project will be financed through a loan with First Bank of Illinois. Architectural Design Consultants of Lake Delton WI designed the project.
Grand Casino Resort in Tunica MS plans to start construction in the Fall of 2004 on a new $65 million, 30-acre water theme park that is expected to open in June 2005. Although it is primarily an outdoor waterpark, the Grand Water Park will feature a significant amount of space to indoor water recreation facilities. Grand Casino Tunica is partnering with Southeastern Recreation Developers LLC of Hernando MS to create a regional resort destination. For more information, contact Jon Lucas, president of Grand Casino Tunica, or call Valerie Morris at 662-357-3089. Website is www.grandcasinos.com.
Massanutten Resort in McGaheysville VA is constructing a 42,000 sf indoor waterpark that will feature 12 waterslides, 2 pools, spa, lazy river and a wave pool. Opening is expected in July 2005. Massanutten is a thriving four season resort and community of over 600 single-family homes, 900 timeshare units and a multi-million ski business. Massanutten is will be the second ski resort in the nation to build an indoor waterpark; the first will be Boyne Mountain MI which plans to open Memorial Day 2005. Aquatics Development Group of Cohoes NY is the design-engineering firm. For more information, contact Clay Rice, director of resort operations at 540-289-4977. Website is www.massresort.com.
Focus Enterprises of Valparaiso IN announced the construction start for a 30,000 sf indoor waterpark addition to the existing 79-room Holiday Inn Express on US Hwy 23 in Dundee MI near Cabela’s Outfitters. New guest rooms will also be built, bringing the total to 166. Focus Enterprises owns and manages 18 hotels in Indiana and Michigan. Dean Morgan is president; you can email him at email@example.com.
Great Wolf Lodge in Stroudsburg PA is under construction with a 400-suite hotel and 50,000 sf indoor waterpark that will open in October 2005. The indoor waterpark will include 8 waterslides, 4 pools, 2 hot tubs, lazy river, wave pool and a 6,000 sf arcade. The Pocono Mountain location in Pennsylvania will draw leisure families from New Jersey and New York City. Owner is Great Lakes Companies of Madison WI. Go to www.greatlakesco.com.
Bavarian Haus in Frankenmuth MI announced the start of construction in September for a 28,000 sf indoor waterpark addition that will open in October 2005. Owners Al and Susan Zehnder said they will demolish some rooms and build new rooms to replace them in order to re-configure the 137-room property, which is located adjacent to Bronner’s, the world’s largest Christmas store. Contact owners Al and Susan Zehnder for details.
Nemacolin Woodlands Resort & Spa in Farmington PA, one-hour southeast of Pittsburgh, may start construction by year end on a 300-room, 52,000 sf indoor waterpark hotel that will open in 2005. Reach Joe Bernardo at 412-367-1839 or call project manager Peter Magerko at 724-329-6624. Website is www.nwlr.com.
Joe Lieghio plans to start construction soon on a 40,000 sf indoor waterpark located near his existing 95-room Hamilton Inn in Mackinaw City MI. Plans also call for the addition of 200 to 300 more guest rooms. The indoor waterpark is scheduled to open by June of 2005. You can contact Joe Lieghio at 231-818-0547.
Brad Swenson plans to break ground before year end in Duluth MN on a parcel near I-35 across from Spirit Mountain Ski Area. Kulala Falls Hotel Waterpark will have 129 rooms and a 35,000 sf indoor waterpark featuring 3 major waterslides, adventure pool and lazy river. DSGW of Duluth MN is the architect, Water Technology Inc of Beaver Dam WI is the aquatics designer-engineer and Kraus Anderson is the contractor. Contact Brad Swenson of Clearwater Development LLC in Fargo ND for more information. 701-478-5000.
Double JJ Ranch & Golf Resort in Rothbury MI, north of Muskegon,
announced that in the fall owners will invest $40 million for a new indoor
waterpark, dinner theater, conference center and 57-room hotel. Although
the size of the indoor waterpark and its construction start date are unknown,
the project, which includes 150 home sites and a recreational vehicle park,
is scheduled to open in 2006. Contact owners Joe and Joan Lipsitz.
Recent Openings in Canada
Ameri-Cana Resort & Conference Center in Niagara Falls, Ontario, opened its 19,100 sf indoor waterpark attached to its existing 160 rooms and 16,000 sf conference center. Open Aire of Toronto provided the polycarbonate structure and enclosure for the indoor waterpark. You can reach owner Michael DiBellonia at 905-356-8444
Under Construction in Canada
Great Wolf Lodge in Niagara Falls, Ontario, is scheduled to break ground
before year end and open in 2005. Ripley Entertainment plans to spend $200
million on a family resort destination that will include a Ripley-owned
Great Wolf Lodge and a state of the art 115,000 sf Ripley’s Aquarium of
Canada on a 25-acre parcel along the Niagara River, just north of downtown
Niagara Falls, Canada. Ripley’s is the first license ever granted for a
Great Wolf Lodge by the Great Lakes Companies of Madison WI. Ripley’s Aquarium
of Canada, opening in 2006, will be the third sea life attraction following
Ripley’s Aquariums in Myrtle Beach SC and Gatlinburg TN. The northwoods-style
hotel will have 404 rooms and 90,000 sf of indoor waterpark. Other features
include a themed family restaurant, huge arcade, gift shop, confectionery,
Aveda Spa, meeting rooms, fitness center along with outdoor pool and recreation
area. Call Eric Lund of Great Lakes Companies at 608-251-6500 or call Tim
O’Brien of Ripley Entertainment at 615-646-7465.
Hotel Waterpark Resort Research & Consulting is a collaboration of Jeff Coy & Bill Haralson. Coy heads JLC Hospitality Consulting and is certified by the International Society of Hospitality Consultants. Haralson heads William L. Haralson & Associates and is a Hall of Fame member of the World Waterpark Association. For more info, contact Jeff at 507-289-7404 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Website is www.jeffcoy.com. Reach Bill at 972-231-7444 or email email@example.com. Website is www.wlha-inc.com.
|Also See:||Ski Resorts Expand Year Round Revenues, Add Outdoor & Indoor Waterparks / Jeff Coy & Bill Haralson / May 2004|
|Jeff Coy and Bill Haralson Find a Way to Get Waterparks Flowing at Hotels and Resorts / April 2004|
|Hotel Waterpark Resort Industry Report - 2003 14 New Hotel Waterpark Resorts Open / October 2003|
|What’s It Going to Cost to Build a Hotel With an Indoor Waterpark? A Guide to Cost Allocations for Developers / Jeff Coy and Bill Haralson / May 2003|
|Hotel Waterpark Resort Industry Report - 2002 / Jeff Coy and Bill Haralson / Nov 2002|
|So You Want to Build a Hotel Indoor Waterpark / Jeff Coy and Bill Haralson / Sept 2002|
|Hotel Waterparks Grow Throughout Midwest, Product Ready for National Expansion / Bill Haralson and Jeff Coy / April 2002|
|Hotel Indoor Waterparks Boost Revenues, Extend Peak Season to Year Round / Jeff Coy, ISHC / January 2002|
|Wisconsin Dells Becoming a Land of Haves and Have-Nots; Waterpark Hotels Achieved 26 Points Higher Occupancy Than Regular Hotels in 2001 / April 2002|