How Surf Lagoons Elevate and Anchor Mixed-Use Real Estate

Mixed-use real estate developers across the globe are jumping on the benefits surf parks bring, even amongst uncertainty within the larger economy. Why? Because of the increased real estate values surf lagoons have proven to offer as well as the robust business model that can surround inland surfing. Plus, the global growth of surfing is no joke. Recently named the fastest growing watersport, surfing has grown over 28% in the last few years (SIMA). When it comes to inland surfing facilities, Surf Park Central estimates that the global surf park market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 11.5% between 2021 and 2028, reaching a market size of $3.8 billion by 2028. This presents an attractive opportunity for developers and investors to capitalize on the growing demand for surfing.

So, how do surf lagoons and mixed-use real estate go hand in hand? Whatever the venue type, from urban or suburban communities to large entertainment districts, the potential to boost a real estate development’s ROI is enhanced when a wave pool is included.

Enhance Real Estate Values with Waterfront Development Potential

It’s no secret that waterfront views add to a property’s value. In fact, Zillow estimates that waterfront properties are worth 116% more than all others. If you look at the world’s most well-known surf regions like Southern California or Australia’s Gold Coast the difference in property values becomes even more stark the further away from water you get. Pair the growth and aspirations for surfing with our desire to be by water, and the potential for surf lagoons and real estate is more than apparent.

A recent article by Hotel & Leisure Advisors detailed the quantitative benefits of human-made lagoons within mixed-use developments. HLA notes increased real estate values and economic stimulus on the top of the list. The article notes that “the first public access lagoon that opened in Florida saw home sale prices increase by 21% during pre-construction, while competitors only managed to increase prices by 1-5%.” When it comes to surf lagoons, one example from Praia da Gramma in Brazil reaffirms this point. Land prices in the development rose from US$60 per m2 to US$220 per m2 just shortly after the announcement of the new surf spot. Once waves were made, prices increased to US$500 per m2 (Wave Pool Mag).

In sum, the potential for elevating real estate values and amplifying the overall plans of your development is incredible with beautiful breaking waves as an anchor. Plus, with 360 degrees of development potential surrounding an ES lagoon in particular, there’s always a high-value view of the breaking waves, whether it’s from a mixed-use high rise or from the beachside bar and surf shop.

Rednering of an upcoming surf park on Australia's Gold Coast, that will feature innovative wave pool technology Endless Surf
The Club at Parkwood on Australia’s Gold Coast is leveraging Endless Surf to anchor a mixed-use lifestyle hub.

The Surf Lifestyle Attracts Customers and Elevates On-Site Experiences

Surfing isn’t just a hobby; it is a true lifestyle. The inclusion of a lifestyle-based activity bodes extremely well for the ROI of an entire development. Not only will surfing attract new customers and audiences, but it will also keep those people on site with additional amenities. Retail, F&B, office spaces, lodging, residential units, gyms, entertainment, etc. are some of the additional amenities that we are seeing when surf lagoons and mixed-use are paired.

Andrew Thatcher, VP Business Development at Endless Surf, notes:

A striking trend I am noticing is the integration of surf pools with residential, office space, retail, and hospitality. One thing we learned from COVID is that people are welcoming a combination work and play, and this growing trend is a response to this shift in urban development and lifestyle preferences. Leveraging surf specifically is an innovative development option that blends an aspirational experience, with various other amenities to create unique mixed-use spaces that serve a wide range of purposes.”

Overall, the integration of surf pools as part of a mixed-use development reflects a strategic response to evolving lifestyle preferences, urban development trends, and a desire to create dynamic and engaging spaces for communities and visitors. Plus, developers recognize the potential for attracting investment by creating mixed-use developments that can offer revenue generation around the clock, leading to stable and successful operators and tenants.

Three Tiers of ROI: Endless Surf as the Anchor

With surf positioned as an anchor attraction within a mixed-use development, it is core to ‘The Three Tiers of ROI’ that we see within a surf park. Beyond the surf session income, the lagoon truly opens up a world of possibilities where developers can drive revenue generation surrounding waterfront.

  1. The Surf Lagoon – as the crucial piece to the surf park puzzle the wave pool serves as the heart of the action where ROI is generated through surf sessions, buyouts, and events.
  2. The Beach & Boardwalk – critical to the surf experience, the beach & boardwalk act as the next tier. Being in the immediate vicinity of the break, surfers and other guests will be spending a lot of time here pre and post-session. Therefore, is important to capitalize on the business opportunity here through incorporating things like food & beverage, retail, advertising.
  3. The Additional Amenities – beyond the break, a surf lagoon offers developers amazing waterfront development potential. This is where ROI can be unlimited, depending on the development type, your goals, budget, and how much space you are working with. You can keep things simple with retail and housing, or really reach for the stars with world-class amenities like other entertainment attractions.
As illustrated above, surf lagoons can serve as the ultimate anchor for a mixed-use property to drive additional revenue streams.

Surf Lagoons Elevate and Anchor Mixed Use Real Estate

All in all, the last half decade has really impacted the way in which people shop, work, and live their day-to-day lives. With that, it has fueled the transformation of many mixed-use real estate models to include all types of amenities and create a lifestyle hub. With surf and aspiration for the surf lifestyle growing stronger year after year, its clear why innovative real estate developers are honing in on the business potential within surf parks.

Working on a development project yourself and looking to elevate your property? As you can see, Endless Surf’s unique technology can be the key anchor your mixed-use property is looking for. There’s no doubting the business potential surrounding surf, and we’d love help you explore how a surf lagoon could benefit your plans.

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