The delays caused by finicky weather, complicated construction and other factors are over: The wave pool at Splash in the Boro will be ready for the public to enjoy when the water park opens its gates at 10 a.m. Thursday morning.
"We know folks have been anxiously awaiting its opening, and so have we," said Broni Gainous, marketing and communications coordinator for the Statesboro-Bulloch County Parks and Recreation Department. "And come Thursday, I think everyone will agree it's been worth the wait. It'll be a lot of fun."
The $5.7 million expansion includes the 19,500-square-foot wave pool and its associated tidal pools and pavilion. Also, the 2017 version of Splash features a new beach-themed concession area and an expansion and redesign of the park entrance area.
Parks and Recreation Director Mike Rollins and county leaders hope the expansion will bring new peak attendance numbers and help the facility, now in its 14th year, fend off competition from water parks such as Surf Lagoon in Pooler and Sandy Beach in Macon.
Splash in the Boro established its record attendance of more than 168,000 visits in 2010, one year after the last expansion was completed. In recent seasons, 130,000 to 140,000 visits have been typical.
With the expected increase in attendance, Splash also is hiring more summer workers than previous years. Rollins said Splash has hired 200 to 220 summer employees in past years, and the wave pool and other aspects of the expansion should require "somewhere in the range of about 60 new part-time employees."
In fact, Gainous said Splash in the Boro continues to need lifeguards for all areas of the park.
"If you are interested in becoming a lifeguard, please contact Jenna Campbell at (912) 489-3002, or you can email her at email@example.com," she said.
With the wave pool open, admission prices will increase on Thursday: $13.99 for children and adults under 48 inches tall, $18.99 for children and adults over 48 inches tall. Children age 2 and younger will still get in free, and the new rate for seniors over age 60 will be $8.
For guests qualifying for the Georgia Southern University, Ogeechee Technical College or military discount, the new prices will be $10.99 for anyone under 48 inches tall and $13.99 for those over 48 inches tall.