Beginner’s Guide: How to Start a Water Park Business – Tips and Strategies

If you’re thinking of starting your own business, why not start a water park? It’s a fun and exciting way to provide entertainment for families and friends during the summer months. Plus, with the right planning and execution, it can be a profitable business venture. If you’ve been wondering how to start a water park business, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll guide you through the process of starting your very own water park from scratch.

With the increasing popularity of water parks, now is a great time to consider starting your own. However, it’s important to note that starting a business is no easy feat. It requires careful planning, research, and dedication. But if you’re willing to put in the work, starting a water park business can be a rewarding experience. Not only will you provide a fun and memorable experience for your customers, but you’ll also have the satisfaction of building something from the ground up.

To get started on your water park business, you’ll need to consider a few key factors. First, you’ll need to decide on a location that’s easily accessible and has plenty of space for your rides and attractions. You’ll also need to think about the type of rides you want to offer and how you’ll market your park to attract customers. Additionally, you’ll need to consider the legal and financial aspects involved in starting a business. By taking these factors into account, you’ll be on your way to building a successful water park that brings joy and excitement to your community.

Conducting Market Research and Feasibility Studies

Before investing in a water park business, the first step is to conduct market research and feasibility studies. These studies help in determining the viability of your water park business idea. The feasibility study will help identify the potential risks and opportunities, the target market, the competition, and the financial potential of the business.

  • Identify your target market: Start by identifying your target market. A water park can cater to different markets, such as families, teenagers, adults, or tourists. Know who you want to attract and design your park accordingly.
  • Competition research: Research your competitors. Identify what they offer and their target market. This can help you identify gaps in the market and differentiate your water park from others.
  • Location analysis: Analyze the location you intend to set up the water park business. Look out for factors such as accessibility, population density, demographic profile, and competition in the area. This will help to determine the potential number of visitors and the potential revenue of the water park business.

After conducting market research, it is essential to determine the feasibility of your water park business. A feasibility study will help in determining the viability of the project in terms of finance, staffing, and resources.

Below is a table showing the key areas that a feasibility study for a water park should cover:

Feasibility Study Areas Questions to Ask
Market Feasibility Is there a demand for a water park in this location?
Financial Feasibility Can the water park generate enough revenue to cover its costs and generate a profit?
Technical Feasibility Is it technically feasible to build a water park on this site? What permits and zoning laws are required?
Operational Feasibility Can the water park be operated profitably with the available resources such as staff members, equipment, and maintenance

In conclusion, conducting market research and feasibility studies are crucial steps in starting a water park business as they help in identifying potential challenges and opportunities of the business. Thorough research and analysis will help you identify the target market, competition, location, and the financial potential of the water park business.

Developing a Solid Business Plan

One of the most important steps in starting a water park business is to develop a solid business plan. This plan should serve as a roadmap for your business, outlining your goals and objectives, your target market, your competition, your financial projections, and your marketing strategies. Here are some key elements to include in your business plan:

  • Executive summary: This section should provide an overview of your business, including your mission statement, your target market, your products and services, your competition, and your financial projections.
  • Market analysis: Here, you will need to research your target market and identify any trends, opportunities, or challenges that may impact your business. You should also analyze your competition and identify their strengths and weaknesses.
  • Products and services: In this section, you will describe the water park attractions and amenities that you plan to offer, including any food and beverage services. You should also outline your pricing strategy and any discounts or promotions that you plan to offer.
  • Marketing and sales: This section should outline your marketing strategies, including advertising, social media, and public relations. You should also describe your sales process and how you plan to retain customers.
  • Financial projections: This section is critical for securing financing from investors or lenders. You will need to provide detailed financial projections, including revenue, expenses, and profits, for at least the first three years of operation.
  • Management and personnel: Here, you should describe your management team and their experience in the water park industry. You should also outline any staffing needs and your HR policies.

