Do you want to know the cost breakdown for starting a water park? If YES, here are 12 factors that affect the cost of building a water park. A water park or water park is an amusement park that features water play areas such as swimming pools, water slides, splash pads, water playgrounds, and lazy rivers, as well as areas for bathing, swimming, and other barefoot environments.

Modern water parks may also be equipped with some type of artificial surfing or body – boarding environment, such as a wave pool or flow – rider. These parks may be indoors, outdoors or a combination of both. The industry’s biggest water parks are owned and operated by global players such as Walt Disney Co. and Six Flags Entertainment Corporation.

The Water Parks industry’s recent growth is set to continue during the next five years. The strengthening macroeconomic climate will boost discretionary spending, which will help the domestic tourism sector. This industry has realized significant growth over the last decade and is expected to continue at approximately 3.5 percent annually.

Although there are is no published information regarding a water park’s potential profit, research does indicate that over 375 million guests visit these establishments in the United States each year. With a well organised operational strategy in place, your park can earn a piece of this multi-billion dollar industry’s profits.

Starting a water park business in the united states of America can be stressful, it requires enough cash to acquire land large enough to accommodate the kind of facility that can comfortably attract families and also cash required to equip the facility to meet the standard expected by potential users.

When it comes to starting a water park, the major areas that you look towards spending the bulk of your cash is in renting or leasing a standard facility and converting it into a water park and equipping the facility with the required features such as swimming pools, water slides, splash pads, water playgrounds, and lazy rivers, as well as areas for bathing, swimming, and other barefoot environments.

These are the key areas where you are expected to spend your startup capital;

The Estimated Cost Breakdown for Building and Opening a Water Park

  • The total fee for registering the business in the United States of America – $750.
  • Legal expenses for obtaining licenses and permits as well as the accounting services (software, P.O.S machines and other software) – $3,300.
  • Marketing promotion expenses for the grand opening of the dance studio in the amount of $3,500 and as well as flyer printing (2,000 flyers at $0.04 per copy) for the total amount of $3,580.
  • The total cost for hiring a business consultant including writing a business plan – $2,500.
  • The total cost for the purchase of insurance (general liability, workers’ compensation and property casualty) coverage at a total premium – $4,400.
  • The cost for renting or leasing a space or property that will be converted into the water park and that can accommodate the number of guests that will come in per – time (Re – construction of the facility to feature water play areas such as swimming pools, water slides, splash pads, water playgrounds, and lazy rivers, as well as areas for bathing, swimming, and other barefoot environments.) will cost – $250,000.
  • Other start-up expenses including stationery ($500) and phone and utility deposits ($2,500) – $3,000
  • Operational cost for the first 3 months (salaries of employees, payments of bills et al) – $80,000
  • The cost for store equipment (cash register, security, ventilation, signage) – $1,750
  • The cost of purchase and installation of CCTVs: $2,000
  • Equipping the water park (safety gadgets, sound system, DVD players, Flat Screen TVs, computers, video games, printers, projector, furniture, telephones, filing cabinets, and electronics) will cost – $40,000
  • The cost of launching a website: $600
  • The cost for our opening party: $3,000
  • Miscellaneous: $2,000

From the rough estimate as listed above, you would need a minimum of three hundred and ninety – six thousand eight hundred and eighty USD ($396,880) to establish a medium – scale but standard water park business in any city in the United States of America.

However, a large scale water park with joy rides, slides and elevated platforms can cost about $3million – $5million to construct and run. Please note that this amount includes the salaries of all the staff for the first three months of operation.

Owning a water park requires a high level of business finesse and leadership skills. Everyone you surround yourself with, from park builders to management and staff, will be instrumental in defining success. Costs associated with taking on such an endeavor will depend largely on your short and long-term goals for the park. However, the factors that will influence these costs include;

Factors That Determine the Cost of Building a Water Park

  1. Size

The cost of the water park you intend to build will vary depending upon how large of a facility you wish to build and where in the country you are building, but average between $250 and $600 per square foot. Experts note that an indoor park with 2720 square feet would set you back at almost $690,000.

Included in these costs are: building, HVAC, pools, mechanical, snack bar, supporting areas, theme, and waterslides, and recreation equipment. For the same construction services, a 9450 square foot indoor park would run close to $2.5 million, averaging $273 per square foot. Owners of exclusively outdoor park report start-up costs of approximately $1.5 million.

  1. Location

When a location is far away from available resources, it increases the project cost. The cost of transportation for workmen, equipment, materials, tools, etc. increases with distance and adds to the project cost. When choosing your location, carefully research the areas you are considering. Choose a well-populated area, centrally located for easy customer access. If your vision is to operate a large tourist attraction, choose a city with an airport.

