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Going swimmingly

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FLOAT ON: Pool staff help swimmers start out on the lazy river at Splash House on Friday.
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GET WET: Swimmers are nearly engulfed as the bucket water-drop empties in the kiddy play area at Splash House on Friday.

BY Sara Barker - sbarker@chronicle-tribune.com

After a hiccup earlier this summer, the Splash House says it has bounced back.

This summer, a test that was positive for E. coli briefly shut the Splash House down. However, manager Patricia Parker said there has been no trouble attracting patrons to the pool and that it especially “bounced back” on Independence Day.

On July 4, the Splash House held contests for kids, like a chalk drawing contest, a three-legged race, and air mattress surfing in the wave pool.

The mattress surfing, where kids get on mattresses and challenge each other to see who can surf the longest, was especially popular with the kids, Parker said.

“We had quite a few people here,” Parker said.

Not just people from around Grant County came to the Splash House on July 4, Parker said, but from around the state as well. She said a family from Fort Wayne asked if there was a nearby hotel, because they wanted to stay the night and come back the next day.

Parker said she has also seen people drive for four hours to come to the Splash House.

“We’ve had a lot of compliments this year,” Parker said.

The wave pool, which is newly repaired from last year, has been fully operational this summer. In fact, Parker said the Splash House has had no breakdowns this season.

Parker also said she has seen an increase in customers using Groupon for a discount on their season passes this year, but she hasn’t noticed a big difference in the number of passes sold between this summer and last year.

As well as attendance being on par this season, Parker said employees are fully staffed. Doing this allows for flexibility with employee hours, something important for the largely high-school-age staff.

Schelly Jones, a rising senior at Eastbrook, has worked at the Splash House for the past three years. Between lifting weights and summer volleyball practice, her schedule is packed.

However, working at the Splash House has let her structure her summers how she wants and work a “fun” job at the same time.

Jones hops around to the different areas employees work, like front desk and concessions. She worked in concessions on July 4, as well.

“It was really, really busy,” Jones said.

Though employees have been hard at work this summer, Parker said many are still “anxious” to work, and her staff is always willing to pick up extra hours.

“A lot of kids want to work more than what they are working,” Parker said.

Looking ahead in the Splash House’s 12th season of operation, Parker said she hopes numbers of guests stay up, and that no equipment breaks down.