UPDATE: Roaring Springs will open on May 30th. Wahooz will open outdoor components on May 18th and the indoor portion of the facility on May 30th.
PREVIOUS STORY – MAY 5
Roaring Springs Water Park and Wahooz in Meridian say they will open this summer. 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 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.”
A spokesperson with Central District Health said the park proactively shared plans, but stopped short of saying they placed the parks in any category.
“As it pertains to reopening plan review and approval, CDH is only providing plan review and approval to food establishments and schools,” CDH’s Christine Myron said. “However, for other businesses, we are offering feedback and addressing questions businesses might have in developing their plans. We are not providing formal approval or endorsement.”
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.