Have it in mind that visitors arriving from other states, cities, and countries will be ready to start their experience. If they have to travel several additional hours to get to their final destination, they may decide to make other plans. Experienced water park owners concur with purchasing between 8 and 15 acres of land, depending upon what type of water park you plan to build:

  • Indoor parks average approximately 8-10 acres, with an average building size of almost 25,000 square feet.
  • Outdoor parks require 13-15 acres
  • An indoor-outdoor facility would need 9-12 acres, with an average building size of 23,000 square feet.
  1. Engineering Review

Sometimes it is imperative to carry out technical review of construction project to make sure the project will serve the required purpose with optimum operational and maintenance cost. Owning a water park requires a high level of business finesse and leadership skills. Everyone you surround yourself with, from park builders to management and staff, will be instrumental in defining success.

Good quality construction plans and specifications reduce the construction time by proper execution at the site without delay. Any vague wording or poorly drawn plan not only causes confusion, but places doubt in the contractor’s mind which generally results in a higher construction cost. This review cost shall also be added to the project cost.

  1. Contingency

Ideally, it is always advisable to add at least 10 percent contingency towards the total project costs for unforeseen costs and inflation.

  1. Similar Construction Projects

For the water park construction estimate, the best reference will be similar construction projects. The final cost of those similar projects can offer the idea for the new water park project cost calculation. The final cost of the past project needs to be factored with current construction cost indices.

  1. Construction Material and Park Equipment Costs

Construction material cost consists of material cost, shipping charges, and taxes applicable if any. So, it is important to consider all these variations while calculating construction material cost. In addition, you would want to build a park where visitors can float on rafts, rope swing, slide, jump in the platform, log roll, water volleyball, grill, and picnic. Start-up and ongoing expenses will be a fraction of the cost, only if you can use natural resources to your advantage.

  1. Labour Wage Rates

Labor wages vary from place to place. So, the local wage rate should be considered in the calculation. If the water park construction has to be started after several months of estimating the project cost, the probable variation in wage rates has to be considered in the calculation.

  1. Construction Site Conditions

Note that the conditions of the project site can increase construction costs. Site conditions such as poor soil conditions, wetlands, contaminated materials, conflicting utilities (buried pipe, cables, overhead lines, etc.), environmentally sensitive area, ground water, river or stream crossings, heavy traffic, buried storage tanks, archaeological sites, endangered species habitat and similar existing conditions, etc. can increase the construction cost during construction phase if these variations are not considered during estimation.

  1. Inflation Factor

Note that the construction of a water park can continue for years before completion. To save on costs, many park owners purchase enough land to fulfill their vision but start out with the essentials that fit into their budget. As business picks up, they invest a portion of their profit back into the business, adding attractions over time. During the construction period, the cost of materials, tools, labor, equipment, etc. may vary from time to time. These variations in the prices should be considered during the cost estimation process.

  1. Project Schedule

Also, note that the duration of the construction project will also affect the cost. An increase in project duration can increase the construction project cost due to an increase in indirect costs, while the reduction in construction cost also increases the project cost due to an increase in direct costs. Therefore, construction project schedules also need to be considered during project cost estimation.

  1. Reputation of Engineer

Note that the smooth running of construction is imperative for your water park to be completed in time. The cost of projects will be higher with sound construction professional reputation. If a contractor is comfortable working with a particular engineer, or engineering firm, the project runs smoother and therefore is more cost-effective.

  1. Insurance and Regulatory Requirements

Have it in mind that the estimation for water park projects should also need to consider costs of insurance for various tools, equipment, construction workers, etc. General insurance requirements, such as performance bond, payment bond, and contractors general liability are normal costs of construction projects.

In some special projects, there can be additional requirements that may have additional costs. Approvals from regulatory agencies can sometimes be costly. These costs also need to be considered during the cost estimate. Various factors influence the cost estimation of a water park project. Preparation of a cost estimate for a water park is a very complex process that consists of many variable factors.

However, you should also consider what your plans are for expansion when you are designing your water park. Regardless of the number of rides, you plan on having or the size of the water park, guests enjoy a new attraction being added from time to time.

In Conclusion,

Please note that this is a rough estimate and we usually advise our readers who are interested in opening a water park to go to the market or directly contact wholesalers and suppliers of the types of features they want to have in their water park in order to get the real time prices of these items. The truth is that if you are a good bargainer, you can get a better deal that will help you beat down the estimated price as listed above.

Solomon. O'Chucks