Tourists, Money Pour Into Statesboro Water Park - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

09/03/07

Tourists, Money Pour Into Statesboro Water Park

Kids enjoying the last day of summer at Splash in the Boro. Kids enjoying the last day of summer at Splash in the Boro.

Summer fun means big business for many in Statesboro, but Monday brings that to an end. Bulloch County's Splash in the Boro water park closes its gates for the last time of the season tonight. Once again, the park brought big crowds and big money.

Families from far and wide came to Statesboro to enjoy Labor Day at Splash in the Boro. "We don't have anything like this in Augusta and it's not too far to drive," explained Clinton Ohlinger of Augusta. "It's reasonably priced, so we drive down once or twice a month so my daughter can enjoy the water."

"What I like is some parks are just too big so you can't enjoy them," noted Statesboro newcomer Kimberly Zurowski. "This is just the right size to enjoy."

Splash finishes its fourth summer Monday when the Bulloch County Recreation Department closes the water park for the season. Manager Steve Brown says this year's attendance could break 100,000, just off last year's record of 111,000.

"We were probably nine days less in operation this year than last year and we averaged more per day than we did last season," Brown stated.

The county built the park with local option sales tax money. But Splash now makes enough to cover salaries and set money aside for repairs and improvements. Brown says Splash has become one of the region's biggest tourist attractions.

According to Splash's records, two thirds of the people who come here don't live in Bulloch County. That means most are either on the way in or the way home, stop for gas, for meals or more, bringing more money to Bulloch County's economy.

And that could mean taxpayers are just as eager as the children for Splash to open again next year.

But Splash doesn't go completely dry over the winter. They'll enclose two Olympic sized pools under an inflatable dome starting in October. For information about their off-season hours, visit, www.splashintheboro.com

Reported by Dal Cannady, dcannady@wtoc.com 

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