News Column

Water park draws fun-seekers

August 6, 2014

By Anthony A. Mestas, The Pueblo Chieftain, Colo.



Aug. 06--WALSENBURG -- It's no Water World.

But that can be a good thing.

Wild Waters Aquatic Park has been splashing Southern Colorado since 2007.

The modest water park, which is much smaller than Denver's famous Water World, draws its share of people from across the state.

The park was built with a Great Outdoors Colorado grant and has become somewhat of a tourist attraction in this small town.

"About 70 percent of our guests come from Southern Colorado and 10 percent are from out of state and the rest are local," said L.P. Frank, manager at the facility.

"The draw is the size of the park, the fact that it's a small park. Water World is fabulous, but I wouldn't take my 6-year-old there for love nor money," Frank said.

Frank said the small park in Walsenburg makes it easier to keep track of children, "Here you can come with your little ones, you can relax and you can see the whole park from virtually everywhere you sit here," Frank said.

"It's a fun and safe park. We staff higher than the minimum requirements of one lifeguard for 45 participants. We staff heavily in order to protect our patrons."

The water park, which is owned and operated by the town, is open through the

summer months to Labor Day. It's open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., weather permitting. The cost is $6 and groups of 25 or more can get in for $4.50 each. Children 4 and under get in free.

There used to be a city pool at the site of the park, but city leaders changed that with an idea of a water park in 2007. Before that there was a city pool at the location since the 1960s.

The park features two 30-foot high water slides, the yellow one fully enclosed and the green one open. Kids and adults can go down the twisting slides on water tubes or without them.

There's also a 3-foot "Seal Slide" for children 48 inches tall that rides into the end of the Zero Entry Pool.

There's also a small "Lazy River" and interactive water features that include fountains, sprays and dumping buckets.

The Zero Entry pool allows the youngest of water enthusiasts to enter without worrying that the water may be too deep. It's similar to walking from a beach into the ocean.

"People in wheelchairs also can enter the pool," Frank said.

The park also has a 12-foot-deep diving well equipped with a single diving board.

"This is a competitiongrade diving well," Frank said.

The water throughout the park is heated.

The park also has a concession stand.

"We also give people a chance to bring coolers in, packed with their own lunch, for a small fee," Frank said.

The park features warm showers, lockers and dressing rooms.

"We are fully ADA compliant here," Frank said.

Frank said she offers safety swim classes and water aerobics before and after pool hours.

Peggy Kastorff, assistant manager, said large groups often come to the park.

"We get a lot of Boy Scouts, and Boys and Girls Club members from Alamosa and Kids Connection from Monte Vista," she said.

Frank said kids from the YMCA of Pueblo also visit the park.

"They take the big kids to Water World and the small kids here," Frank said, Frank encourages everyone to "bring the party; just call ahead."

"It's a small, familyoriented water park and a nice place to go and have a refreshing and relaxing afternoon," Frank said.

For more information about Wild Waters, call 719-738-2628. anthonym@chieftain.com

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(c)2014 The Pueblo Chieftain (Pueblo, Colo.)

Visit The Pueblo Chieftain (Pueblo, Colo.) at www.chieftain.com

Distributed by MCT Information Services


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Source: Pueblo Chieftain (CO)


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