Hawaiian Falls Keeps Revenue and Guests Flowing in Waves

By Dave Busch

April 1, 2016

A wave pool and river does wonders to help us at Hawaiian Falls be the perfect choice for family fun. Plain and simple: we won’t build a waterpark without a wave pool and a lazy river and there are many reasons for that.

We’ve developed a program of activities each season that draws in families, helps us drive revenue, attract great publicity and encourage repeat visitation and a lot of it relies on our waves.

Events boost engagement, length of stay and guest satisfaction

One of the most successful events we host at Hawaiian Falls each year is the ice dump. As temperatures hit 100F, we dump two tons of ice into the wave pool and our guests love it! They chant “Ice! Ice! Ice!” as we countdown to the frigid moment. This annual event has become a staple of Hawaiian Falls and garners local and national publicity as well as huge attendance peaks.


“We won’t build a waterpark without a wave pool and a lazy river.”

The ice dump is just one event we host, others have included belly flop competitions, obstacle courses in the river, concerts and evening “dive-in” movies. These activities keep waterpark visitor engagement high, encourages repeat visitation, and extends the stay of the guests. They’re also a ton of fun for the guests and even the park staff.

On occasion, Hawaiian Falls hosts boogie boarding events in the wave pool, supplying the boogie boards to guests for a fee. Although it wasn’t an event that was regularly hosted, it was another way that the wave pool provided flexibility for us to generate revenue.

“By monetizing lounge spaces we added an extra $75,000 – $100,000 to our bottom line.”

Variety keeps guests staying longer

A waterslide offers generally the same experience each time you ride and only stays new and exciting for so long. Wave pools are an ever-changing landscape of splashes, inner-tubes, boogie boards, music, and entertainment. At Hawaiian Falls, we change up the wave pattern throughout the day to mix up the waves and keep guests attention all day long! Kids can come back to the wave pool deck an hour later and it’s an entirely different wave experience to dive into. The longer the families stay in the park, the more lunch, snacks, soda, and treats they will buy.

Adjacent amenities critical to driving revenue

It’s critical to provide guests with amenities nearby their home base for the day. They often hunker down around the wave pool as it promises entertainment and endless refreshment! Food and beverage stands, kiosks with impulse items for sale and cabana rentals can augment the waterpark experience, boosting guest satisfaction while making extra money along the way.

The cabana rentals are a must-have for waterparks. Each Hawaiian Falls property has cabanas for rent and we’re sold out every weekend! By monetizing these lounge spaces we add an extra $75,000 – $100,000 to our bottom line annually.

Waking up the Lazy River

Lazy Rivers are a waterpark staple, but guests may be wanting something more thrilling rather than lazy as they float around the waterpark.

We converted the lazy river at Hawaiian Falls Garland into a Wave River by adding wave-generating equipment that creates surges every few seconds. This ramped up the excitement and proved to be the most popular river amongst the seven properties.

The Wave Rivers feel higher thrill for the kids and teens, but is still calm enough for moms and their little ones to relax, recharge and soak up the sun.

Fun for the Whole Family

Wave Pools and Lazy Rivers are the most inclusive attractions because the whole family can do them together, participating in a passive manner or an active manner.  They are also very flexible features for additional revenue opportunities. The wave pool is the perfect staging ground for endless fun and new ideas, inspiring community events and activities that allow for the park to build family traditions with its guests.

A lazy river or wave river has the perfect mix of thrill, for kids and adventure seekers, while having just enough chill, for mom and toddlers, to relax in. I said it once and I’ll say it again, we wouldn’t even think to build a waterpark without both a wave pool and a lazy river!