Create a Waterfront Destination
Many communities have discovered that existing waterfront areas, like lakes, ponds and old quarries, can be developed into a community asset that benefits everyone. Developing a waterfront destination with amenities both on the water and on the land nearby brings in a wide range of visitors, offering potential revenue for you, as well as having a real impact for local businesses.
Q: We have an unused waterfront area that we'd like to revitalize. What should we consider?
A: You can leverage your waterfront to create a unique destination park, with new and innovative recreational opportunities that will draw in families and tourists.
Start by establishing your budget and determining who your audience will be and what kinds of amenities you'd like to provide, and then talk to professionals with experience revitalizing similar areas.
If budgets are a concern, consider expanding your park in phases. This way, you can start small, then use revenue from your initial phases to continue your revitalization efforts.
If you're concerned about your ability to handle all of the operations of such a park, consider a public-private partnership, allowing a private entity to run the park for you.
Q: What kinds of amenities should we consider to create the most impact?
A: If you want to create a destination park that will draw families from near and far, consider developing a waterpark-like attraction that combines water inflatables and climbing walls, as well as docks and paddleboards.
Depending on your water depth, you can provide a variety of zones, offering recreational activities to younger kids and less experienced swimmers in a shallow area, with deeper water featuring more active attractions for teens and adults. In addition to these active areas, you'll want to provide areas for relaxation with shade and other amenities.
Don't forget the land around your waterfront. You can increase the attraction of your site with things like playgrounds, splash play areas, picnic areas and other ways to enjoy time out of the water. What's more, you can boost your revenue even further with attractions like miniature golf and concessions.
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