Hotel & Leisure Advisors has been tracking COVID-19’s effect on waterparks and, while the reports paint a more hopeful picture than at the pandemic’s beginning, the industry has been significantly impacted.
The organization and its president, David Sangree, have researched or contacted every stand-alone waterpark and waterpark connected to a resort in the U.S. to find its status. Indoor waterparks have been less affected, with 22.1% of both municipal and private parks closed as of July 9. This marked a significant improvement since early May, when less than 5% of indoor facilities were open.
Outdoor waterparks have taken a significantly bigger hit. On July 9, 56.4% of municipal and 34.8% of private outdoor waterparks remained closed.
A significant portion are scheduled to remain shuttered for the season — 43.4% of municipal and 9.9% of private. Sangree expected that number to rise. “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,” he said in the report.
While Sangree received indications that a number of parks would open in early July, he expected that to be offset by reclosures in states such as Arizona, which mandated waterpark closures in response to climbing coronavirus infection rates.
“Although these numbers will continue to change, we consider the current results to be a reasonable estimate for the remainder of the season,” the report said.