20.06.2024

With COVID Testing Site Closing, Water World Looks Ahead To Summer

Water World is still waiting for the state to approve its reopening plans. Water World welcomes almost 500,000 guests every season. Cortez says the park doesn’t expect to admit anywhere near that number if they’re able to reopen. She says it’s likely the park will use something similar to a reservation system.

For months, Water World has been home to one of the largest COVID-19 testing sites in the state. The water park is also the largest operation in Federal Heights, drawing thousands of visitors who also support nearby business all summer.

After a year of being closed, Water World hopes to welcome those visitors back in May.

“Our main goal is to have a safe park, so people can come and be comfortable and enjoy themselves. We’re working with all public officials and the health departments to make sure we do that. We’ve prepared a comprehensive plan we’ve submitted and we’re hoping to get the thumbs up,” said Joann Cortez, spokesperson for Water World.

Until they get final word from health officials, Water World cannot provide specific information on mask policies, capacity limits, etc. The park is prepared to align with the recommendations necessary to resume operations.

“I think people take a lot of pride in this park. We feel like people will respect our park and they will respect our rules,” said Cortez.

Water World is community funded, so its revenue stays in Federal Heights. The park needs to reopen as much as its visitors want it to.

“Water World sort of acts as a big brother to our area in terms of recreational opportunities in sports for kids. Missing a whole year revenue not only disappointed our guests, but it also impacted the sports programs. We’re going to have to find another way to fund those,” said Cortez.

Last year, hundreds of teens missed out on summer jobs at Water World. The park is the largest youth employer in the metropolitan area. Water World has opened its application portal for Summer 2021 while they await reopening approval from the state.

“We have had excellent kids come in for a real work life experience. We try to make it meaningful for them and to be able to do that means a lot to us. So last year, when we couldn’t open, it was very painful,” said Cortez.

While thousands were getting tested for COVID-19 in the parking lot, Water World was building new attractions.

CBS4 got the first look at the parks newest ride – Alpine Springs — which includes a two-lane racing water coaster called Roaring Forks, and Centennial Basin, a two-person tube bowl with a design based on the Colorado state flag.

If the state approves Water World’s plan, the park plans to open on Memorial Day and continue its tradition of marking the unofficial start of Summer.

The attraction will close its COVID-19 testing site on March 24.

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