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5 Waterpark Maintenance Pitfalls to Avoid
Pat Finnegan, previous Director of Operations for Wet‘n’Wild Orlando & General Manager for Chula Vista Resorts in the Wisconsin Dells learned many tips and tricks in his years of service to optimize his maintenance planning. Over the years he witnessed great and not-so-great maintenance planning while working in waterpark operations and is sharing his top five waterpark maintenance pitfalls and how to avoid them.
Following his years of park operations experience, Pat now supports waterparks throughout the United States develop aquatic solutions to keep their guests happy.
1. Not Including Maintenance in your Annual Budget
Waterpark owners that don’t develop a dedicated maintenance plan eventually realize the cost of not prioritizing a budget to dedicate funding to waterpark equipment maintenance over the years. Budgeting for annual waterpark maintenance has been proven to defer long term capital replacement costs, increase safety, and dramatically improve the aesthetic appearance and attraction to park patrons.
Our Recommendation: Create a maintenance plan and budget that outlines manufacturer recommended daily, monthly and annual maintenance tasks and projects for your current operating year and future years.
2. Hiring Uncertified Technicians
Waterpark equipment is expensive and technical, especially when it gets damaged by uncertified technicians conducting repairs or performing maintenance services. Uncertified technicians or contractors can actually cause more problems than good.
Check with the equipment’s manufacturer to find and hire Certified Technicians and Contractors to conduct inspections and any required maintenance or repairs to your equipment.
3. Waiting to the Last Minute
Avoid the last minute rush to get equipment looking great and operating perfectly before the season begins. Starting up your equipment after a shutdown or winter layover can often result in a last minute panic to get equipment running, repaired and looking like new. Last minute bookings for professional service and maintenance crews can be challenging to fulfill due to high demand, so book early to avoid startup delays. Emergency repairs or replacements are always more expensive than conducting properly planned maintenance.
Lay out a schedule of maintenance in your annual plan that specifies specific tasks required before the operating season begins. Knowing what’s required ahead of time will allow for better plan and less rushing.
4. Neglecting your Waterpark Equipment
Avoiding regular maintenance may seem like a way to save costs in the short-term, but will actually cost more in the long term.
Common pitfalls of unmaintained, dull and faded equipment are many; parks risk opening their gates with potentially unsafe attractions exposing them to possible ride closures, unhappy customers, loss of revenue and an increase in maintenance costs.
Neglected waterpark equipment reflects poorly on the park’s quality and can diminish guest perception.
Head into the season with a comprehensive and organized strategy for the maintenance of your waterpark equipment. A good plan will eliminate significant attraction down time, control costs and boost guest perception.
5. Premature Waterslide Resurfacing
Resurfacing your waterslide too early can be just as detrimental as waiting too long. Premature waterslide resurfacing by an uncertified technician can lead to delamination of the waterslide sliding surface. A delamination on the inside of a water slide is a safety hazard that requires a slide to be shut down. Recoating is incredibly technical and requires very specialized and expensive equipment as well as experience in Fiberglass Gel Coat recoating.
Consult an expert to determine the ideal time to resurface or recoat your waterslide flume. Hiring Certified Resurfacing Contractors recommended by your equipment’s manufacturer will eliminate the risk of delamination during recoating.
Get in touch with a waterpark maintenance expert today to avoid risk of delamination and safeguard your waterslide surface.