Riding the Waves

With new safety guidelines in place and reduced capacities, many waterparks and splash play areas managed to open to visitors this summer, while others remained closed.

There's no doubt that COVID-19 has had a big impact on every facet of operations, but it's also true that these parks provide a much-needed respite for families that are looking to cool off and have some fun.

Waterparks indoors and out have seen tremendous growth in the past couple of decades, evolving through innovative rides and products like water coasters, surf simulators and ninja-inspired amenities, while the classic attractions like wave pools and lazy rivers maintain their popularity. Turn to page 4 to learn more about trends in waterparks.

Splash pads and aquatic play areas have likewise seen ongoing innovation, from a growing understanding of how to design inclusiveness into parks to developing new ways to extend the use of the splash pad through more than one season. Read more about splash play trends on page 16.

This year, the pandemic has forced park owners and operators to place a razor-sharp attention on safety. The aquatic industry, through associations like the Pool & Hot Tub Association, the Association of Aquatic Professionals and other contributors, has pooled its knowledge with input from health professionals to develop guidance to help waterparks and other aquatic facilities navigate these rough waters. Learn more about efforts to address safety and risk management in the midst of a pandemic on page 28.

Be well,

Emily Tipping
Editorial Director,
Recreation Management

[email protected]