StoryImage( ‘/Images/Story//Auto-img-11630259148417.jpg’, ‘Photo courtesy of www.rockinsummer.com’, ‘Nearly 90,000 local residents recreated at Magic Waters this summer.’);
The Rockford Park District Board of Commissioners received a summary report of operational and financial trends impacting Magic Waters at the Oct. 24 board meeting.
For the 19th consecutive year, Magic Waters has been successful in meeting the goal of the board-directed financial model by paying for its direct and indirect expenses. However, over the past three years, because of increased competition, gas prices, minimum wage increases and new laws regarding overtime exemptions, the Waterpark has not been able to generate funds for new attractions or contribute financially to other District programs.
Attendance of 238,543 was consistent with the forecast and within 1 percent of the 2005 attendance. Considering the similar weather patterns over the past two years, the attendance has leveled off, and it is expected to be flat in the future.
Some of the trends and findings reported to the Commissioners follows:
The Waterpark experienced a 33 percent increase in season pass sales, with 74 percent purchased by local residents of the Park District. Strong support of Magic Waters among local residents is evident by their use and investment. Nearly 90,000 local residents recreated at Magic Waters this summer.
Nearly 70 percent of all guests at Magic Waters are youth ages 5-19. Serving youth and teens during non-school time is a high priority of the Board of Commissioners.
Additional efforts were focused on programs that allowed disadvantaged youth and families to enjoy the Waterpark, including two very successful Summer Reading Programs with area schools and Rockford Public Library.
Park District participants at playground programs and other supervised all-day programs have the opportunity to visit Magic Waters on field trips at a very affordable group fee.
While there were significant increases in daily admission and season pass purchases by local residents, 62 percent of the Waterpark attendance is non-resident admissions. While the District provides recreational facilities for local residents to primarily enjoy, non-resident guests pay a higher admission fee, which maintains affordability of fees for local people.
Magic Waters continues to be a highly popular and valued summer recreation experience for local residents and visitors, and the Rockford Park District is thoroughly committed to its ongoing success.
From the Nov. 8-14, 2006, issue