Letter from the Editors — Focus on Professionalism

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The industry’s rapid growth is resulting in constant change of technology, design, training, standards, and participation. This makes it increasingly challenging for operators to stay current and make the most informed decisions for their staff, their business, and their customers. The evolving landscape assures only one thing: you can’t operate in the future as you did in the past.

Operators are now stakeholders who can affect or be affected by the professionalism of our industry, both in how we conduct ourselves internally and in the public eye. Our goal should be to continually refine our professionalism, and to collectively hold ourselves to a higher standard.

Luckily, resources exist to advance your knowledge, business practices, and your staff’s education. In this issue we present several articles to help you keep pace, and maybe even stay one step ahead. We suggest you start with “The Evolution Of Adventure” (p. 57), which presents an overview of how the aerial adventure industry has grown and morphed over the decades. Author Michael R. Smith also identifies emerging trends and predicts future debates. Next, see “Training and Certification” (p. 60) for a review of the complex arena of educational options.

On the management side, check out “Lessons From Coach: Run Your Park Like a ‘100 Best’ Company” (p. 42). Our leadership expert, Paul Thallner, covers steps to ensure you are hiring, and keeping, great employees. And Paul knows what he’s talking about—he is a partner at Great Place to Work, the company that manages Fortune’s annual “100 Best Companies to Work For” list.

Lastly, we encourage you to dive deeper into Adventure Park Insider’s “State of the Industry Report.” We released some highlights from it in the Winter ’17 issue. Now you can order the entire 17-page report on our website, www.adventureparkinsider.com. See how your operation compares to others in the industry, and use the data and insights to inform decisions about staffing, wages, marketing, future capital investments, and much more. It’s a fascinating snapshot of our industry, and will provide a benchmark for tracking the industry’s rapid growth moving forward. If you didn’t take part in the survey this year, be sure to participate next year.

This summer, the Adventure Park Insider staff would like to come visit you! Email us if you have a story or innovation we should check out. In the meantime, stay connected with our free e-newsletter, Park Beat, which brings you industry news and exclusive online articles.

Best of luck this season!

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About Author

Olivia Rowan, Publisher — olivia@adventureparkinsider.com
Rick Kahl, Editor — rick@adventureparkinsider.com
Dave Meeker, Senior Editor — dave@adventureparkinsider.com
Sarah Borodaeff, Digital Editor –– sarah@adventureparkinsider.com

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