Suppliers See Spike in Demand for Water Recreation as Water-Based Park Amenities Rise in Popularity

In the March 2021 issue of Woodall’s Campground Management magazine, Ben Quiggle talked with recreation providers about the growing popularity of water-based amenities amidst the pandemic. Park owners anticipate another busy season with the growing demand from returning, as well as new campers, looking for fun and safe outdoor recreation opportunities. Quiggle spoke to our own Ron Romens, for insights into this trend.

At Verona, Wis.-based Commercial Recreation Specialists, CRS, Ron Romens, founder and president of the company, said that they have been seeing a tremendous amount of interest in the aquatic products it sells.

“In the campground and RV park sectors, the trend is moving toward leveraging open waterfront recreation areas and building out beaches with enough seating, rental cabanas, chairs and umbrellas,” he noted. “We are also seeing campground owners install shallow zones, like sunken ditches, to create shallow water play areas and separate deep-water zones for the larger equipment pieces. Owners are also using those portions of their parks as day-use areas during the week.”

Featuring colorful components, CRS offers inflatable water obstacles that include slides, bounce pads, climbing walls and more. Each component is constructed of durable materials and built to withstand the test of time, according to Romens, whose brand names include Aquaglide, Rave Sports, and Wibit. CRS also sells Splashpad® units, which Romens said some campground owners are placing closer to beach areas they may have.  He explained that some park owners are building out aquatic zones they could offer as day-use area to help generate additional income.

“It’s like they’re building businesses in parallel as opposed to just the campground with its amenities,” Romens noted. Staffing is a concern for the industry at large and when it comes to aquatic items it can be difficult for park owners to staff those amenities. Romens said it really comes down to understanding what you’re business can handle.

“There are Splashpads that don’t require a lifeguard because there is no standing water,” he explained. “I think it comes down to the design phase and understanding what you are building. If an amenity does require more staffing, them maybe you look at how you monetize that amenity. I think staffing is an aspect that needs to be looked at closely because in the past owners would just add an amenity without thinking it about it.”

Read the full article at Woodall’s Campground Management.