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Community learns more about rechristened water park in Porter

Updated: December 10, 2012 6:24AM



PORTER — A well-attended meet-and-greet at the Hawthorne Park community building in Porter on Thursday gave the new owners of the former Splash Down Dunes water park a chance to talk about the development.

Matthew Phair, general manager of the rechristened Seven Peaks Waterpark Duneland, said the park is on track for a grand opening on Memorial Day weekend with the season ending on Labor Day weekend.

About 50 people came to hear Phair discuss plans for the water park and were given a chance to ask questions. The Utah-based company acquired the water park, near the intersection of U.S. 20 and Waverly Road in Porter, earlier this year.

Phair said the park will be open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday, but holders of annual passes will be allowed early entry at 9 a.m. While not definite, a one-day admission to the park is expected to cost $14.95.

A school fundraising effort was outlined that would allow schools and school groups to sell the annual pass for $19.95. Schools will receive $2 for each pass sold.

Phair said that during the first year no new attractions would be installed. Plans are in place for the removal of a pavilion over Lazy River to improve visibility. The parking lot on Waverly Road will be surfaced with gravel for the first year but eventually will be paved. No decision on parking costs for the first year has been made, but during the second year, parking is expected to cost $2 per day.

The first question from the audience was about employment. Phair said there will be 10 to 12 year-round staff, to be hired locally. These positions include marketing director, venue director, maintenance, security and office staff.

Seasonal employment will swell to between 300 and 350, including lifeguards, parking lot attendants, security, maintenance and food preparation.

To assure park cleanliness, no carry-in food or drink will be allowed in the park. There is consideration being given for a picnic area for park visitors outside the park.

Food sales at the park will include “the typical fried food,” Phair joked, but healthier food choices will also be available.

Phair said additional food centers will be added, and food will be cooked to order at what he called “barbecue areas.”

Phair set the first-season goal of 3,000 to 4,000 visitors per day and estimated daily attendance of about 2,000 at the beginning of the season.



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