Sun Splash readies for new season
By GRAY ROHRER, firstname.lastname@example.org
There’s no melting of snow or chirping of birds or resurgence of winter-wilted vegetation, but year after year there is one tell-tale sign that spring has arrived in Cape Coral — the opening of Sun Splash Family Waterpark.
The aquatic amusement park opens for its 17th season next Saturday (the second day of spring), and this year is likely to be more difficult than the previous 16 considering the depth of Cape Coral’s economic doldrums.
Sun Splash administrators say they appreciate the economic situation and have lowered prices for season passes.
“Early Bird” season passes will cost $29 to $59 for residents and $39 to $79 for non-residents, and will be available through April 12. The prices reflect a 30 to 40 percent discount from 2008 prices.
“We did, as a special deal this year, reduce the prices to try and alleviate some of the pressure on people because of the economy,” said Michelle Dean, marketing coordinator for Cape Coral’s Parks and Recreation Department.
After April 12, season passes will run $39 to $79 for residents and $49 to $99 for non-residents. A $150 coupon book also will be given out with each season pass.
Steve Pohlman, director of the Parks and Recreation Department, said the new rates, along with park renovations and new rides, are designed to maintain the number of visitors.
“We’re hoping to keep the same level we had last year,” Pohlman said.
A big part of that effort will be three rides that debuted in May 2008 — the Thunder Bump, the Terror Tube and X-celerator. Dubbed “speed rides,” they are designed to attract an older crowd to Sun splash.
“It adds a new dimension to the water park for older teens and adults,” Pohlman said. Sun Splash, though, will maintain its status as a family park, he added.
The park’s Friday schedule during the school year also will be altered to give students and workers more time to slip and slide.
Sun Splash will be open from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Fridays for the remainder of the school year, whereas last year it was open from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Fridays.
“In the past the park has only been open until 5 or 6. This is to accommodate more people after school and work,” Dean said.
For a complete schedule of Sun Splash’s schedule and operating hours, or to purchase season passes, visit www.sunsplashwaterpark.com