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Show Review

WWA Symposium

More than 1,500 waterpark owners, operators, suppliers and other industry

representatives came together to celebrate the World

Waterpark Association’s 30th Anniversary last month in San Antonio, Texas. Paul Ruben joined them at the annual WWA Symposium & Trade Show, the most comprehensive event available for water leisure professionals


Soundbites Challenging issues were discussed at the Large Park Debate during the WWA Symposium in San Antonio

“What is the impact of social media on your park? Parks need to respond to complaints on Facebook. We had to staff up, add a person, just to respond to social media"

Mike Friscia, PARC Management

“At Schlitterbahn Galveston Island Waterpark we are now planning to build cabanas to hold 18 to 20 people"

Schlitterbahn's Ron Sutula responds to reports about the growth of cabana hire

“Are there any restrictions on religious wear at your waterpark? The problem was to determine what was appropriate swimwear for Islamic women, who must remain covered. While sweatsuits may not be appropriate, there is appropriate swimwear available”

Mike Friscia, PARC Management

think the seminars I attended were the best ever,” declared Steve Rodgers of Golfand SunSplash in California, and a delegate at the first meeting of what was then the American Waterslide Association. “I have been in the waterpark business since 1977 and I’m still learning new ideas that I can take home and adapt to our park.” “We received very positive feedback from attendees,” confirmed WWA president Rick Root. “The great summer weather meant a solid season for many parks in the US and our show attendance reflected that, with a strong showing from first-time attendees.” Taking place at San Antonio’s Hyatt Regency hotel from October 6 to 10, “This year’s show also provided a unique opportunity to look back at how we’ve developed as an association and an industry over the last 30 years,” said Root. “It reminds us how quickly the waterpark business has evolved. The WWA and our member network offer a vast resource to this unique industry, allowing us to share knowledge and experience and provide the necessary tools to successfully manage future change, face new challenges and drive growth.” As always, WWA attendees came to be inspired, informed and motivated during the Symposium’s extensive educational programme. This year’s event offered more than 50 different sessions covering a wide range of topics. “I was blown away. It was my first time and I definitely took advantage of the education,” said Trevor Leonard, of Six Flags White Water in Georgia. “I was surprised by how willing people were to share ideas and best practices.”

New Ideas

“Each year we work hard to bring to new ideas on safety, marketing, operations, staff development, standards and more to the forefront because we know how much these areas impact the daily success of our member facilities,” highlighted co-chair of the WWA education committee, Chris Landgrave from Indiana’s Deep River Water Park.

World Waterpark Association celebrates 30 years I

Need some tubes? You’ve come to the right place! (Zebec)

In total, 109 speakers appeared at WWA’s 2010 workshops and symposium sessions. Sessions covered hot topics including revenue management, sponsorships, group sales, staffing and training teens to act like adults. There was even a session entitled, “What Seinfeld Taught Me about Aquatics.” In the Smaller Park Meeting led by Steve Miklosi of Breakers Water Park (Arizona) and Steve Strong of Lenape Valley Swim Club (Pennsylvania), the issue of how to handle weight limits for waterslides was discussed. How, for example, do you discreetly question a person's weight? It was suggested to hold events for women only, including inviting appropriate vendors, with a portion of the proceeds going to a women's charity. Events for teens, such as a beach party with a DJ, were also suggested.

In the last 30 years many of the industry’s most innovative products have been launched at WWA. This year’s accompanying trade show, on October 8 and 9, continued that tradition, with 220 companies exhibitors exhibiting their wares, from pumps and filtration equipment to slides and rides.

“I was impressed by all of the new products I saw this

year,” said Joe Gibbons of Leisure Consultants. “The continued commitment to high quality and innovative product offerings is great for our industry, especially for parks outside the North American market.” Several new attractions and product innovations were unveiled at WWA, including King Cobra, a side-by- side, double tube waterslide by Polin Waterparks and Pool Systems of Turkey. SplashEnhancements is a series of waterslide enhancements by SplashTacular, including lighting effects, racing elements and blendable translucent colours within fibreglass to enhance theming and guest appeal. A selection of thermoplastic staircases, trussing, decking and other products made using STF & TPF Plastic Technologies were introduced by Water Safety Products.

The trade show floor NOVEMBER 2010

"This show was good because we are relatively new in the market," said Polin’s Kubilay Alpdogan. "We have achieved 54 projects in North America so far, but this year the show was slow compared to previous years but


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