Supplement Feature - February 2009
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In the Flow

Aquatic Design Trends

By Richard Zowie

Feel the Pinch

According to Cleveland-based Hotel & Leisure Advisors, indoor waterpark resorts are still popular attractions, but are beginning to feel the pinch of the economic downturn.

The company reports on its Web site that three indoor waterpark resorts closed in the fall of 2008 due to these challenges: the Maui Sands Resort in Sandusky, Ohio; Double JJ Resort in Rothbury, Mich.; and Three Bears Lodge in Warrens, Wis. All three of these hope to work their way through bankruptcy court and reopen this year.

"The challenges faced by these properties and others indicate the need for strong management and marketing for an indoor waterpark resort," the Web site reports. "Properties need to plan well for financing and financial issues."

Despite the troubles felt among some indoor waterparks, there is news of four impressive new openings:

Kalahari Resort in Wisconsin Dells, Wis.: This $15 million, 108,000-square-foot family entertainment center opened in December 208 and features a six-story Ferris wheel, 24 bowling lanes, go karts, three play areas, a ropes course and more.

The Wilderness at the Smokies Resort in Sevierville, Tenn: The second phase of this development includes an indoor waterpark, which opened in December 2008.

CoCo Key Waterpark in Fitchburg, Mass.: This is the 10th CoCo Key location for this waterpark attraction.

Great Wolf Lodge in Concord, N.C.: Scheduled to open this spring, the property features an 81,000-square-foot indoor waterpark—the largest resort, by square footage of indoor waterpark area, in the Southeastern United States and the 12th property managed by Great Wolf Resorts.

To learn more about trends in indoor waterparks, visit