Sample Financial Projections

Here is a sample table of financial projections for a water park business:

Year Revenue Expenses Profit
1 $1,000,000 $750,000 $250,000
2 $1,500,000 $1,000,000 $500,000
3 $2,000,000 $1,250,000 $750,000

These projections assume steady growth in revenue over the first three years, with an increase in expenses to support that growth. However, it is important to note that financial projections can vary significantly based on a variety of factors, including location, competition, and economic conditions.

Identifying a suitable location for the water park

One of the key factors that will determine the success of your water park business is the location. Here are some factors to consider when identifying a suitable location for your water park:

  • Population density: A high population density means more potential customers for your water park. Look for a location that has a large population within a reasonable driving distance.
  • Climate: The climate in the area where you plan to set up your water park is important to consider. Your business will thrive in areas where the weather is consistently warm and sunny. Look for areas that have a high number of sunny days per year.
  • Accessibility: The accessibility of your water park is key to attracting customers. You want to be in a location that is easily accessible by road and public transport. If your park is difficult to get to, you may struggle to attract visitors.

Once you have identified a few potential locations that meet these criteria, you will need to do some further research to determine which one is the best fit for your water park business. Here are some additional factors to consider:

Market competition: Look at other water parks in the area and determine how many competitors you will have. If there is already a water park in the area, you’ll need to differentiate yourself by providing unique experiences or better facilities.

Size: Consider the size of the land you will need to set up your water park. You will need to have enough space to accommodate all the facilities, including the water rides, changing rooms, food stands, and parking spaces.

Cost: Setting up a water park can be costly. You will need to consider the cost of the land, construction, equipment, and staff. Choose a location that fits within your budget.

Factor to consider Questions to ask
Population density How many people live within a reasonable driving distance?
Climate How many sunny days per year does the area have?
Accessibility Is the location easily accessible by road and public transport?
Market competition How many other water parks are in the area?
Size Do you have enough space to accommodate all the facilities?
Cost Does the location fit within your budget?

Take the time to research potential locations thoroughly. Once you have selected a suitable location for your water park business, you can begin to move forward with setting up and designing your park to attract visitors and make it a success.

Obtaining necessary permits and licenses

One of the essential steps in starting a water park business is obtaining the necessary permits and licenses from federal, state, and local governments. Failure to obtain these permits can result in fines, legal action, and even closure of the business. Here are some important factors to consider:

  • Research the permits and licenses required: Depending on the location of your water park, specific permits and licenses may be required. Consult with a business attorney or an experienced consultant to learn what permits are needed for your type of business in your state.
  • Apply for the permits and licenses: Begin the application process for necessary permits and licenses as soon as possible. This process requires time and effort, and additional documents or fees may be necessary.
  • Pass inspections: After you submit all necessary documents and fees, government officials will inspect your water park to ensure it meets safety and environmental standards.

Some of the permits and licenses that a water park business may need include:

License/Permit Description
Business License A general business license that allows your business to operate in a particular city or county.
Building Permit This permit is required for any construction or renovation of buildings or structures in your water park.
Operating Permit This permit ensures that your business is in compliance with safety and environmental regulations.
Food Service Permit If your water park will offer food and beverages, you may need this permit, which is issued by the local health department.

It is vital to stay up-to-date with regulations that may change from year to year. Stay informed by keeping up with the latest developments in your industry and by consulting with experts, such as professional organizations and government officials.

Securing financing for the business

Starting and operating a water park business is no small feat, and securing the necessary financing is a crucial step in the process. Whether you plan to start with a smaller operation or build a larger park, funding will be necessary to cover expenses such as land acquisition, construction, equipment, permits, and licensing fees. Fortunately, there are several options available to secure the financing that you need.

  • Traditional bank loans: One option is to secure a traditional bank loan. This requires a solid business plan, good credit score, and collateral to offer as security for the loan. It’s important to shop around and compare different lenders’ interest rates and terms before making a decision.
  • Small Business Administration (SBA) loans: The U.S. Small Business Administration offers several loan programs designed to help small businesses get started, including those in the hospitality industry. While SBA loans can be easier to qualify for than traditional bank loans, they require a thorough application process and typically involve higher fees and interest rates.
  • Investors: Another option is to seek out investors who are willing to provide funding for your water park business in exchange for a share of the profits. This could be an individual or a group of investors, such as venture capitalists or angel investors. They will typically require a solid business plan, a strong track record, and a clear path to profitability.

