For an eighth consecutive year, people needing a reprieve from southern Georgia’s blistering, summer heat can find one in Statesboro.
Splash in the Boro, located inside Mill Creek Regional Park, is set to open the doors to its summer season this weekend.
Saturday and Sunday, cool water will flow and the lazy river will once again wind as the park kicks-off its 83-day season with a preview weekend.
Splash opens Saturday with hopes of repeating its 2010 success — last season was the park’s most profitable to date.
“We were close to 170,000 guests last year and I don’t see any reason why we can’t do that again,” said Steve Brown, manager of Splash in the Boro. “I expect another great year.”
Last year the park experienced a spike in attendance, welcoming about 30,000 guests more than it did the year prior. The additional patrons spurred a 10-percent increase in revenue, he said.
“We expect, and hope, to match revenue and do well again this season,” said Brown. “It looks like gas prices may drop a bit, so people will be able to drive over and see us – our range extends to Macon and South Carolina. If we can have a great summer weather-wise, we should be in good shape.”
According to Brown, recent success by Splash can be attributed to a steadfast focus on providing quality experiences for park visitors and a $4 million expansion completed in 2009.
The expansion provided three new attractions, added concessions, bathrooms and a new front entrance, he said. The project increased the park’s capacity from 1,600 to 2,100 visitors at any given time.
“We continue striving to provide a safe and fun environment for our guests,” said Brown. “We work very hard to make Splash in the Boro a lot of fun. We have something for all ages, from seniors to toddlers and infants. It is a safe place with a definite family atmosphere. You can not find entertainment for a whole day for any amount less than what we offer.”
Splash will begin its 2011 season having added cool decking to its concrete in various locations — to prevent hot concrete from causing uncomfortable feet — and the ability to rent cabanas that provide much needed shade, he said.
Returning visitors to the water park will notice a change in the attraction’s admission rates.
Ticket prices will increase by $2 for out-of-town customers and $1 for Bulloch County patrons.
According to Brown, admission prices are set at $12 for non-residents taller than 48 inches and $10 for those shorter than four feet. Residents taller than four feet will pay $10, while those shorter are charged $8.
Season Passes to the park will still cost $60 and single-day discounts will be available for current military personnel and the staff and students of Georgia Southern University and Ogeechee Technical College, he said.
After its opening weekend — the park will operate Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. — Splash in the Boro will close through Thursday, May 26.
Friday, May 27, the park will host an “End-of-School-Year Bash at Splash,” said Brown.
“It is geared toward Bulloch County residents and local students,” he said. “It is something special to show our appreciation to the community.”
Splash will be open from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. for the event.
Beginning Saturday, May 28 the park will remain open seven days a week until August 7, a week after Bulloch County Schools begin classes August 1.
Once classes begin, the park will continue to operate on weekends until the season ends Labor Day.
For details on admission rates, dates of operation, and park guidelines, individuals are asked to call (912) 489-3000 or visit www.splashintheboro.com.
Jeff Harrison can be reached at (912) 489-9454.