A sure sign that spring is here and summer is just ahead occurs when Sun Splash Family Waterpark opens for the season in Cape Coral. For 2014, that happens to be this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The Cape Coral Parks & Recreation facility will operate on the weekends only and during spring break in March. After area schools dismiss for the summer in late May it operates daily this year through Sept. 14.
Early Bird season passes - ranging from $54 to $64 for Cape residents and $69 to $79 for non-residents - are available now through April 13 at the park office. That's a savings of $20 per pass over the regular season pass price - $74-$84 residents or $89-$99 non-residents - which goes into affect after April 13.
Sun Splash Family Waterpark aquatic maintenance worker Stan Kubit vacuums the bottom of the Sand Dollar Walk on Thursday morning. The park opens for weekend fun starting Saturday.
"I'm definitely excited about the new season," said manager Sandra Greiner. "We don't have any new attractions this year, but we have a lot of new logo products in the gift shop at reasonable prices. We're also offering more specials in the restaurant than last year."
Daily admission rates remain the same as last year. For residents it's $14.95 for adults, $12.95 for seniors and children age 12 and under. Non-resident admission is $17.95 for adults, $15.95 for seniors and children 12 and under.
"We are looking forward to another exciting season of affordable family fun at Sun Splash," said Greiner. "We hope local residents will take advantage of the special early bird season pass prices now, then come out and enjoy the park all summer long."
The 14-acre park, at 400 Santa Barbara Blvd., offers a variety of 13 different slides, open and closed flumes, pools and lazy river tube ride, plus ecological boardwalk and volleyball court. Guest lockers, changing rooms, restrooms and showers, gift shop and concessions are available as well.
"We've redone the gift shop, painted it and made it look better," said Greiner.
Sun Splash has been recognized by the Starfish Aquatics Institute, one of the largest lifeguard-instructor and pool operator certifying agencies in the country, with a coveted five-star rating. It's the highest rating any aquatic facility can achieve based on safety, training and lifeguard performance.
"We've always maintained a five-star rating because it is important," said Greiner. "They audit us two or three times each year and they are unannounced visits."
Sun Splash attracts from 120,000 to 140,000 visitors each season.
"With good weather we get more visitors," said Greiner. "A couple of years ago we had good weather and attracted 142,000."
For complete details on specialty admission rates, group rates, park rules, operating dates and hours, or jobs visit the park's website at www.SunSplashWaterpark.com.
Sunsplash is at 400 Santa Barbara Blvd.