Whichever financing option you choose, it’s important to have a solid business plan in place that outlines your goals, target market, marketing strategies, competitive analysis, staffing needs, and financial projections. This will show potential lenders or investors that you are serious about your business and have done your research.

Additionally, consider seeking out the expertise of a financial advisor or consultant to help you navigate the funding process and ensure that you are making the best decisions for your water park business.

Purchasing and installing water park equipment

Water park equipment is the heart and soul of any water park. Without proper equipment, you cannot imagine your water park to be successful. Therefore, it is essential to focus on this subsection to understand how to purchase and install water park equipment.

  • Research – To start, research different water park equipment suppliers and manufacturers to understand their offerings, pricing, and warranties. Look for reliable and experienced suppliers with a good reputation so you can trust them not only for product quality but also for customer service and technical support.
  • Choose your equipment – After researching, determine what type of equipment you want to include in your water park. This could include water slides, tubes, wave pools, lazy rivers, splash pads, and more. Remember to pick equipment that will appeal to your target market and be appropriate for your budget and space limitations.
  • Installation process – Installation of water park equipment is a complex process that requires professional assistance. Ensure that the supplier or manufacturer offers professional installation services or arrange for local contractors to install the equipment. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines before, during, and after installation to ensure proper installation for optimal use and safety of the equipment.

Additionally, it is essential to provide regular maintenance to equipment to ensure durability and safety. Regular maintenance by professionals can also help detect and fix any issues early, avoiding any accidents in the future.


Starting a water park is a significant investment, and therefore, purchasing and installing water park equipment wisely is one of the important decisions to make. By researching, identifying what equipment you need, and ensuring professional installation and maintenance, you can ensure a safe and fun experience for everyone who visits your water park.

Tip: Ensure that the equipment is compliant with state safety standards. Don’t hesitate to ask suppliers or manufacturers questions about their products or industry certifications they might have.

Hiring and Training Qualified Staff

Hiring and training the right staff is crucial for the success of any business, including water parks. Your staff will be the face of your park and will interact with your customers daily. Therefore, it is crucial to find and hire individuals who are passionate about customer service, safety, and have the necessary skills to perform their duties.

  • Develop a job description: Create a detailed job description outlining the responsibilities, qualifications, and requirements for each position. This will help you attract the right candidates and ensure they understand the expectations of their role.
  • Advertise job openings: Promote your job openings through online job boards, local newspapers, and social media platforms. You can also consider partnering with local schools or colleges to recruit students who are studying relevant fields, like hospitality or recreation management.
  • Conduct interviews: Once you’ve received applications, it’s time to screen and interview candidates. During the interview process, ask questions that will help you assess their customer service skills, experience, and willingness to work outdoors in a fast-paced environment.

After hiring the right team, it’s important to train them properly to ensure they understand their roles, responsibilities, and the safety protocols. Here are some tips for training your new hires:

  • Create a comprehensive training program: Develop a training program that covers all aspects of the job, including safety protocols, customer service procedures, and daily duties. Provide hands-on training opportunities to help your staff get the necessary experience to perform their job tasks efficiently.
  • Emphasize safety: Safety is a top priority in any water park. Train your staff on the proper safety protocols for all park attractions and features. Make sure they understand the importance of remaining alert and vigilant at all times.
  • Provide ongoing training: Ensure your staff is up-to-date on the latest industry trends, safety protocols, and customer service techniques. Provide ongoing training opportunities to support your staff in their professional development and keep them engaged.
Key Takeaways:
1. Develop a job description for each position, outlining the responsibilities and qualifications.
2. Advertise job openings through online job boards, local newspapers, and social media platforms.
3. Conduct thorough interviews to assess candidate’s customer service skills and experience.
4. Create a comprehensive training program that emphasizes safety and proper protocols for all park attractions.
5. Provide ongoing training opportunities to support your staff’s professional development.

