QUESTION 1: Adventure Park Insider: What is the greatest opportunity for the adventure park industry?
Valdo: It’s to invite kids and families to get out and enjoy physical challenges together in the great outdoors!
Ryan: The opportunity is to find a great location for an aerial course, that you can afford to build and operate, and enjoy running a business where you get to interact with happy clients every day.
Micah: I think the public would appreciate a consistent and easily recognizable quality assurance program for adventure parks to help them choose which parks they should attend. Right now it is difficult to know which parks are doing their due diligence to follow industry standards. Being able to offer that level of quality assurance would be a great opportunity for the customers, as well as the practitioners and operators. The ACCT is currently developing a program accreditation service to help meet this need. More information will be available at the upcoming ACCT conference.
Jim: From the perspective of a grandparent and a parent, I believe we have an opportunity to raise a well-rounded industry. To do so, we must set boundaries and rules, but support the industry as it grows. As always, the other part to this recipe is being prepared to carry out the punishment for not staying in the path. There’s already a framework for this in many states—a system of permitting requirements, inspections, fines, etc. We need to be smart about how that is implemented, though, so that it is meaningful to large companies with lots of resources, but doesn’t stymie small not-for-profits. This is an exciting time for the adventure park industry—there’s a lot of opportunity for everyone to contribute to the boundaries and regulations, but also to support bringing the experience of adventure recreation to the public.
Paul: I see it as a way to help increase the number of people who play outside. Parks and tours really are playgrounds built for us big kids. We’ll see them in urban areas, the ’burbs, and more tourist areas. We get calls from all over the U.S. as well as overseas from people who are looking to add a park in their area.
Tim: Adventure parks are being recognized as a viable attraction to anchor other adventure activities. Standalone parks can also work in areas with high visitor appeal, like beach areas or other tourism hubs. Or conversely, they can provide a kayaking, zoo, state park, lodge, resort, ski resort and other developments with a revenue stream during the shoulder or off-season. Adventure parks succeed because they are attractive to the whole family and have a broad age market, from ages 4 to 80.