Just one week left until Vernon waterslides close for the season | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Just one week left until Vernon waterslides close for the season

September 01, 2020 - 6:30 AM

While it wasn't quite the season the new owners of Splashdown Vernon had envisioned, the newly named waterslides will be back up and running next year after they close for the season on Sunday.

With social distancing and extra disinfecting in place, the park, previously called Atlantic Waterslides, opened its door later than usual on July 18, and with just 25 per cent of its normal capacity.

"We're quite pleased with the fact that we were able to deliver a quality experience to a lot of families who just want to get out and enjoy a bit of a normal activity this summer," Splashdown Vernon owner Chris Steunenberg told iNFOnews.ca. "It's been rewarding to be able to see the happiness and joy."

Steunenberg, who also owns Cultus Lake Waterpark, purchased the waterslides in 2019, with plans to pump millions into the decades-old facility promising significant upgrades. Steunenberg said while plenty of behind the scenes maintenance work has been done in the park and would continue, they'll be holding off on any large expansion for the time being.

READ MORE: The business of summer fun: How one Vernon water slide business stood the test of time

"We're quite happy that we hit our targets, we followed the guidelines, it was a good experience. Our employees got to work this summer, a lot of them didn't know if they'd get their summer job," Steunenberg said.

"There is a lot of businesses closing down, a lot of places won't make it and we're happy to say we're not closing down and we will make it," he said. "It's hard to predict for next year, but we're still practicing social distancing and extra disinfecting, we'll be able to open in similar or modified operations... we're optimistic."

While the waterslides had to put a cap on attendance, reducing its capacity to 25 per cent, Steunenberg said the new protocols actually required about 10 per cent more staff than normal employing around 50 people for the season.

There was certainly one bonus for those who turned up this summer. The line-ups were very short and in some cases non-existent.

"(People) got to have the run of the place and it was a really good experience," Steunenberg said.

Splashdown Vernon remains open until Sunday, Sept. 6. For more information go here.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Ben Bulmer or call (250) 309-5230 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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