Over the Labor Day weekend, I started coordinating and booking my fall travel schedule. During the fall, amongst all my other travel dates, are two important conferences to attend. In October there is the World Water Park Association Show, and in November is the attractions expo for the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA).
I have attended both for many years. While both organizations have many other events and tremendous resources to utilize throughout the year, the fall conferences have always been the most impactful to me.
The later of the two is the IAAPA attractions expo and this is an event, that for a newcomer, is a complete sensory overload. Everything that you can see, do, touch, taste, or experience at an amusement park, waterpark, carnival, museum, or any other similar attraction is on display in gigantic proportions. The talent, creativity, and experience at this Expo is beyond compare.
Now for the reason for the long back story. At last year’s attraction expo held by IAAPA, all of the organizations that had been diligently working on the Epic Waters Indoor Waterpark were together in the same room at the same time. Up until this moment we may have all been together for meetings, but it usually involved at least some of the team members participating by teleconference.
For this specific meeting it was important to the visionaries from the City of Grand Prairie to have all of us together for one last “gut check” as to whether the design was truly EPIC! The meeting took place in what felt like the center of the expo floor. We were all huddled around a set of prints with some images being shown on a screen. It was during this meeting as well as throughout the entire expo that I saw the reactions of industry peers when showing off the final plans for Epic Waters.
Over the years I have become accustomed to hearing feedback when showing other projects that included comments like, “You should consider this”, or “Why did you not do this”, but when we showed the design of Epic Waters the comments were always, “Wow!”, “Amazing!”, or “Impressive!”.
As you can imagine the attendees at this expo are sometimes a very hard crowd to impress, however that is exactly what happened when anyone saw the images that were produced from the several years of hard work and countless hours from dozens of dedicated visionaries.
As I look at the most recent construction photos from the entire EPIC project, I get more excited by the day to see all of this hard work becoming a reality. When you experience Epic Waters I am confident you will say, “They got it right”.
See you all in 2017!
Principal, American Resort Management