KristallTurm 2016 Aerial Adventure Insights

Modular High Ropes Course Growth & Trends For 2016

Hi, we hope you are off to a great start for 2016 and excited for the months to come.

Here’s what this is about.

We want to give you a quick snap-shot of the aerial adventure park industry from what we saw and experienced in 2015.

This way you’ll be better informed of the market and you’ll know how to navigate the year ahead. Especially, if you are considering an investment in this fast growth industry.

In 2015 there were an estimated 800 aerial trekking courses in North America. This survey included tree-top courses and modular steel structures like the KristallTurm ropes course. *

Since 2010 the aerial ropes course business experienced a 400% increase in growth. In 2015 alone, this growth contributed approximately $127M of economic impact to the US and Canada.

We see this doubling.

We expect a flood of new modular aerial adventure parks opening in the next 1- 3 years, creating a surge of opportunity for early investors. A 2015 survey anticipated 252 aerial trekking parks opening in 12 months. Modular steel structures account for approximately 15% of this number yet this is about to change. **

The popular TV show American Ninja Warrior and obstacle course races like Tough Mudder have fuelled the awareness and acceptance of adventure racing culture. There is a strong public appetite for this new form of adventure and challenge.

The November 2015 IAAPA trade-show mirrored this assumption with greater emphasis placed on modular stand-alone steel structures and the number of enquiries received from early adopters and innovators at the show reflect this trend.

What we’ve learned.


Cities with populations larger than 250,000 people are best suited to modular steel structures. Or locations with high tourist and highway traffic next to or near the tower site. These locations stand the best chance of sustained success. Traffic is King. Build where there are people.

Trends and increased costs facing operators.

Insurance Costs, Payroll Expenses.  Minimum Wage Increases.  Design and Development Costs. Regulatory Expenses are all anticipated to go up. Your choice of structure and vendor partner is critical.  Look to a vendor with proven success in delivery, execution and ownership.

Due Diligence

Ask great questions of your vendor. “Do you own and operate your own product? Have you owned parks in the past? Do you have more than 10 installs under your belt? If I have 120 people in my park, how many staff do I need to operate and keep my overhead low? What certification do you adhere to? Does your park pass the ASTM industry standard?”

Frame your investment as a long term venture. Think 5-10-15 years. Then investigate if the quality and integrity of the product and company will stand up to the test. Visit existing locations.

Outdoor OR Indoor?

KristallTurm is best known for its 19 outdoor aerial adventure parks. Most people are unaware we build Indoor aerial adventure parks. In 2015 we launched 2 indoor parks in Europe. The Swiss Mega Park is our latest indoor installation.

The 700 sq. meter, (7534 sq. feet), two level indoor structure fits inside a purpose built dome. The height of the structure is 9 meters or (27ft). It has 32 elements or games and can accommodate 40 people simultaneously without lineups. Yet, the structure can safely accommodate double this amount of people. KristallTurm was chosen over competitors due to tough requirements for challenge, adventure safety and operational ease.  The product had to appeal to 6 year olds and 64 year olds.  It had to be easy to operate, be low maintenance and provide the biggest bang for the buck for 2 hours of fun. It had to be adaptable and modular. Extra features like the ‘rappel station’ add to the buzz. The Swiss Mega Park continues to post remarkable attendance numbers month on month.

View the image gallery. Click the link and scroll down to  “Hochseilpark” to see the KristallTurm indoor structure.


Indoor and Outdoor aerial adventure parks will surge in popularity in both Canada and the US in 2016-17. The demand for accessible adventure fueled by popular culture and media will see double digit growth. Modular steel aerial adventure parks are experiencing the transformation fiberglass water parks experienced in the 70’s-80’s. Investors and visionaries with capital and land have a unique opportunity to deliver an in-demand and sought after recreation experience while mitigating risks like safety, staffing overhead, footprint, acreage. First mover advantage opportunities are ripe in both the US and Canada. Structures like the KristallTurm, built with precision engineering and adapted to the North American market by way of market intelligence, R&D and operational success will continue to deliver the best solution. The experience is everything. Challenge, adventure, pucker factor and safety all fit into the mix and are critical to repeat traffic and memberships. One and done, maze like structures and experiences have low appeal to an active, sophisticated, adventure seeking market.  The steel aerial structure must be able to be built anywhere and easily expanded upon with future growth.

From our 8 years of experience and 19 installs in 7 countries, a  modular aerial adventure structure provides the safest and most exciting path to profitability in this market space for the next 10+ years. Indoor or Outdoor.

For more industry related insights, please view the latest Winter edition of the Adventure Park Insider. The results of a panel discussion “Looking Ahead To The Future Of The Industry” can be found here.

Click here to read an insightful article titled “A Peak Into The Future” by Paul Cummings of Strategic Adventures.

** Survey information obtained from:

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