How much does a wakepark cost? Overview and reference values
12. July 2022

One question we consistently encounter during initial contact is how expensive a wakepark actually is. There is no universal answer to this, as the costs are influenced by external and internal factors that interact with each other. A cable park is not an off-the-shelf product; rather, it is individually tailored to each location, and thus, the costs are closely tied to site-specific conditions (location, ground conditions, existing water features, lake construction etc.).

The costs for a wakepark are not only incurred during construction but also during ongoing operation. This includes energy and personnel costs, insurances, the maintenance and operation of additional infrastructure such as changing rooms, shops and catering, potential lease or rental costs for the land, and so forth. All of these factors have an impact on the financial volume of a wakepark.

Reasonably reliable statements about the total costs for a business plan can only be made when all relevant information about the location is available, and it is clear how the wakepark and the surrounding infrastructure are intended to be. A wakepark always involves investments, but with a well-thought-out concept and a solid business plan, the costs can amortize relatively quickly. This is because a wakepark not only provides an exciting recreational offering and a sustainable tourist destination within the urban framework, but it also represents a lucrative source of income from which many people can benefit and make a living.

© Dan Deak Bardos

The construction costs: cable system, installation and infrastructure

The costs of building and installing a wakepark are significantly influenced by the site conditions. These conditions dictate the requirements for the layout and equipment of the facility, the resources required for installation, the infrastructure that needs to be created, and so forth.

The main areas of construction costs include:

    1. cable system for the wakeboard facility
    2. external construction measures and infrastructure
    3. equipment and expansion of the cable park with features/ramps, potentially including return docks and wave breakers
    4. maintenance and wear parts of the cable system
    5. additional costs

1. The choice of the cable system

A significant component in calculating the overall budget of a wakepark is the full-size cable system. We offer two high-quality full-size installations: our Wakeparx Premium cable system and our Sesitec cable system. Each is suitable for different applications, giving you the opportunity to find a customized solution for your specific needs.

Our Wakeparx Premium cable system stands out as the most technically innovative and sophisticated full-size cable on the market. Meticulously designed down to the smallest detail, it features advanced, refined capabilities that facilitate operation and maintenance while delivering a unique riding experience and an exceptional wakeboarding adventure. Optimized for high visitor capacities, our premium product is an excellent addition to large recreational or sports complexes. As a rough estimate for our systems with 5 or 6 towers, a range of 300,000 to 420,000 Euros can be considered.

For those with a slightly lower budget, our Sesitec system might be an attractive option. It is well-suited for lakes with shallower depths and for a more modest budget. This system has been thoroughly modernized from the ground up and adapted to meet the high standards of Wakeparx. Designed for smaller to medium-sized wakeparks with moderate visitor numbers, it is an excellent choice for customers looking to establish a wakepark business with a more modest initial investment and can be upgraded later if needed.

2. External construction measures and infrastructure

A significant cost factor involves external construction and structural measures. The local terrain must be prepared for the installation and operation of the wakeboard facility. This includes laying functional power connections, excavating and potentially filling earth, preparing and setting anchors, and establishing the starting area, among other tasks. This requires not only skilled labor but also equipment, which may need to be rented. Additionally, contributions for insurance covering the construction site are necessary. The establishment of containers, rental stations, business areas, as well as the provision of hardware for ticket sales and access management also involve financial expenses. For external works, highly individualized overall costs can arise.

© Dan Deak Bardos

3. Equipment and expansion of the wakeboard facility

Additional costs arise from the customized design of the cable park by incorporating features and ramps. The estimated additional cost is in the range of 80,000 to 200,000 Euros, plus anchoring materials, depending on the extent to which you want to enhance the wakepark facility for your visitors.

You may also be considering the incorporation of a 2-tower system to complement your full-size cable, providing a more comprehensive and beginner-friendly option for wakeboard enthusiasts. We are prepared to provide advisory support based on our extensive experience in making these decisions. We engage in thorough discussions with our clients on these matters.

4. Maintenance and wear parts

Further costs are incurred through regular professional maintenance and the procurement of wear parts. Approximately 3,000 to 5,000 Euros can be allocated for wear parts in the first year. This is because a new facility and the operation by new staff need time to become established. Opting for experienced personnel from the start can help minimize costs in this regard. In the subsequent years, wear and tear parts’ requirements typically decrease to 2,000 to 3,000 Euros annually. For the maintenance service we provide, costs ranging from 5,000 to 7,000 Euros can be considered, depending on the size of the facility.

4. Additional costs

Appraisals:

Furthermore, in many cases, fees are charged for the creation of appraisals and permits, which you will need for the application and approval of your project. If on-site landscaping is necessary (such as establishing lawns), this also involves a financial expense. As these costs heavily depend on the location, specialized companies and country-specific regulations, no reliable information on the costs can be provided here.

Delivery costs:

Additional considerations include delivery costs (potentially plus import tax, customs etc.). In this regard, we are pleased to offer assistance based on our recent years of experience.

