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Roaring Springs, Wahooz say they can open in phase two, implement safety measures

Roaring Springs set to open this weekend
Posted at 5:25 PM, May 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-05 19:25:35-04

MERIDIAN, Idaho — This article was originally written by Don Day with BoiseDev.

Roaring Springs Water Park and Wahooz in Meridian say they will open this summer – but hasn’t yet said when. The large water slide and indoor/outdoor amusement parks in Meridian said on Facebook they have “the approval of state and local health authorities” to open.

Owners did not announce an opening date, pegging an announcement to mid-May.

Owners said they worked with the City of Meridian and Idaho Health and Welfare to classify both Roaring Springs and sister property Wahooz as “recreational facilities” instead of “large venues.” That move would the parks allow it to open in the state’s second phase of reopening – instead of stage four.

Though Wahooz is largely an indoor facility, mangers said health officials “placed Wahooz in Stage 2 of the Governor’s plan under Recreational Facilities and given the outdoor nature of many of the attractions.”

“Our management team has developed a comprehensive plan to safely open Roaring Springs when the time is right,” company CEO Patrick Morandi wrote. “We plan to announce an opening date by mid-May. We have shared our safety plan with officials at Central District Health Department, Idaho Health & Welfare and the Meridian Mayor’s Office and they have given it their approval.

Roaring Springs said it implemented ultraviolet filters on its water in 2018, and chlorinates its water.

Filters and temperature checks

The City of Boise announced it would not open its public pools this year. The park said it is different from a city pool because of its UV capabilities, and because they are “able to dispatch riders on the slides which creates social distancing.” Park officials said they would limit capacity in its wave pools and other non-slide water areas.

Guests at both Roaring Springs and Wahooz will undergo temperature checks before employees let them in. Temperature checks can help screen for COVID-positive guests, but might not catch anyone with an asymptomatic case of the virus.

Managers will require employees to wear face masks, and ask customers to do the same. It will also step up cleaning of surfaces like most public places in the age of COVID-19.

Birthday and other parties will wait until the state enters stage four of reopening.

Roaring Springs said it would extend the season into late September if weather holds up, to make up for missed weekends in May. It will also allow season pass holders to trade their pass to next year, or ask for a credit in gift cards.

The park hopes to debut a new double corkscrew ride it named Snake River Run this summer. The $1 million project is the latest capital improvement at the Meridian-based attraction.