The waterparks industry is continuing to grow in North America, says consultant David J. Sangree in his annual report

In 2018, more than $1 billion is expected to be invested in North American waterparks, both indoor and outdoor, along with accompanying resorts, Sangree said in an annual waterparks report and forecast. A total of 60 developments -- 36 new facilities and 24 expansions -- are expected.

The number of total waterparks in the United States has increased to 1,052, from last year's 1,029, the report says. Stand-alone outdoor waterparks dominate, making up 766 of that count.

The U.S. Midwest and South contain the most waterparks -- 407 and 362, respectively. The Northeast is the least waterpark-dense, with 74 properties, the report said.

Other interesting points in the report:

• The Midwest contains the majority of waterpark resorts -- handily, with 95 out of 136.

• 2017 saw the addition of seven indoor waterpark resorts. The largest addition was Phase 2 of the Kalahari Resort in Pocono Manor, Pa. Meanwhile, 15 outdoor waterparks opened in 2017, almost half in the Midwest.

• Sangree and his company, Hotel & Leisure Advisors, expect 14 municipal and eight private outdoor waterparks to open this year, compared with nine municipal and four private outdoor properties last year.

• Outdoor waterparks make up nearly 80% of these properties in the U.S. The most pronounced growth is expected in this segment, with 26 outdoor waterparks planned for opening. Seventeen of these are located in the South, the report says.

The complete report can be found here.

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