What to Know About Building a Theme Park

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Have you ever dreamed of being the next roller coaster tycoon? Now may be a better time than ever to take on the venture of building a theme park.

Theme park spending has grown 5% over the last year. This is due to the population's preference for spending money on unique experiences.  

Theme parks provide amusement for people of all ages. Yet, they also take a lot of hard work and business savvy. You'll also need knowledge of the logistics behind owning and operating many attractions. 

Read on to learn what it takes to break into the theme park business.    

The Business Basics 

Building an amusement park takes a proper strategy and leadership skills. You'll need to have a knack for business to make a successful startup and stay ahead of the competition. 

Start by determining the upfront investment that you'll need to bring your theme park to life. From here you can decide financing options and whether you'll need investors. For a ballpark number, Disney cost about $17 million to build

You also want to run the estimated daily costs to operate the business. Be sure to also take taxes, insurance, permits, and license fees all into consideration.

These estimated costs will help you determine what you need to charge for admission. Major theme park tickets range from about $50 to $100 a person. It also helps to run a profit and loss analysis for a better idea of the needed budget.

If it isn't affordable to build a brand new theme park, you also have the option of going with an existing franchise. 

Turning Your Vision into a Reality 

Branding is important for the concept of your theme park. This includes the company name, logo, and color theme. 

You also want to figure out what makes you stand apart from other theme parks. Do this by assessing the market needs and who your target customer should be. This will also help you develop your marketing plan. 

When building a new park, you'll likely need to undergo a feasibility study. This will help weigh the pros and cons and analyze the potential success of the park.

You'll also need to go through a planning process for the design of your park. This includes details like the size of the park, location, and layout.

Consider how many themed areas you want in your park and what attractions you will offer. Newer designed parks are also opting for indoor facilities with controlled temperatures. This appeals to summer visitors wanting to stay out of the heat.  

A location that is close to main highways is ideal to attract the most amount of visitors. This will also help you determine if you are going to lease land or build on your own property. Be sure to account for parking lots and roadways. 

Lenders will want to see planning and renderings before making any commitments. Be sure to have plenty of renderings showing aerial views. These can later get used for print collateral, like maps. 

Breaking Ground and Gaining Momentum 

Before you build an amusement park you're going to need to confirm a few logistics. This includes working with a developer to ready to the land for your theme park. You'll likely need infrastructure, like landscaping, roads, and underground utilities. 

Be sure to look into zoning laws and building codes before trying to break ground. You'll also likely need permits and a license for your new business. This may include a Certificate of Occupancy depending on the state you live in. 

Take this time to work on the marketing and PR plan to create buzz around your park before it opens. This can include local and national ads and press pitches to magazines and websites. Be sure to also establish a digital presence and build a website to help boost online ticket sales. 

Getting the Daily Operations Down

For an amusement park to succeed, you'll need to be able to manage its many daily operations. This includes cleaning, maintenance, finances, and quality control techniques. You'll also have to manage many different vendors. 

Having live animals adds a whole new layer of responsibility. You'll need trainers, vets, and a proper feeding schedule. 

You'll need to learn the ebb and flow of how the park works and what makes money. This includes busy season predictions and learning the patterns in daily attendance.  

Hiring the Right Staff

A theme park takes a talented team to become a successful business. Here are a few types of employees you'll need to hire, train, dress in uniform, and provide benefits for. 

  • Ticket sellers
  • Concession workers
  • Wait staff/food service
  • Cleaning crew
  • Talent for shows and attractions 
  • Animal keepers and trainers
  • Ride technicians and operators 
  • Property maintenance 

You'll also need a customer service team to handle any issues or concerns your customers may have. Administrative work, accounting, and legal teams may also get needed. Proper management is also essential to your operation. 

Placing Safety First

Before you can open your doors, you will likely undergo a full inspection of your park. This ensures all rides are safe for customers. Be sure to also include age requirements for certain rides.  

Your business should also have proper insurance. This works to protect yourself and your assets from any liability. Safety training and quality assurance checklists are also important.

Food, Shops, and Other Specialties  

To make your own amusement park, you'll also need to think about shopping and dining. Customers will want access to easy and delicious food options. So you want to ensure you practice safe food handling and storage procedures.

Selling merchandise in shops is a great way to boost daily sales. You can also sell these items on your website with an easy e-commerce platform.  

Creating Room for Growth

Business development is key to expanding your customer base and profits. You can do this by offering unique new attractions, talent, or dining options. Building a new hotel or water park area can also boost company growth. 

You also want to embrace technology that can help your business. Use digital marketing tactics and social media influencers to reach younger generations. 

Helpful software programs also make things more convenient when building a theme park. Aluvii theme park ticketing features options that are compatible with mobile phones. This appeals to consumers looking to stay connected and streamline their travel plans. 

Building a Theme Park from the Ground Up

Building a theme park is an involved and rewarding and business venture. It takes years of research, planning, and development, but the results are worth it.

With the right business skills, promotional efforts, and management practices it can become a reality. Be sure to read these tips for being even more successful in your business venture. 

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