COVID-19 Impact on Waterparks

U.S. Waterparks Updates July 9, 2020

The current COVID-19 crisis has had a significant negative effect on the waterpark industry. Many parks have delayed their season openings while others have decided, or been mandated, not to open in 2020 at all. With the largest database of waterparks and waterpark resorts across North America, H&LA has tracked the closings of waterparks across all segments. We began tracking the impact of COVID-19 on May 14th and have updated this information biweekly. Our data has been confirmed via online or property-level sources and is the latest data available as of the date of publication.

Outdoor Waterparks:

We have researched or called every standalone outdoor waterpark and resort with an outdoor waterpark to determine their open status as of July 9, 2020. Some resorts with outdoor waterparks remain open for lodging, but their waterparks are closed. For our analysis, we considered these properties as closed. The following table indicates the number of outdoor waterparks in the United States that are currently closed. While many of these facilities anticipate opening, a significant number have announced they will not open for the 2020 summer season due to the COVID-19 crisis. We anticipate that many of the parks that remain closed will not open in 2020 even if they have not officially announced closure for the season.

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The following table indicates the number of outdoor waterparks by state that will officially be closed for the 2020 season.

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The table below breaks down the percentage of closed (either for the season or delayed opening) outdoor waterparks by region as of July 9, 2020.

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Since our June 11th update, the number of open outdoor waterparks has increased significantly.  More than half of this segment is currently open.

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Indoor Waterparks:

We have researched or called every standalone indoor waterpark and indoor waterpark resort in the United States to determine their open status as of July 9, 2020. Some indoor waterpark resorts remain open for lodging, but their waterparks are closed. For our analysis, we considered these properties as closed.

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The municipal closed facilities are exclusively standalone indoor waterparks while the private facilities are split between 6 closed standalone indoor waterparks and 26 closed resort indoor waterparks.

The table below breaks down the percentage of currently closed indoor waterparks by region as of July 9, 2020.  Note that there is only one municipal indoor facility in the Northeast, and it is currently closed.

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Since our May 14th update, the number of open indoor waterparks has increased significantly.  More than three-quarters of this segment is currently open.

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A number of parks have indicated that they will open this coming weekend, however additional openings are likely to be offset by subsequent re-closures. For instance, the state of Arizona forced the closure of all waterparks in late June due to a spike in COVID-19 cases. Although these numbers will continue to change, we consider the current results to be a reasonable estimate for the remainder of the season. H&LA will continue to monitor the waterpark industry and quantify the impact of COVID-19 crisis.

For questions about H&LA’s research or to inquire about hospitality consulting services, please contact Heidi Banak, 216-228-7000, extension 14; hbanak@hladvisors.com or David Sangree, MAI, CPA, ISHC, 216-810-5800; dsangree@hladvisors.com