How Cowabunga Bay Waterpark used Cloud Store and Catalate’s dynamic pricing model to increase operational predictability and achieve financial success
Cowabunga Bay Waterpark, located just east of the Las Vegas Strip in Henderson, NV, is an oasis in the desert. Known for its innovative rides, the waterpark is home to “Wild Surf”, the first ride of its kind anywhere, and other creatively named attractions such as “Zuma Zooma” and ”Rock-A-Hoola”.
Before partnering with Catalate, Cowabunga Bay Waterpark sold very few admission tickets online. Using the e-commerce platform from its point of sale provider, Cowabunga Bay sold only tickets for consignment or special events using promotional codes. Due to a high-level of fraud at the park historically, the team at Cowabunga Bay decided not to sell daily admission tickets through their website.
Without online sales for daily admission tickets, the vast majority of sales occurred at the ticket windows onsite at the park. Selling so many tickets at the ticket window resulted in increased labor costs, and guests not only had to wait in long lines to purchase tickets, but also to gain entry into the park.
When Cowabunga Bay Waterpark chose to partner with Catalate, it’s main goals were to:
- Combat poor or unpredictable summer weather with guest commitment in advance
- Smooth visitation patterns across the week by pricing days relative to demand
- Reduce waiting time at the ticket window and entry gate for customers
“We felt Catalate provided a simple solution with sound analytics and assumptions,” says Alex Barilla, General Manager at Cowabunga Bay. “As a result of working with Catalate, we certainly achieved the goals we set for ourselves, and also saw a healthy increase in ticket per cap.”
There were also some additional unexpected benefits of the partnership. Even though Alex and her team understand attendance trends at the park well after six seasons of operation, they were able to adjust staffing levels to meet the demand for arrivals for specific days using data provided by Catalate. For example, Cowabunga Bay used Cloud Store to sell special event tickets and cabanas during their 21+ Nights and Locals Nights. The tickets for these events were restricted to online sales only so Alex’s team could prepare staffing levels, and hire extra security and other vendors before the events.
“Our relationship and experience with Catalate’s product has changed our ways to enhance the guest experience, for the better.” says Barilla. “The service we received from the Catalate team was also excellent. Our Account Manager and the Partner Services Team are always available to assist when needed, even on weekends and holidays. No matter the time difference, solutions were always offered timely to assist our guests and provide the best experience.”
After a successful first summer selling dynamically priced admission tickets through Cloud Store, Cowabunga Bay plans to sell its 2020 season passes through the platform as well.