Pool attendance rebounding with hot weather

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Derby, Kan. --- It's the perfect weather for local pools and water parks.

Pool managers say it's about time because unseasonably cool weather has hurt attendance in some communities.

"We've definitely had a lower than average attendance thus far this summer," says Darcie Parkhurst. Parkhurst is Aquatic & Fitness Facility Director in Derby which includes the Rock River Rapids water park.

She says, "We've had unusually cool parts of the summer. But temperatures have gone up and down. Cold last week. Nice and warm this week."

Last week, she says, was a disaster for attendance at the water park. She says Rock River Rapids closed Wednesday and Thursday due to cool weather.

The park reopened Friday but only had 180 visitors. The weather turned hot again Sunday and more than 15-hundred visitors came. Even Monday, Parkhurst says, more than 12-hundred turned out.

"We've been waiting for it. We love to see the big crowds coming out."

Customer Andi Wilson was cooling off there Tuesday with her four year old daughter Alex. Wilson says, "It's really hot out and we just wanted to get some relief from the heat. This summer's been really mild, for some reason which I'm not complaining about."

But a couple Derby ten year olds explain their frustration with this summer's up and down weather. Blakely Murray says, "It's been really tough because the weather's been really stormy and cold. And this is just a perfect day because it's really high and it's really cool."

Briyanah Davis says, "It kind of flip flops like you want to go one day and then it's really freezing. And then you have to wear sweats and jackets."

But the girls were enjoying the water park Tuesday afternoon.

Brian Wilde says, "We went to a water park in Kansas City a couple days ago and it was 80 degrees and kind of miserable because it was so cold. So it's great out here today."

Brian Hill, director of Wichita's Aquatics Programs says city pool attendance through June was actually up six percent over last year. He attributes that to a mild June minus the string of 100 degree days of last summer. Hill says, however, last week Wichita did close some pools due to cool weather.

Hill says the Boston Park Pool is closed for the remainder of the season due to a broken valve. Classes and camps held at the southeast Wichita pool will be transferred to the McAdams Recreation Center complex and pool.


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