This article is a postanalysis of a culture-based regional innovation project with different partners in which "art and culture" and "experience" were supposed to inform the design of a new outdoor waterworld establishment in southern Norway. Through ethnographic fieldwork the surrounding maritime landscape was investigated as a possibie resource for waterworld stories and artistic expressions
in the establishment design. This design was nevertheless disregarded by the waterworld management and a more conventional playground theme was chosen. This article thus discusses the various reasons why a culture-based innovation project like this can fail. Traditional business routines can collide with an innovation project structure, but culture policy ideals on the meaningfulness
of the arts might also be too abstract when materialised into a tourism business.
Keywords: tourism, culture policy, business routine, art, imagineering