A big draw to Statesboro gets even bigger Thursday.
Splash in the Boro brings more than 100,000 visitors to the park. That means tourism money for the community.
Splash is adding a multi-million dollar wave pool to a park that already floods Statesboro with tourists. Splash's second expansion comes at a cost of $5.6 million. A little more than the original park cost 13 years ago.
Owned by the Bulloch County Recreation Department, it's become Statesboro's biggest summertime draw.
“Our first expansion, we generated another 30,000 guests our first year and we anticipate about the same thing with this,” said Recreation Department Director Mike Rollins.
They now draw 140,000 visitors per summer. Three-quarters of them come from out of town. That makes a big splash in the local economy.
“Lots of people come to town for Splash in the Boro. But they also stay in our hotels, they eat in our restaurants, they shop in our stores,” said Becky Davis, with the Convention and Visitors Bureau.
The county started the park with a local option sales tax. It quickly turned to a money maker. It generates enough visitors to pay for itself, even making money for the county.
“We have not used one operating dollar from Bulloch County and I think that's a real plus,” Rollins said.
Rollins hopes the new addition helps them keep riding the wave of success.
The wave pool officially opens Thursday morning when Splash opens its gates at 10 a.m.