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Splash House to open May 25

By Clay Winowiecki - cwinowiecki@chronicle-tribune.com

After strong attendance numbers last season, the Splash House is hoping for another year of warm weather.

Last year the park averaged a daily attendance of 508 visitors, compared to 405 visitors the previous year. The water park is expecting to open May 25. Over the off-season the park has put its efforts into improving the park behind the scenes, rather than adding anything new.

“That paid off last year,” said Splash House Director Andy Davis. “Two years ago we had issues with wave pool, but last year was a great year with no further issues. We want to keep what we’ve got running well.”

Davis attributes last years higher attendance to warm, dry weather.

“We really live and die by the weather,” he said. “I always hope for a hot and dry summer and I’m one of the few people that probably hope for that.”

However, the park did give a jolt to its social media presence last year which may have contributed to a few extra visitors. The park posted more frequently on Facebook and Twitter and even created an Instagram account. That’s something Davis has handed over to his younger staff.

“I’m letting them have fun with it and we’ll see what they do,” he said. “I hope they do a lot with it.”

The park is also putting more of an emphasis on preventing E. coli. Last year trace amounts of the bacteria were discovered and it’s still unknown how it came into the park. As a result, the park had to close temporarily.

One possible way the E. coli might have come into the water park is through people wearing normal clothing, rather than their bathing suits, Davis said. This year the park plans to enforce that rule more strictly and to pay closer attention to the chemical balance of the pool.

This year the park will also be selling bigger souvenir cups. Those who buy Splash House cups are able to refill their fountain drinks throughout the season for only 50 cents.

The city’s Parks and Recreation Department is excited to open the Splash House to the public.

“The Splash House is one of the things we look forward to opening, especially for the kids so they can have something to do in the summer,” said Rose Cadena, office manager of Marion’s Parks and Recreation Department.

Ticket prices this year are the same as last year: $8 for adults, $6 for kids and those 55 plus and those two and under are free.

Season family passes for groups of four can be bought for $200, with additional people costing $40 each. Individual season passes are $100 each. Yet, until May 24 both passes can be purchased on special for $25 off.

“We’re the funnest place in the county,” Davis said. “Come out and cool off and play in the water and have fun.”