Since 1985, when developers built the world’s first indoor waterpark at West Edmonton Mall in Alberta, Canada, the indoor waterpark market has enjoyed steady growth. According to Hotel & Leisure Advisors, indoor waterpark resorts, while not seeing the same boom in expansion as outdoor facilities, have had continued to increase in both the municipal and private segments. Europe built Blackpool in 1986, and Wisconsin Dells’ Polynesian Resort Hotel opened in 1994.
Indoor waterparks allow for all-weather fun for residents in municipalities, increased profits for hotels and resorts during school breaks. Big name water parks like Great Wolf Lodge, Mt. Olympus Water & Theme Park, Kalahari Resort, Chula Vista, and Wilderness Territory maximize tourism to places like Wisconsin Dells or The Poconos during the winter. Kalahari in the Poconos doubled their space to 220,000 sq. ft, becoming the largest waterpark in the United States in March 2017.
The largest indoor waterpark in the world is Tropical Islands Resort in Germany. Spread out over 16 acres, Tropical Islands is unique in that is housed in the Aerium, a former airplane hangar that is the largest free-standing hall in the world.
The stand out feature of indoor waterparks is, of course, that they’re good year round. They can also be added onto existing facilities and given outdoor elements as needed.
Indoor Waterparks also have much tighter control over theming and comfort of guests, and unlike outdoor parks, they can maximize what their guests see. As one of the main things guests will see are the walkways, pool decks, pool bottoms, stair towers and locker rooms, making the floor part of the attraction is an excellent way keep guests comfortable, safe, and on property for longer periods of time.