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Show Review

Lovin’ Las Vegas WWA enjoys show success

Paul Ruben reports from World Waterpark Association’s rebranded WWA Show, which returned recently to Las Vegas after a two-year gap


eld from 27 to 30 October at the Paris Las Vegas casino/resort, the WWA’s 34th annual symposium and trade show welcomed more than 1,600 international waterpark owners, operators, developers, suppliers and designers – up 8% over 2013, when the show was held in West Palm Beach, Florida. It is also on par with 2012 in Vegas, one of WWA’s most successful events to date. “We know that 2014 wasn’t a perfect season for all our operators, yet we’ve heard from members all over the world that they have big plans for the 2015 season and beyond,” noted WWA president Rick Root. “They brought their positive outlook to the WWA Show in spades and came together with fellow attendees to solve problems, craft solutions and get inspired.” The WWA Show is well known for its educational events and this year attendees heard from 119 of the industry’s most experienced professionals during the various seminars and workshops, with standing room only in many sessions. In addition to the wide variety of breakout sessions and workshops, this year’s WWA show offered three keynote addresses. “Speaker knowledge in the waterpark industry is astounding and

WWA features the great of the greats!” confirmed Hannah Jansen, Edgewater Resort & Waterpark, Duluth, Minnesota. “During the show, I was able to ask questions and seek answers from experienced operators like Mike Beatty at Disney, Cody Butcher of Great Wolf Resorts, Brian Czarnecki at Camelback Resort and Billy Hamilton with Wet ‘n Wild Orlando. They provided an opportunity to learn and a resource for the future.”

"I needed to get back in touch with the world of aquatics," The WWA’s education sessions are often compelling

confessed aquatic historian Chuck Knoll. "I need to get back to the many people of WWA. They are the most visionary people in the aquatic world." “The camaraderie in the waterpark business is like no other,” confirmed Brian Czarnecki, Camelback Resort. “No matter what size waterpark you are, you can always learn something.”

Trade stands and table networking – a view of the floor 34

Three keynotes First up with the keynotes was Ed Hart, an industry entrepreneur who has successfully revived three theme parks from bankruptcy and neglect to success, including the recently reopened Kentucky Kingdom in St Louis. “Most important, with regard to incidents involving both guests and employees,” said Hart, "make sure everyone understands the need for accurate documentation. In the event you find yourself facing an unreasonable or frivolous lawsuit, good record keeping will allow you to defend your park and its reputation." Next up was Robert Stevenson, a business professional with more than 25 years of applied experience in the fields of sales, customer service and building a corporate culture. During his keynote called “How The Best Get Better,” Stevenson shared humorous anecdotes, as well as some key service philosophies aimed at helping waterpark owners and operators give their guests the best experience from the front gate to the parking lot. “If you don’t like change you are going to hate extinction,” he mused. Ending the keynotes on a strong note was Dr Justin Sempsrott with his presentation, “Drowning Resuscitation.” Sempsrott, who founded Lifeguards Without Borders and serves as their executive director, spoke about the misconceptions surrounding the treatment of drowning patients. “Drowning is a process, not an outcome,” he said. “Drowning is not caused by water filling the lungs, but rather by a lack of oxygen to the brain and treatment should be directed at providing oxygenation and ventilation as quickly as possible.”


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