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Mike Kaminski is Keynote Speaker at Hotel Waterpark Resort Workshop
March 10-13, 2009

Chula Vista Owner Talks About Good Times & Tough
Times Growing Up in the Business

February 18, 2009 --- Mike Kaminski, president and owner of Chula Vista Resort in Wisconsin Dells WI, is one of three keynote speakers tapped to address waterpark resort developers, owners and operators at a major conference scheduled for March 10-13, 2009 at Kaminski’s Wisconsin Dells property. 

Several hundred existing waterpark resort owners from across the USA, Mexico & Canada are expected to meet at the Chula Vista Resort conference center in March to learn more about How to Survive & Prosper in Turbulent Times.  Resort developers will hear about raising equity in today’s environment and when banks will start lending again on hotel projects.  Other topics include marketing-effectiveness, energy-efficiency, operational-improvement and how to add more adventure to the waterpark experience.  More information can be found at

Mike Kaminski, Chula Vista owner, center, with workshop producers Jeff Coy, left, and Bill Haralson, right. 
.“We chose the Chula Vista Resort in Wisconsin Dells as our meeting site due to Mike Kaminski’s energy, his experience from a kid washing dishes to CEO of the company and his commitment to education,” according to industry consultants Jeff Coy and Bill Haralson, who teamed up with Kaminski to produce this fourth annual event. 

It seemed very fitting to invite Mike Kaminski to talk about how he and his family survived and prospered during several recessions since he started working at the resort at age 11 in 1969. 

“Mike Kaminski will speak about What’s a Big Kid Like Me Doing in the Waterpark Business?” following lunch on Wednesday, March 11th. 

At first, Mike wanted to be jazz musician.  “I still have memories of wanting to be a studio musician, but I wanted nothing to do with being on the road.  When I discovered I couldn’t sit in a studio and play and make a ton of money, I came back here and became a trained chef, bartender and innkeeper.” 

Mike just kept learning every aspect of the business and, in the early 1980s, he and his brother Tim, who is a partner, started taking over the family business. 

Kaminski is known in the hospitality-waterpark industry as an affable and knowledgeable resort operator who speaks with the bold confidence of having been there, done that.  “Our family, and especially Tim and I, have always believed you’re either moving forward or you’re going backward.  Our goal is to continue to find great people to work for us and to grow our resort. 

In 2005 Mike Kaminski embarked on a 4-year $200 million expansion plan that included 150 new condos and an 80,000 sf sports dome that can handle conventions and major sporting events.  Future plans call for a 150,000 sf conference center, a second 80,000 sf sports dome and major additions to his existing 80,000 sf indoor waterpark. 

The workshop is focused on surviving the current recession but also on understanding the investors who are sitting on the sidelines and determining which banks are strong enough to lend money to hotel developers by mid 2010. 

Mike Conaghan of Capital Square Partners of Madison will explain the bank crisis and bailout.  Mike Kwiatkowski of equity-raiser Virchow Krause of Madison will be a panelist along with Jon Bernander of the Bank of Wisconsin Dells and Merlin Zitzner of Baraboo National Bank to offer their opinions on equity and debt financing.  Top planners, designers and engineers from the waterpark, theme park, ski, recreation, entertainment and leisure industries will be on hand to discuss the current challenges and share strategies about reviving the hotel & travel industry.  Over 40 experts are scheduled to speak. 

Sessions include:

  • Hotel Waterpark Resort Industry Annual Report
  • Ups & Downs of Marketing Wisconsin Dells
  • My Hotel Waterpark Is Worth What?
  • Health & Safety Issues Facing Hotel Waterparks
  • Cash is King: Gaining New Tax Advantages in the Current Economy
  • Pricing Strategies for Tough Times: What Works, What Doesn’t?
  • What’s So Great About RFID?
  • The Doctor Will See You Now: Energy Audits for Hotels & Waterparks
  • Energy Bills: How Much Are You Using, How Much Are You Paying?
  • Revenue: How to Get It Up in a Down Market?
  • Vital Signs: Is It Time for Professional Management?
  • Secrets of Getting Better Insurance Coverage
  • Coming Soon: Whitewater Riverparks and Indoor Snow Domes
  • Family Entertainment Centers: Making Them Bigger
  • Waterpark Resorts: How to Finance Your Vision in a Changing World
  • Who’s Got Money to Lend?  Debt Financing Options
  • Good News Ahead Believe It or Not!
  • Plus 5 roundtables, 3 luncheon keynote speakers and 3 sponsored receptions.
“We’ve also invited several sponsors to participate with us because the waterslide and waterplay equipment manufacturers are so important in the development process,” according to Haralson.  “Workshop attendees will be able to talk about their projects with speakers and sponsors in a relaxed 3-hour reception on Wednesday evening.” 

Sponsors include:  Agilysys of Fort Lauderdale FL, American Structurepoint of Indianapolis IN, Architectural Design Consultants Inc of Lake Delton WI, Cloward H2O Design & Engineering of Provo UT, Counsilman-Hunsaker of St Louis MO, Firemans Fund Insurance of Milwaukee WI, Fish & Schulkamp Inc of Wisconsin Dells WI, The Neuman Group of Beaver Dam WI, Precision Dynamics Corp of Las Vegas NV, ProSlide of Ottawa Canada, Rain Drop Products of Ashland OH and Resort & Recreation Magazine of Grand Rapids MI. 

About 300 hotel, resort and attraction owners, managers and developers are expected to attend --- along with investors, lenders, city council members, economic development directors, CVB staffs and tourism officials. 

For conference registration, go to or Chula Vista Resort at 608-254-8366.  Speakers, contact Jeff Coy at 480-488-3382 or email  Sponsors, contact Bill Haralson at 575-802-1522 or


Hotel Waterpark Resorts Workshop:
How to Survive & Prosper in Turbulent Times
Development, Financing, Energy, Operations & Marketing
March 10-13, 2009
Chula Vista Resort, Wisconsin Dells, WI
Also See: Hotel Waterpark Resort Industry Report 2004; Growth Accelerates, Projects Get Bigger / Jeff Coy & Bill Haralson / February 2008
Hotel Waterparks Construction Report 2008; 33 Hotel Waterparks Opened in 2007, 55 Scheduled for 2008 / February 2008
Hotel Waterpark Resort Growth Accelerates, Projects Get Bigger / February 2008

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