BOISE, Idaho — The region's largest water park, Roaring Springs in Meridian, has announced its plans to open later this month. The plans include using UV lights to kill germs and viruses, limiting capacity on major attractions, and enforcing social distancing.
Under Gov. Brad Little's phased reopening plan, water parks are authorized to open in the third phase, given if there is no massive spike in coronavirus cases and other criteria are met.
Roaring Springs plans to open on May 30 under a new comprehensive plan to keep staff and guests healthy.
On Tuesday, KTVB's Mark Johnson sat down with Tiffany Quilici, the marketing director of Roaring Springs, to discuss what the water park will look like during the coronavirus pandemic.
Editor's Note: The interview below has been edited for grammar and clarity.
Tiffany Quilici: The water park is very different from public pools in our ability to social distance guests and part of that is naturally created when we dispatch riders on slides, which is great. Also, we are limiting the capacity of three of our pools, the wave pool, the Endless River, and the Barefoot Day Kids play area to 50% of guests to help make sure that families can stay socially distanced. We have 30 acres for families to come and play and enjoy the sunshine and stay safe and be happy and enjoy Summer.
Mark Johnson: You think about Roaring Springs in the summer, Tiffany, and the lines that are stretched down below these water rides. How do you maintain distance in line?
Quilici: So we have ordered stickers that will go on our towers so that each family can stay the distance, six feet apart. Once the line reaches the bottom of the tower, it will stop and people will have to wait till the line shortens before they can come and get in line themselves, so we don't have long lines extending and intersecting each other and things like that.
MJ: We've been reporting that chlorine can kill the virus but I read that you guys have an ultraviolet light that you use on all of your pools as a safeguard.
Quilici: That's right. A couple of years ago we invested $350,000 in a UV light system that cleans every drop of the 1 million gallons of water that circulate through Roaring Springs and it deactivates any and all viruses so it really makes Roaring Springs water the cleanest and safest anywhere in the Treasure Valley.
We're very excited. Roaring Springs and Wahooz at the height of the summer have 700 employees and so it's a big operation. We have the greatest kids working here and we're just so excited to welcome them back and see everybody's smiling faces and laughter out here very, very soon.
MJ: Those smiling faces, albeit, behind a mask.
Quilici: Yes (laughs). We're going to teach them to smile with their eyes!
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