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Water Park of America Rides Wave of Success with Galaxy

Updated: October 4, 2016 | Share on LinkedIn

Since the day Minnesota’s Water Park of America opened 10 years ago, Gateway Ticketing Systems, Inc., and the Galaxy Product Suite have been by their side helping provide splashes of fun for their guests.

“We sell more general admission than probably most, if not all, other indoor waterparks in the country,” explains Blake Ford, General Manager at Water Park of America. “We’re not just a waterpark for hotel guests. We’re a tourist attraction and a place where locals come for the day.”

A driving factor in their success as an attraction is the draw of nearby Mall of America. “We have new customers every day from all over the world,” says Ford.

By pulling data from the Galaxy database, Water Park of America is able to send special offers via email or text to past guests based on when they were in the area and their purchase history. “By operating year-round, we focus a lot on the holidays when kids are out of school,” says Ford. “We’re planning something special for Halloween, Thanksgiving and the winter holidays.”

The Galaxy Product Suite also provides admission control for Water Park of America. The park has several entry points including two main gates, group sales check-in and will call pickup. General admission guests can choose from three timed events: open to close, open until 4 p.m. or 4 p.m. until close. “We use thermal wristbands with a dynamic barcode printed on them,” Ford explains. “It’s cost-effective and we don’t have to worry about guests returning them.”

To enhance the guest experience, Ford takes advantage of the user-defined fields and comment sections within Galaxy group sales to run reports. “We host up to 2,000 birthday parties a year,” Ford explains. “We use these fields to notify our birthday attendants what type of cake to have, how old the person is turning, what their favorite movie or TV show is – and then, whether by request or as a surprise, we theme the party for them. Our guests love that extra attention.”

And their attendance numbers prove that. Water Park of America enjoys 300,000 visitors annually. Yet one of the hardest parts of Ford’s operations is forecasting attendance. “Our window from purchase to use is right around two days,” he says. He relies on Galaxy to pull historical data from past months and years to help capacity manage his resources.

“We’re lucky to have implemented the Galaxy Product Suite here,” Ford says. “A system like Gateway’s only helps us generate more revenue.”

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