Frisco Adventure Park holding steady with revenue, visitors
Summit Daily News
Since its opening in mid-Dec., the Frisco Adventure Park is staying busy and making money, according to Frisco’s director of recreation Lynn Zwaagstra.
“I think it’s going really well,” she said. “The participation and revenue is really tracking quite well, in-line with what we were predicting and expecting for the first year of business.”
According to a recent report compiled by Zwaagstra looking at the park’s performance from its opening through the end of February, expenses have been fairly steady for the first three months of operation. Revenue decreased from mid-Jan. through mid-Feb., which was consistent with Summit County visitation statistics.
“I think that’s pretty in line with other amenities in Summit County,” Zwaagstra said.
Total revenue for Feb. equaled $85,976, and expenses came to $68,519. In Jan., the park made $104,414 in revenue, while expenses were $93,841. Zwaagstra said expenses for Dec. were higher – $92,132 – because they included initial start-up costs. The park made $142,436 from Dec. 11 – 31.
Zwaagstra said the tubing hill was the most popular attraction at the park, drawing the majority of visitors. The terrain park, which opened Jan. 24, only saw 101 participants for the month of Feb.
“We concentrated all of our marketing on the tubing hill, which didn’t do much for the terrain park,” Zwaagstra said.
Zwaagstra said the park’s annual operating budget is slated to break even this year, and should look better each corresponding year. She said it will probably take 15-20 years to pay back the original construction costs, which were $5.6 million and include the infrastructure, roadwork, utilities, reforestation and revegetation, day lodge, tubing hill, terrain park and bike park.
The report also analyzed customer demographics and feedback. In Dec. and Jan., 86 percent of the park visitors were from outside the county. Of 64 surveys completed by customers, nine respondents said they came to Summit County specifically for the adventure park.
“We’re seeing very, very strong visitor usage, which is pretty common in Summit County,” Zwaagstra said.
Most survey respondents – 92 percent – rated the quality of their experience as excellent or good. The other 8 percent rated it as neutral. Respondents were also asked to rate the value of the park, which was defined as the quality of the experience for the price charged. Visitors to the county and Frisco residents reported high value and satisfaction, while 41 percent of Summit County residents said it needs improvement.
Zwaagstra said numerous visitors have expressed interest in using the park as a beginner’s slope. She said the town is currently looking to partner with the resorts – which already have teaching certifications in place – to set up beginner skiing and snowboarding lessons at the park for next year.
“Really, we’re a feeder area for the big resorts. We’re not a competitor,” she said.
The town is also gearing up for summer at the park. Private rental of the area’s day lodge – which Zwaagstra said has garnered a fair amount of requests – should start booking within the next week or so. Construction on the bike park will also start up again at the beginning of the summer, and is slated to be finished by late summer/early fall.
Town staff was directed by council recently to find ways to generate more revenue from the park during the summer. Currently, the town is considering moving the Frisco Fun Club – Frisco’s summer day camp – from the Nordic center to the elementary school. Zwaagstra said this would free up the center for other types of recreational programming, which is what brings in revenue during the summer. Admission is not charged for normal, daily use of the park’s amenities.
Zwaagstra said programming this summer will be similar to past years, including mountain biking clinics and tennis lessons. New this year: pickle ball, a disc golf league and tournament, and revamped skate jams at the skate park. Zwaagstra said when the bike park is fully running in 2012, the town will be able to make more money through skills camps and clinics.
“We’re trying to offer a little bit more varied programming using the amenities we have,” Zwaagstra said.
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