A Guide to Effective Winter Maintenance for Waterparks

Winter Waterpark Maintenance

The transition between seasons is vital to the ongoing success of waterparks. Winter waterpark maintenance includes a myriad of tasks that improve the longevity of rides and park fixtures. But more importantly, seasonal maintenance keeps park guests safe and happy. Conversely, reopening the waterpark in the summer months is another critical time. Poorly executed winter shutdowns and summer reopening protocols can lead to expensive repairs or replacements.

Carefully planned maintenance and inspections can significantly extend the lifespan of rides, reduce mid-season closures for repairs, and boost the overall attractiveness of the park.

With the many tasks involved in seasonal transitions, park owners and management can find it challenging to stay organized. This blog post presents a brief guide to winter waterpark maintenance and is designed to help make this process as painless as possible.

Creating a maintenance plan for your waterpark

The first step to ensuring smooth transitions between seasons at waterparks is to create a plan incorporating winter waterpark maintenance and spring reopening. Inexperienced park managers and staff may seek to save short-term costs by avoiding regular maintenance. However, waiting for problems to arise is a recipe for disaster and can often lead to cascading repairs.

A good maintenance plan includes a budget (dedicated to maintenance costs), a schedule, and an easy way to reference the operation and maintenance (O&M) manuals for each attraction. Another helpful addition to your maintenance plan is a directory of outside repair professionals or inside park staff responsible for repairs and maintenance. It may also be beneficial to list park maintenance goals such as training and certification for qualified staff members during the winter months.

The key is to be proactive. Staying ahead of potential breakdowns will save money and time in the long term.

Also read: Water Park Injuries: Risks & Liability

Preparing for winter waterpark maintenance

Winterization is an extensive process. Another document to add to the winter waterpark maintenance plan is a winterization checklist, which should include (but not be limited to) the following:

  • Perform preventative maintenance, including buffing slide surfaces and checking for leaks in water lines.
  • Properly drain all rides, pools, and attractions. Frozen pipes damage rides and should be avoided at all costs. Freezing can also cause “hidden” damage to gaskets and seals.
  • Review any injury reports from the season to address safety concerns.
  • Inspect replaceable elements of rides for wear and weathering.
  • Review the latest industry guidelines to ensure that the park is compliant. The World Waterpark Association and ASTM are two great resources for this purpose.
  • Reassess insurance needs (more on this below).

Also read: Specialty Insurance Basics for the Amusement Industry

Preparing for reopening

Reopening for the season is more complicated than simply reverse-engineering the winter closing procedures. A successful opening system goes in-depth to ensure rides are ready for the public.

At this phase, management should allow plenty of time for inspections, ride-tests, and potential upgrades. Review the maintenance plan once more. Any repairs or upgrades from the winter waterpark maintenance plan should receive special attention to confirm that everything is working properly.

The safety of the patrons is, of course, priority one. Additionally, managers overseeing this process need to put themselves in their customers’ shoes. It’s essential to consider the overall customer experience when addressing cosmetic concerns and other upgrades.

Also read: Equipment Breakdown Coverage for Amusement Parks

Reassessing waterpark insurance needs

The surest way to keep a waterpark running at its best is to create a winter maintenance plan and carefully execute that plan. Following these guidelines will help protect you from unnecessary expenses and potential disasters. As a result, you will stay profitable while keeping your customers safe and happy.

Perhaps the most important item in the offseason maintenance checklist is reviewing and updating insurance coverage. The right insurance policy for your waterpark will further mitigate risk and relieve the burden of liability.

McGowan Allied Specialty Insurance has over 35 years of experience in the entertainment industry. We offer extensive waterpark insurance coverage options and a deep understanding of the specific challenges faced by waterparks and attractions of all kinds.

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