In the early pandemic years, amusement parks were some of the first to shutter in an attempt to stop the spread of the virus. Now, America’s amusement parks are back in a big way, with record-breaking attendance and revitalization of classic rides.
Opening an amusement park is more work than you might expect. However, if you’re considering opening an amusement park business, now is a good time to do so.
We have the best amusement park ideas, including the basics of putting together your amusement park business plan.
Read on to learn the best business tips for starting a company in the amusement park industry.
Choose Your Type of Amusement Park
There are tons of different amusement parks to consider. The classic amusement park often features multiple thrilling rollercoasters along with additional rides for all ages. There are also carnival-style amusement parks, water parks, and parks that offer playgrounds and games, rather than rides.
Making sure that your amusement park appeals to the whole family is key. That includes creating accessibility based on ADA standards as well as kiddie rides and tame rides for people who aren’t seeking an adrenaline rush.
Consider Your Amusement Park Theme
Some of the most popular amusement parks have a notable theme. The most obvious example is the Disney Park franchise, which centers Disney storylines and characters in all its attractions. A theme can make your amusement park stand out and give you direction while you plan your park’s layout.
Put Together Your Amusement Park Business Plan
Determing the type of amusement park you want to open is only the first step. You also need to create a business plan that accounts for things like:
- construction and operation costs
- ticket sales and other forms of revenue
- a financial projection of when your park will become profitable
- the park’s operation schedule
- the marketability and viability of your park
As you complete the steps in this guide, you’ll be able to flesh out your business plan more thoroughly. Keep in mind that a strong business plan is needed to attract investors.
Choose a Location and Do Market Research
Location is everything when it comes to the success of an amusement park. You have to balance two pretty serious needs: space and accessibility.
When scouting locations, ask yourself the following questions:
- Is there enough space for the major attractions you have in mind?
- Is the terrain suitable for building attractions and creating pathways?
- Is the location close enough to major hubs where people live and work?
- Will you be able to provide ample parking?
- Are there hotels or motels in the area that can provide accommodations for long-distance visitors?
You should also do market research to make sure that there is a need and desire for an amusement park in the area you’re considering. If another amusement park is located nearby, you’re going to face steep competition.
Find Investors for Your Amusement Park
You won’t be able to get your amusement park off the ground without investors. Yes, you can try to crowdfund for some of your expenses, but amusement parks come with steep upfront costs.
In addition to the cost of land, you’ll also need to cover the cost of ride design and construction. On average, the cost of a single rollercoaster is $5 million. Plus, amusement parks require a huge staff to operate, so don’t forget to consider hourly wages and benefits when you’re looking for investments.
Get the Legal Side of Starting a Company Squared Away
To get your amusement park off the ground, you’re going to have to register the business as an LLC or corporation. This will protect you from being held personally responsible for liabilities—and there is no shortage of liabilities in the amusement park industry. You should consult with a business lawyer to get through this process and make sure that all your bases are covered.
You should also purchase amusement center insurance. Though establishing your amusement park as an LLC or corporation protects you from being sued, it doesn’t prevent patrons from suing the company. Insurance will give you the financial security you need to survive lawsuits as well as natural disasters, forced shut-downs, and more.
Start Designing Rides and Planning Your Layout
Unless you’re an engineer, you’re going to have to partner with ride engineering companies to build things like rollercoasters. Simpler rides may not require as much expertise, but you can often save money by purchasing rides from third-party companies, as opposed to designing them from scratch.
As you start securing contracts to build and install your rides, it’s time to start mapping your layout. Consider placing your most desirable rides, like rollercoasters, in the center and back corners of your park, with plenty of smaller attractions and games along the way. This will encourage your patrons to move through the entire property, increasing their chances of riding more rides, buying more souvenirs, and spending more money at your park.
Market Your Amusement Park
Once you know that your amusement park is underway, it’s time to start spreading the word. A combination of local and widespread marketing is the way to go.
Social media marketing is a great way to reach a target audience. You can also run advertisements in local publications, send mailers to people’s homes, and take out radio or television ads.
Use This Guide to Open the Best Amusement Park
If you’re ready to open the best amusement park your region has ever seen, now is the time. There’s a huge demand for amusement park businesses. This guide will get you started on the right foot.
Looking for more business tips that will get your new business off the ground? Take a look as we share ideas about marketing, the latest business news, and the strategies you don’t want to miss.