Company History

ADG Waterpark Design and Development: How We Got There

ADG takes pride in their reputation as the undisputed worldwide leader in on-time, on-budget aquatic and engineered recreation projects, built upon deep industry roots that date back to the 1950’s when the founder of the company, Herb Ellis, worked as a commercial pool salesman in Albany, NY. Herb worked his way up to president of the company, eventually purchasing it to from what would soon become todays Aquatic Development Group, Inc. ( ADG).

From its early beginnings to the vibrant and innovative corporation of today, ADG is proud to have set the standards in wave generation and waterpark design that companies world-wide have attempted to emulate for more than 50 years.



Herb Ellis takes a part time summer job in the commercial pool industry as a salesman working for Paddock Pools. By the late 1950’s his passion for pools has evolved into a full-time career.




Ellis becomes CEO of Paddock Pools and grows the company into the largest commercial pool contractor in the U.S. specializing in equipment manufacturing and construction. Recognizing the need for innovation and product excellence in the industry, the organization restructures to propel these tenets forward.



With the waterpark industry still in its infancy, Ellis sees the potential for “recreational water environments” become big business in the U.S. He forms Aquatic Builders and refocuses the company from the largest commercial pool builder in the northeast, to a company dedicated to providing equipment, design and construction management services to spur the growth and development of waterparks throughout North America.



Wave GenerationPeople wanted everything to be big in the 80’s and that included waves. ADG innovation reinvents wave technology throughout the industry and is first to market with variable speed and multi-directional waves. A series of strategic acquisitions in wave machinery and commercial pool equipment, combined with superior in-house engineering and design, propelled ADG to the leader in wave generation technology.

The World Waterpark Association is formed in the 1980’s to cater to growth and innovation in the emerging waterpark industry and Herb Ellis becomes one of the original founding members.



Waterparks start to spring up throughout the US and North America and ADG continues to lead the way as the #1 builder and designer of aquatic environments. Through a series of significant projects for Six Flags, Dollywood and other major parks across N. America, ADG quickly Wave Poolbecomes known for their “get to done” attitude, superior aquatic products and for completing park projects on-time and on-budget.

During this time, ADG opens their corporate office and manufacturing facility in upstate NY and Ken Ellis, Herb’s son, becomes the new President & CEO. Pioneering the design/build concept, the seeds of ADG’s InDepthTM  approach begin to emerge as innovative product development, park design and construction is married with business development and revenue generation goals.



The turn of the century sees the growth and popularity of outdoor waterparks continue, and with it, the introduction of the indoor waterpark to the U.S. market. ADG leads the way designing and constructing over 20 new indoor waterparks across North America.

Transparent Roofing

Waves continue to grow bigger, better and more dynamic throughout this period with new innovations advancing wave technology throughout the industry. Capitalizing on the power of the wave, ADG begins manufacturing and selling the FlowRider®  surf simulator; the most popular and dynamic surfriding attraction with over 90 U.S. installations, and over 180 worldwide.



Gaylord Texan Cypress Springs

ADG continues to be a leader in innovation and creativity. In 2012 they expanded its offerings beyond the water’s edge introducing their new MountainsidesTM line.   Specifically geared towards the ski mountain industry, the Mountain Coaster and Slide are quickly proving to be the most innovative, safe and, yet, thrilling ride on the mountain, and the only ones to be manufactured in the U.S.A. MountainSides

They are also pioneering new grounds in the recreational water industry with the introduction of their new WaterfrontsTM  line; unique, pre-designed aquatic recreational areas designed to increase guest experience and revenue generation, customized to fit your brand, budget and space.


ADG’s smart, innovative products and unique InDepthTM approach to project design and development have enabled ADG to remain as the #1 aquatic manufacturing and design/build firm in the industry for over half a century. Learn more about our approach and what makes ADG your perfect partner for your next aquatic or recreational mountainside project.

Aquatic Development Group