The World Waterpark Association (WWA) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to furthering the safety and profitability of the waterpark industry. Serving the owners and managers of water-leisure facilities as well as the product manufacturers and developers, the WWA supports the growing and expanding water recreation industry.
Founded in 1982, World Waterpark Association was inspired by the creativity and success of George Millay, the “Father of the Waterpark,” who designed the industry-changing SeaWorld and Wet 'n Wild amusement parks. Having an international scope from the beginning, WWA also promoted the European wave pool, the Asian leisure river and speed slide, and the Californian waterslide.1 They continue to support the industry's new innovations, such as indoor waterparks, “bowl” rides, family raft rides, and between-attractions floats.2
In the ensuing decades after WWA's founding, recreation facilities began to replace aging flat-water pools with mini-waterparks, a trend that broadened the waterpark industry beyond the large amusement parks. Another trend, the indoor waterpark, began in 1994 with Stan Anderson, a resort owner in the Wisconsin Dells. Seeking to attract tourists year round, Stan added the “Water Factory” inside his hotel. Other local hotel owners followed suit until the Dells had over 20 indoor waterparks and is now known as the “Waterpark Capital of the World.”3
Based in Overland Park, Kansas, World Waterpark Association is led by a volunteer Board of Directors, a Governance Committee, and a paid staff of directors and managers.4 Additionally there are volunteer committees concerning government relations, education, marketing and communications, safety, technology, resorts, and public sector concerns.5
Annually, WWA hosts a four day Symposium and Trade Show to educate members and to showcase waterpark products and services. The organization also publishes the World Waterpark Magazine in both print and digital formats. Through the magazine, WWA features waterparks, industry news, business and management articles, and product-related information.6 Other benefits for WWA members include the Park Locator online directory, the World Waterpark Association Insurance Program, social media and networking support, website management assistance, celebrity talent opportunities, discount programs, and an industry online classifieds. Regarding safety promotion, WWA promotes the National Water Safety Month and the Be Water Aware Program for waterparks.7
- 1. “Waterpark Industry Facts.” World Waterpark Association. < http://www.waterparks.org/waterpark_facts.asp > 3 Dec. 2012.
- 2. “FAQs on Waterparks: Part I.” World Waterpark Association. < http://www.waterparks.org/press_release_detail.asp?itemid=193 > 3 Dec. 2012.
- 3. “FAQs on Waterparks: Park II.” World Waterpark Association. < http://www.waterparks.org/press_release_detail.asp?itemid=194 > 3 Dec. 2012.
- 4. “WWA Facts.” World Waterpark Association. < http://www.waterparks.org/wwa_facts.asp > 3 Dec. 2012.
- 5. “Committees.” World Waterpark Association. < http://www.waterparks.org/committees.asp > 29 Jan. 2013.
- 6. “World Waterpark Magazine.” World Waterpark Association. < http://waterparks.org/publications.asp > 3 Dec. 2012.
- 7. “Member Benefits.” World Waterpark Association. < http://www.waterparks.org/member_benefits2.asp > 3 Dec. 2012.