By hiring and training the right staff, you can create a welcoming and engaging environment for your customers, leading to a successful water park business.

Marketing and Advertising Strategies

Marketing and advertising are crucial aspects of any business, especially in the highly competitive water park industry. Here are some effective marketing and advertising strategies to ensure the success of your water park business:

  • Utilize Social Media Platforms: Social media is an efficient way to market your water park business. Build an online presence by creating social media accounts, such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and regularly post updates and promotions to attract customers.
  • Offer Discounts and Packages: Customers always look for the best value, so create special packages and discounts to encourage them to visit your water park. You can offer group discounts, season passes, or package deals with other businesses.
  • Partner with Local Businesses: Collaborating with other local businesses, such as hotels and restaurants, can help promote your water park and bring in new customers. You can exchange advertising material or provide discounts and rewards to their customers.

In addition to these strategies, it is important to create an effective advertising campaign. This can be achieved through:

  • Television and Radio Ads
  • Newspaper and Magazine Ads
  • Billboards and Posters

When it comes to advertising, it is essential to have a clear message and attractive design that will catch people’s attention. Make sure your advertising materials are easy-to-understand and highlight the unique features and benefits of your water park.

Here is an example of a marketing plan that could be used for a water park:

Marketing Plan Timeline
Create Social Media Accounts 1 week before opening
Offer Early Bird Discount First 2 weeks of operation
Partner with Local Hotels 3 weeks before opening
Create TV and Radio Ads 4 weeks before opening
Print Flyers and Posters 2 weeks before opening

Implementing these marketing and advertising strategies can help increase the visibility and profitability of your water park business. By creating a strong brand image and attracting new customers, you can establish your water park as a popular and successful destination in the industry.

Implementing Safety and Security Measures

When it comes to running a water park, the safety and security of your guests should always come first. A single mishap can result in legal and financial issues, not to mention the damage it can do to the reputation of your business. Therefore, it’s important to implement various safety and security measures into your operations. Here’s what you should do:

  • Hire certified lifeguards: Lifeguards are the backbone of any water park. Ensure that they have obtained the required certifications and are well-trained in first aid, CPR, and rescue techniques. Have regular training to update their skills and knowledge.
  • Provide proper safety equipment: Make sure you have enough personal flotation devices, safety vests, and first aid kits readily available for both your staff and guests. Position them strategically around your water park.
  • Enforce height restrictions and rules: Establish strict rules such as no running, no horseplay, and no diving in shallow areas. Inform guests through signage and announcements. Restrict some rides to guests who meet height requirements. Train your staff to enforce your rules affirmatively and professionally.

Besides these, you can also use technology to augment your safety and security efforts. For example, consider having security cameras installed and monitored throughout your park, especially near high-risk areas like the wave pool, lazy river, and slides. Use ride attendance systems that scan tickets or wristbands to track guests entering and exiting rides, and sound automated alarms when someone stays on a ride for too long. Train your employees to recognize and respond to suspicious behavior and report incidents immediately.

The implementation of safety and security measures is an ongoing effort. Regularly review, update, and improve them to ensure the continued safety and security of your guests.


Implementing safety and security measures is essential to the success of your water park business. By hiring certified lifeguards, providing proper safety equipment, enforcing height restrictions and rules, using technology, and continuously improving your measures, you can create a safe and enjoyable environment for your guests that will help your water park thrive.

Implementation Steps: Tools to Use:
Hire certified lifeguards Certification criteria, training programs, regular training updates
Provide proper safety equipment Personal flotation devices, safety vests, first-aid kits
Enforce height restrictions and rules Signage, public announcement system, staff training
Use technology to augment safety and security efforts Security cameras, ride attendance systems, automated alarms, staff training

Follow these steps and use the tools suggested, and you’ll be on your way to running a successful water park that prioritizes safety and security.

