Add Fun to the Waterfront

If your community has a waterfront like a lake, pond or old quarry, you can create a destination park that will bring in revenues. Adding amenities to the water and land nearby will attract a wide range of visitors, bringing in revenue that can be used to expand your facilities and programs further.

Q: We'd like to develop our waterfront into a destination park. How should we get started?

A: What are your goals? Do you want to generate more revenue? Expand programming? Provide new and different recreational opportunities? Establish your goals to find the right solutions.

Next, consider the space and how you plan to use it. Assess water depth, the surrounding terrain and sun angles to help figure out which amenities will suit your space.

Finally, you'll need a budget. You can start small and grow your project in phases, using revenue from what you build initially to continue to expand.

Q: What kinds of activities can we add to the water to attract visitors?

A: First, know your audience. A waterfront park will attract families with kids, teens, seniors and more. Then, add the right amenities to please your audience, using a combination of water inflatables, water mats and climbing walls, as well as docks and stand-up paddleboards.

Consider creating three zones on your waterfront: shallow, deep and passive. Young kids and less experienced swimmers will like the shallow zone, while a deep zone with climbing, sliding and bouncing pieces to attract teens and adults. A passive zone can provide platforms and shade for relaxation.

Q: What else should we consider?

A: You'll also want to develop the land around your waterfront. Miniature golf, concessions, playgrounds and more can provide even more attraction to your site, as well as a way to get active out of the water. Don't forget to include shade structures and picnic areas.

Charge a small admission fee, and your park will generate revenues all season long to support your programs and facilities all year.


Commercial Recreation Specialists