Water Park was profitable

I know a few people wanted an update on the Water Park’s first season.

I don’t have specific stats – those will be released next month – but the city said it was profitable even though average daily attendance didn’t reach 1,100.

Here’s the explanation:

 The attendance ended up at 70,000. 1,100/day was not a magic  break even number. It was what the studies projected the attendance to be based on the facility having maximum occupancy of 1,500 and the geographic region. Once we were up and running, we determined that the maximum occupancy for safety was 1,250.

Matt Artz


  1. That’s over $1 million gross revenue in it’s first year, which ain’t too shabby.

  2. Operating costs were also projected to be “over $1 million” which could mean this is terribly shabby (from a profit making standpoint) . . . . . . or not.

    See http://www.ibabuzz.com/tricitybeat/2009/06/03/water-park-attendance/

    Doug’s post #17

    How maintenance costs ramp up over time (remember that the thing is new right now) and “professional fees” associated with the occasional liabiity claim will represent not insignificant economic uncertainty for these earliest projections.

  3. Any business that covers their operating cost in the first year is doing well.

  4. Can’t agree with that statement, Marty – – – – smart investors know that to evaluate the relative health or success of any business – startup or ongoing – they have to look at the long-term prospect for hidden or non-recurring (but significant) expenses. Where year 1 is representative of future business results, you’d be right.

    Some of those non-recurring expenses (like maintenance) get glossed over by “new” facilities . . .. and where liabiilty expenses can be extremely high (although infrequent) just one little judgement going the wrong way costs a WHOLE BUNCH . . .

    If I were an investor in this “business” (oh wait – – I kinda AM) I’d want a clear understanding of what years 2-3-4 were expected to look like and what the risk factors associated with those projections include (or not). . . . . . with such a review in hand, I think you and I could start to have the makings of a reasonable discussion as to how this investment was (or was not) paying off for the taxpayers.

    Less than that is (IMHO) little more than civic P.R.

  5. Box, you’re hand waving.

    I’ll take it a step further. Any city park that covers it’s operating costs is doing *phenomenally* well.

  6. Marty – you’re generalizing and obfuscating.

    I’ll take it a step further. YOU were talking about businesses – as in “,…Any business that covers their operating cost …” – so why are you changing your tune now ?

  7. Before we get too far into a debate over the first year results, we need a balance sheet and a report from the staff. I would guess an average attendance of around 700 a day would be a disappointment, less than half the consultant estimated as the maximum attendance. I can’t wait for the data.

  8. You are now entering Fremont…Welcome to Palookaville! Now let us all rejoice because our water slide turned a buck…big woop! Get your corn dog and enjoy one our cities cultural wonders. All of you who killed major league baseball coming to our boring (but safe} bedroom community must be asking yourself “Oh my god, what have I done?” We will never again get the opportunity to have every newspapers sports section and web sports site mention (dateline Fremont, Cisco Field) and blast it all over the world from April-November…but at least we have a profitable water slide!A sarcastic thanks to all who opposed this deal for your shortsighted blunder! I welcome all fingers for a counterpoint.

  9. Squid is spot on. Fremont will NEVER recover from giving in to
    the not so warm springs nimby “well heeled” anti prosperity mob!
    It’s a tragedy! Shame on the nimby mob!!
    This issue will not go away. Fremont will forever regret losing the opportunity to be home to a major league team.
    Oh well, at least we still have the downtown project,,,(sigh)

  10. The govt job is to ensure services that otherwise would be hard to get. Since we know pvt establishments dont come to fremont or maybe discouraged from coming, it makes sense for city council to make a water park. As Marty says, even in this economy the water park breaking even, its more than good enough.

    Why do you think Fremont doesnt have a movie theatre? Or decent clubs/lounges? decent restaurants?. Union city, 1/3rd size of fremont is better than fremont on all these counts. No wonder fremont doesnt have money to repair roads.

  11. And shame on coach Ashmore for all of his unethical recruiting!!!

  12. But Andy, one cannot argue that Union City is safer on any account. Your reasons why UC is “better” is no more than a weak opinion, and what does size have to do with anything?

    P.S. At least our kids aren’t swimming in that forsaken lagoon anymmore.

  13. In a separate study Baade alone examined the income and employment consequences of a stadium project for its host city. He found little or no evidence that a stadium can raise income or create jobs for a city. In fact in the case of employment he states that jobs may instead be: “diverted from the manufacturing economy to the service economy, or from higher-skilled to lower-skilled (and lower-paid) occupations.”

    Writing more recently Baade and Dye state that:
    “The evidence presented here is that the presence of a new or renovated stadium has an uncertain impact on the levels of personal income and possibly a negative impact on local development relative to the region. ”


  14. Like Gus said, we can’t really know anything until we see the numbers. I’d be happy if the Water Park showed a profit. It’s already built. Tearing it down would create an even bigger hole in the budget. If it starts losing money, it will drain the funds from Park maintenance for all Fremont Parks. So let’s hope it’s profitable!

  15. Here is a brief summary of the earliest staff (and their consultants’) projections for the Water Park.


    Hopefully, the proverbial “numbers” that have been suggested in this BLOG as important to a thorough discussion will include the kinds of operating line items that were (for some reason) left out of these earliest projections . . .

    Reasonable accruals for non-cash items such as maintenance or the additional park features recommended to be constructed and added every 3 to 5 years (presumably to maintain the parks “draw” appeal) will need to be included therein.

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