Waterparks are fun way to cool off in the heat of summer -- and they bring in big money, too.
Slideshow: The 20 Best Water Parks in America
Thanks in part to easier financing, the number of water parks, especially the indoor resort type, continues to multiply. Last year, more than $500 million was invested in indoor and outdoor water parks (and their related resorts) in North America, with 17 new outdoor water parks and six new indoor water park resorts.
That number is expected to grow this year, according to Hotel & Leisure Advisors, as 12 new indoor waterpark resorts and 19 outdoor waterparks are slated for development. Texas leads the development with eight new waterparks opening in 2016.
While the U.S. is dominated by outdoor water parks, indoor water park resorts are fueling much of the industry’s growth. In the last ten years, the number of these waterparks grew 84 percent, from 81 in 2005 to 149 in 2015. These indoor resorts help reduce the inherent seasonal risk associated with outdoor parks, which are typically only open in summer and are heavily dependent on the weather.
Overall, there are 994 water parks in the U.S. Outdoor water parks (without resorts) make up almost three-quarters of that total, while indoor water park resorts contribute 13 percent. The remaining properties are standalone indoor water parks and resorts with outdoor parks attached.