Offering Additional Amenities and Services to Enhance Customer Experience

While the water park may be the primary attraction, offering additional amenities and services can enhance the overall customer experience. Here are some ideas to consider:

  • Concession stands: Offering a variety of food and beverage options can keep customers at the park longer and increase revenue. Consider partnering with local restaurants to offer special menu items or featuring unique snacks that can’t be found elsewhere.
  • Rentable cabanas: Private cabanas can offer a more exclusive experience for customers who want to relax in a secluded area. Including amenities like lounge chairs, a mini-fridge, and a television can make the cabanas even more appealing.
  • Gift shops: Customers may want to take home a souvenir to remember their visit to the water park. Offer a variety of merchandise, from T-shirts to water bottles, to appeal to different tastes and budgets.
  • Locker rentals: Many customers will want to store their belongings while they play in the water park. Offering locker rentals can provide a secure and convenient way for them to do so.
  • Professional photography: Customers will want to document their fun day at the water park. Offering professional photography services can give them a way to capture those memories.
  • Activity areas: Consider offering additional activities beyond the water attractions, such as mini-golf or an arcade, for customers who want a break from the water.
  • Birthday party packages: Create packages that include private cabana rentals, food, and activities for customers who want to celebrate a special occasion at the park.
  • Season pass perks: Reward customers with season passes by offering exclusive discounts on food, merchandise, and locker rentals.
  • Event hosting: Consider offering the water park as a hosting venue for corporate events or private parties. Offering catering and event planning assistance can make it an attractive option for event planners.
  • Upgrade options: Offer customers the option to upgrade their admission ticket to include additional perks, such as a separate entrance or fast-pass access to rides.


Offering additional amenities and services can enhance the customer experience and provide additional revenue for the water park. By keeping customers engaged and comfortable throughout their visit, you can maximize their enjoyment of the park and encourage return visits.

FAQs about How to Start a Water Park Business

1. What is required to start a water park business?

Starting a water park business requires a good understanding of the industry, market analysis, financial planning, and legal documentation. You also need to secure the necessary permits, licenses, and insurance that are mandatory for your local area.

2. How much capital do I need to start a water park business?

This depends on the scale of your water park business. You need to consider land acquisition, equipment purchase, construction or renovation of water attractions, staffing, marketing, and working capital. A ballpark estimate is between $500,000 to several million dollars.

3. What are the most important water attractions for a water park business?

You need to offer water attractions that appeal to all ages and interests, such as wave pools, lazy rivers, water slides, play structures, swim-up bars, and cabanas. Choosing popular and unique attractions can keep your customers coming back.

4. How do I market my water park business to create customer demand?

You can launch a social media marketing campaign, print and digital advertising, email newsletters, special events, and promotions. Partnering with local hotels, resorts, and travel agencies can also drive more traffic to your water park business.

5. What are the maintenance and safety requirements for my water park business?

You need to ensure daily inspection and cleaning of all water attractions, proper pH and chlorine levels, regular equipment maintenance, and up-to-date safety features and certifications. Employing lifeguards and safety personnel is also a must.

6. What are the seasonal trends for water park businesses?

Typically, water park businesses are busy during summer vacation months, weekends, and holidays. But you can also run special events and promotions during off-seasons to keep your business operational and profitable.

7. What are the potential challenges for a water park business?

Potential challenges include inclement weather, equipment breakdowns, employee turnover, and legal or safety liabilities. You need to have a contingency plan in place, such as a backup generator or a maintenance backup team.

Closing Thoughts: Thank you for Reading!

Starting a water park business can offer lucrative and fun business opportunities, but it also requires planning, dedication, and hard work. By researching market trends, finding a suitable location, offering appealing attractions, marketing effectively, and keeping up with maintenance and safety standards, your water park business can thrive. We hope this article has helped you to get started or get a better idea if starting a water park business is right for you. Thank you for reading and please visit us again for more useful business tips!