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Why would I go to Columbia for a water park when I can go to the one at Carowinds instead with the same or less driving distance?

Edited by gman430

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Why would I go to Columbia for a water park when I can go to the one at Carowinds instead with the same or less driving distance?

And pay Carowinds' entry fee?

I think this project is best viewed as a regional rather than a statewide draw. Charleston and Myrtle Beach are always going to be easier trips to justify because they are cities built on tourism, whereas Columbia will probably never be in the same category. Using existing water parks to build attendance projections seems like the wrong method since locals will probably still go to the better known venues. The proposed park would likely capture a percentage of Midlands and Upstate residents and entice some locals who otherwise might not go to a water park at all. My concern is the overuse of hospitality funds. With the new ball park and now this water park drawing funds, won't the city have to cut transfers to the State Museum, Riverbanks Zoo, Columbia Museum of Art, etc.?

The water park would be the county's baby, not the city's. 

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I think this project is best viewed as a regional rather than a statewide draw. Charleston and Myrtle Beach are always going to be easier trips to justify because they are cities built on tourism, whereas Columbia will probably never be in the same category. Using existing water parks to build attendance projections seems like the wrong method since locals will probably still go to the better known venues. The proposed park would likely capture a percentage of Midlands and Upstate residents and entice some locals who otherwise might not go to a water park at all. My concern is the overuse of hospitality funds. With the new ball park and now this water park drawing funds, won't the city have to cut transfers to the State Museum, Riverbanks Zoo, Columbia Museum of Art, etc.?

 

^^^ Like you said. This going to be more of a regional thing. I can't see folk from up this way packing up the car and heading down that way to get wet. Same for folks along the coast. Like Vicupstate said there are 3 water parks in the county and 3 others , 1 in Carowinds, Six Flags, and Dollywood) to choose from. CorgiMatt you do have a good point in saying that you have to pay the cover charge for the parks. But most of the time the water parks are just one of the attractions and not the main event. Charleston's park, I realy mean North Charleston's parks, is sucessful because the area is just a tourist magnet. And being honest if I were in Charleston I would rather go to the park than to actually go in the river or ocean. And alot of people would agree with me. But that's just me.

 

Fact of the matter of all this is. If they do decide to build it. It has to be a high quality product. Because people will talk. The potential, If done right, will draw people from the other attractions that people come to see. Adding one more thing for visitors to do while there. I want Columbia to have something else to do when I come. Not being funny. But the more you have. The more reasons I have to come back. And y'all know what I'm talking about.

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^^^ Like you said. This going to be more of a regional thing. I can't see folk from up this way packing up the car and heading down that way to get wet. Same for folks along the coast. Like Vicupstate said there are 3 water parks in the county and 3 others , 1 in Carowinds, Six Flags, and Dollywood) to choose from. CorgiMatt you do have a good point in saying that you have to pay the cover charge for the parks. But most of the time the water parks are just one of the attractions and not the main event. Charleston's park, I realy mean North Charleston's parks, is sucessful because the area is just a tourist magnet. And being honest if I were in Charleston I would rather go to the park than to actually go in the river or ocean. And alot of people would agree with me. But that's just me.

 

Fact of the matter of all this is. If they do decide to build it. It has to be a high quality product. Because people will talk. The potential, If done right, will draw people from the other attractions that people come to see. Adding one more thing for visitors to do while there. I want Columbia to have something else to do when I come. Not being funny. But the more you have. The more reasons I have to come back. And y'all know what I'm talking about.

I can see people coming down to visit a great zoo, go to a world-class planetarium, and go to the largest water park in the state over the weekend, with a lot of stuff to see and do in between.

 

They might want to squeeze in some great music.  http://www.free-times.com/blogs/music-farm-announces-partnership-with-ac-entertainment-081214

Edited by CorgiMatt

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Why would I go to Columbia for a water park when I can go to the one at Carowinds instead with the same or less driving distance?

 

This would more so be something to do for people in other parts of the state who would already be traveling to Columbia for some other reason, like visiting the zoo or the state museum.

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This would more so be something to do for people in other parts of the state who would already be traveling to Columbia for some other reason, like visiting the zoo or the state museum.

Do you think it is truly realistic for people to drive to Columbia to go to the zoo or the state museum, and then have the energy to go to a water park on the same day? Maybe you don't have kids, but that is a lot to do with a family on one day. And if they are staying over night it is starting to get to be a very expensive trip. Not realistic to me - sort of like the new baseball stadium...If someone really wants to go to a water park, there are a few others not far away. Is this really worth the expense? How about fixing the sewer system, or taking care of the train track problems first. 

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Do you think it is truly realistic for people to drive to Columbia to go to the zoo or the state museum, and then have the energy to go to a water park on the same day? Maybe you don't have kids, but that is a lot to do with a family on one day. And if they are staying over night it is starting to get to be a very expensive trip. Not realistic to me - sort of like the new baseball stadium...If someone really wants to go to a water park, there are a few others not far away. Is this really worth the expense? How about fixing the sewer system, or taking care of the train track problems first. 

Who said anything about the same day?  The hotels have people spilling out of them this weekend and the planetarium just opened.  - the zoo one day, the water park the next day, the museums the next day, Congaree National Park the next day, kayaking the river the next day, the historic homes tour the next day, and so on and so forth -

 

The city is working on the sewer fixes and the railroad tracks issue has been put before the state to come through on several regional road projects.

Edited by CorgiMatt

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Who said anything about the same day?  The hotels have people spilling out of them this weekend and the planetarium just opened.  - the zoo one day, the water park the next day, the museums the next day, Congaree National Park the next day, kayaking the river the next day, the historic homes tour the next day, and so on and so forth -

 

The city is working on the sewer fixes and the railroad tracks issue has been put before the state to come through on several regional road projects.

 

mr. chips has a point. Columbia is not a traditional tourist destination and it will take a long time to change that reputation. There is a better chance that people visiting Columbia for other reasons- football, parent's weekends, conferences, family reunions, etc.- might look for something to fill out their schedules and decide to local attractions. I can't imagine that a public water park having an appreciable impact on hotel stays, other than maybe to extend existing reservations by a day or so. The baseball stadium is not designed to draw people from across the state, it is designed to draw people in the suburbs into downtown (read: within city limits). The water park, the museums, and the zoo all have a similar design, but on a regional scale. It's possible that over time Columbia can develop a reputation more like Greenville- not a true tourist city, but somewhere to spend a day or two.

 

As for the sewer improvements, the city needs to get its act together and agree to transfer some general fund revenue into the sewer fund. The railroad changes will be a much longer term project for a variety of reasons.

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I was talking about a one or two day city for a wider population. If you exclude people who come to Columbia for specific reasons- USC, business, government, Fort Jackson, conferences, etc.- you are left with what I believe is a small true tourist population. This is the biggest growth area for the city and the best hope it has to gain a reputation as an interesting destination for tourists passing through the area from the or visitors from other parts of the South. A lot of this reputation building relies on the city's ability to sell itself and on positive reviews from people in Columbia for the aforementioned reasons. If anything, the water park will serve as another venue hotel staff and locals can point to as an attraction in the area.

Edited by carolinagarnet

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Here's a really good article about the current state of tourism in Columbia, as well as how outsiders perceive the city, in this week's edition of the Free Times: https://www.postandcourier.com/free-times/cover_story/do-potential-visitors-view-columbia-as-a-destination/article_39fa1a18-9762-11e9-bf46-f36231df6964.html

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