Brief overview of potential total costs

Financial position Description Total in Euros (€)
Wakeparx cable system or
Sesitec cable system
full-size cable system hardware for the wakeboard facility 300.000–420.000
Installation of the Wakeparx cable system or
Sesitec cable system
customized installation and site analysis 29.000–45.000
External construction and building measures site work, necessary equipment, power connection, construction containers etc. 300.000–450.000
Infrastructure and technical equipment of the wakepark rental and retail areas, hardware for ticket sales and entrance management, cash register systems 250.000–400.000
Feature/ramp setup of the wakeboard facility floating features (ramps/obstacles) 80.000–200.000
Optional expansion with a 2-tower System 2.0 beginner friendly training facility 48.000–65.000
Wear parts of the cable system providing new components for flawless functionality 2.000–3.000 (annually)
Maintenance of the cable system annual maintenance service 5.000–7.000
Additional costs delivery costs, import tax and customs, appraisal creation, potentially landscaping work etc. location specific

≈ 1.000.000–1.600.000 Mio €, ⌀ 1.300.000 Mio € 

Dear readers, the listed costs are average values that we can derive from our experience with projects we have accompanied in recent years. There may be projects with lower or significantly higher investment costs. As previously mentioned, this is highly dependent on the specific location! However, it is crucial for us to provide guidance to help you better assess the financial dimensions. The actual costs at the end depend on the specifics of each project.

Adding up the costs for the wakeboard facility, preparation and installation measures, site work, the construction of infrastructure, and so on, it becomes evident that the construction of a wakepark of moderate size can average from 1 to 1.6 million euros and beyond.

© Dan Deak Bardos

Operating costs: energy consumption, Insurance, personnel

Not only does the construction of a wakepark incur costs, but also the ongoing operation. Several financial factors come into play, and these must be taken into account:

    1. energy costs
    2. personnel costs
    3. rental and lease costs
    4. insurance contributions and tax obligations
    5. marketing and advertising expenses

1. Energy costs

Operating a wakepark incurs costs for electricity, water and heating (hot water). The more extensive the infrastructure with changing rooms, sanitary facilities, catering establishments etc., the more resources are required. The amount of energy costs depends on the prices charged by local utility companies.

Good to know: Our Wakeparx facility is powered by two electric motors, while the Sesitec facility is driven by a single electric motor. The estimated power consumption of 32 to 45 kWh depends on the number of consumers and the power requirements. The average consumption for both facilities is under 10 kWh. The daily consumption, of course, also depends on the number of operating hours. This is actually lower than many customers initially assume.

2. Personnel costs

Among the ongoing costs of a wakepark are personnel costs. The larger the cable park, the more positions need to be filled. Relevant to personnel costs is whether the wakepark operates throughout the whole year or seasonally. This determines the number of workdays respectively working hours that need to be paid. Depending on the country and region, there are additional costs due to social and health insurance as well as pension contributions. Through strategic planning, efficiency can be increased, and costs can be significantly and sustainably reduced (shorter distances etc.). We offer a planning service for customer and personnel flow on your premises – feel free to reach out to us!

3. Rental and lease costs

If the land on which the wakepark is constructed is not owned but rather rented or leased, the rental and lease costs should be factored into the ongoing expenses.

4. Insurance contributions and tax obligations

Further ongoing costs are incurred through insurance contributions (liability insurance, elemental insurance etc.). Also to be factored in is an annual amount attributed to depreciation. Like all assets, the equipment provided for customers and the wakeboard facility itself undergo a certain amount of wear and tear due to use and weather conditions. In Germany, it is legally mandated that the resulting depreciation, reflecting the decrease in value, is recorded in the accounting books. Depreciation reduces the company’s profit but allows for the recognition of losses, enabling the setting aside of an annual amount that can potentially be used for repairs or the acquisition of new assets. Check whether similar tax regulations apply in your country. Some insurance companies offer a discount if annual maintenance is carried out and documented by the manufacturer.

5. Marketing and advertising expenses

A factor that is often overlooked or underestimated when calculating ongoing costs is marketing. It is crucial to regularly invest in making the wakepark known and attractive to visitors through advertising – whether online via social media channels, ad campaigns and website maintenance or through print media and on-site promotional activities. Developing and implementing marketing strategies costs money but is worthwhile and should therefore be firmly budgeted for.

© Dan Deak Bardos

Investing pays off

The construction and operation of a wakepark undoubtedly come with costs, but they pay off. According to the experience of our customers, the investments typically amortize themselves after about three to six years. The larger the number of visitors and the more revenue generated, the faster the initial expenses can be offset. In this context, the location of the wakepark, the on-site offerings for visitors and marketing play a crucial role.

To establish a wakepark facility quickly and also as a sustainable and lucrative business, it is important to generate additional revenue streams and leverage resulting synergies. The wakeboard facility is the heart of every wakepark. However, to provide visitors with a holistic experience, there should be offerings such as gastronomy, shopping and entertainment options. A wakepark offers diverse possibilities, ranging from family days and introductory courses to sports events and international competitions.

Compared to stand-up paddling, aquaparks and the like, a wakepark operates on a different level in terms of expansion potential and visitor numbers. It provides the optimal foundation to create a vast array of attractions and to be developed into a regional leisure magnet that attracts thousands of people annually. Those who seize this opportunity will have no trouble establishing a thriving business that, in a short time, brings in multiples of the initial investment.

If you are looking to build a successful business with a wakepark, do not hesitate to contact us. We accompany you on your journey to your desired project – until successful completion and beyond.

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Anne

Inquiries & Sales

Office hours: 10am-5pm (CEST)

Phone: +49 89 244 134 05

Mobile: +49 172 6390 639

Mail: anne@wakeparx.com

You plan on building a wakepark? Anne is the expert you want to talk to. Having a strong background in architecture and urban planning, she can quickly walk you through the requirements, the project timeline and any budget question that you might have. Anne handles all Full Size Cable system installations and we are not sure why you are still reading and haven’t picked up the phone yet.

PLACEHOLDER
Onboarding & Planning
Project Management
Cable System Inquiries
Anne Eaton

Anne Eaton

Director of Sales and Project Management

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