b'BY BEN QUIGGLEInflatables, like this aqua park from CommercialRecreation Specialists, give campers a chance toburn energy and cool off during hot summer days. AquaticRecreationPopularasCampersLook for Active Recreation Amenities While CampingFor many campers, swimming is as much also are seeing increased popularity.a part of camping nostalgia as sitting around Campgroundownersdonthavetothe campfire on a cool summer evening. worry about hiring lifeguards and parentsAlmost all RV parks and campgrounds can relax a little bit more because therehave some sort of water attractionfrom a isnt deep water to worry about, said Hollysplash pad to a pool, or even a large inflat- DeCaro, sales and marketing director forable obstacle course. As the outdoor hos- Norwalk, Ohio-based Emerald FX, whichpitalityindustrycontinuestoattract sells splash pads. younger families and Millennials, water- She said that a lot of campground own-based activities continue to develop, pro- ers are moving toward what she calls theviding ways for campers to enjoy active splash pool phase, where owners are in-recreation, while trying out new ways to stalling a zero-entry pool and placing theplay. splash pad components at the entrance toVerona, Wisc.-based Commercial Recre- the pool. ation Specialists(CRS) is known for providing It kind of gives you the splash pad andlarge, water-based obstacle courses, which pool all in one, DeCaro explained. Youit refers to as aqua parks. From large climb- have your shallow water, and then it slowlying components to slides and more, the inflat- leads into the deeper end.able courses provide many ways for campers At Mesa, Ariz.-based Rain Deck, Luketo release some energy. Blais, the companys co-owner, said camp- Commercial Recreation Specialists offers myriad of different options when it comes toIn the campground and RV park sec- ground owners continue to show interest in developing an aqua park.tors, the trend is moving toward leveraging its splash pads. open waterfront recreation areas and build- We saw an 18% increase in business in Commercial Recreation Specialistsing out beaches with seating, rental ca- 2019 over the previous year in overall sales While Commercial Recreation Specialist sells a variety of products, from miniature golfbanas,chairsandumbrellas,saidRon to the RV park and campground sectors, courses to pedal carts and more, they are perhaps most well-known for the large inflatableRomens,founderandpresidentofCRS. he explained. We have already experi- aquatic parks they create. We also are seeing campground owners enced a lot of preplanning for 2020 projects Featuring colorful components, CRS offers inflatable water obstacles that include slides,install shallow zones, like sunken ditches, across the country, and we are also seeing bounce pads, climbing walls and more. Each component is constructed of durable materialsto create shallow water play areas and sep- more water features being added to pools and built to withstand the test of time, according to Romens. Brand names include Aquaglide,aratedeep-waterzonesforthelarger as well. Rave Sports, and Wibit.equipment pieces. Owners also are using WoodallsCampgroundManagement Romens said that the company works with campground owners to understand a parks busi-thoseportionsoftheirparkasday-use (WCM) spoke with a variety of water recre- ness model and figure out what type of product makes the most sense for their business.areas during the week. ation equipment providers, and below is How does their park work? What is the size? Who are they serving and how do they hopeWhile the larger aquatic inflatable units more information on what they provide to to monetize an aqua park? Or is it purely their goal to increase camper nights and maybe in-tend to catch the eye the most, splash pads the RV park and campground sectors.crease their site rates, add more amenities and maybe one-up the competition? he asked. Is22 -March 2020 Woodalls Campground Management'