The introduction of any major tourist attraction into a community brings with it the hope for an improved quality of life from significant economic growth within the region. Many factors impacting revenue, employment, local economic development, and more, are all considered when approval is given for a new venture to be permitted for construction. In this instance, the proposal of a water park being built in town will bring with it increased traffic flow and all of the benefits and liabilities that are inherent to an influx of tourists into the region. Undoubtedly, an upsurge in visitors to the area presents risk and reward. Which of these being greater will ultimately decide whether or not such an attraction is beneficial to the community and based upon statistical research and precedent, the scenario that is under review presents multiple positive externalities.
A recent study from 2013 shows that the attractions industry generated a total economic impact of nearly $219 billion in the year 2011, which included direct and indirect sales, capital expenditures, and spending from out-of-town-visitors. This spending would impact local government, resulting in an improvement of the quality of local services with respect to infrastructure, schools, and public goods, among others.
The placement of the water park in the area would also help to raise property values in the community. Though residential value is ascertained with the condition of the property itself, other external factors can affect it significantly. The proximity of attractive commercial property, such as a water park, can go a long way to adding value to a home. A report issued by Homebase/The Center for Common Concerns shows a residential property located near upscale amenities such as nightlife, coffee shops, restaurants, and movie theaters (which account for a 14-30% increase in residential property value alone) result in additional foot traffic and become more attractive when buyers are making a decision as to where they want to live.
Every tourist attraction needs employees and a water park is no different. The location of the park in our community would also result in an uptick in the labor market, offering citizens the opportunity for employment. This is beneficial in two ways: First, it would allow our friends and neighbors an opportunity to join the workforce close to home. They wouldn’t need to travel great distances to go to work. Second: it stimulates the local economy through the spending done by the employees who work at the park itself and offers the surrounding businesses growth potential which results in expansion and the hiring of more employees to those establishments as well. This begins with the very preparation and construction of the park itself. The amount of dollars spent to stimulate the economy in every regard, from the cost of materials to the employment of workers who work on the site. Many of those dollars will likely be spent online on sites like Amazon which are linked to from review sites that provide vital information on the best tools and other materials that go into the construction of any major project. Visiting a site such as Drills and Drivers allows project principals from foremen to workers to compare brands and then click through to retailers to purchase the items necessary for the job. This spend represents a considerable amount of the purchasing that goes into any major construction project and it’s no different with the water park.
Finally, due to the increase in visitors to the community as a result of the water park, additional security will be necessary, creating a safer environment. Law enforcement will boost patrols of busier thoroughfares while the park itself will have their own security force dedicated to keeping park attendees safe.
Obviously, there are some potential negative side effects to the introduction of the water park to the area, with factors such as noise, increased littering, resource consumption, parking issues, and others that must be brought for debate. However, the benefits far outweigh the negative in this instance.