Sunday, August 13, 2006

Blog is Back with Waterparks

The Walker Economics Blog is back for a new school year, and the theme of the first week of the course is the wide reach of Economics: in other words, how many topics there are that are studied or written about by economists that are not normally considered to be part of the subject.

In honor of that theme, here is a link to a blog run by Steven Levitt, the author of Freakonomics, where he wonders why there are so many water parks in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin. In fact, the Wisconsin Dells Visitor's Bureau lists 6 large waterparks in the city and calls Wisconsin Dells "the Waterpark Capital of the World."

Any ideas of why they would put so many waterparks in one city in the middle of central Wisconsin? Why aren't there 6 waterparks in a random city in a warm state like Florida or Texas instead? Why not have 6 waterparks in Orlando or Las Vegas where you have millions of tourists every year?

(Feel free to discuss the validity of the answers offered by commenters on the Freakonomics blog.)


Anonymous said...

Of course these waterparks could have been placed right smack dab in the middle of orlando, but i do not beleive that they are being used to their full potential there because they would be over looked by all of the other theme parks. By placing these water parks in the middle of Wisconsin, the tourism might start to spread from orlando and other "hot spots," leaving Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin as the new Orlando of the north. Yes, having 6 water parks in one city is a bit silly, but it will make people want to come back atleast 5 more times to experience the other parks. It is a dangerous strategy that might be just crazy enough to work.
- Ryan S.

Anonymous said...

Along with the fact that having a large concentration of waterparks attracts a portion of the already existent market for visiting theme parks as Ryan said, I think the location has even more significance. By placing parks in Wisconsin, you are creating a destination that may be more attainable as a vacation spot for those who cannot afford to, say, fly to Orlando or California or any beach, for that matter. Creating a new concentration of parks in a central northern area creates a cheaper alternative for those who could afford the more expensive Orlando and makes a vacation possible for those who could not, thus exploiting an as of yet neglected possible consumer base.
- Jordan C.

Anonymous said...

The water parks in Wisconisin Dell would increase the tourism and income of the town but why in Wisconsin? The parks could not even be open 5 or 6 months out of the year because it is too cold. Wisconsin Dell probaly does not offer as much entertainment as say Orlando because it only has water parks. Orlando on the other hand has a wide range of amusement parks, golf courses, and attractions. This is also why Orlando is a more expensive place to vacation. I agree with Jordan in saying that Wisconsin Dell would be a more affordable vacation for many families, and all the water parks in the same area would help drop the price. They would all be battling for the cheapest entry so more tourist would come to their certain water park; therefore, the price of admission would decline. So is this just a insane idea to get water park lovers to come and be in heaven, or just a way for the water park owners to make a profit?
-Taylor Pike