Siouxnami Waterpark has good opening year

The All Seasons Center has had a good year thanks to the opening of the Siouxnami Waterpark. All Seasons Center facility and recreation director Dave Ruter expects this trend to continue next year.

SIOUX CENTER—It’s been an excellent year for Sioux Center's All Seasons Center.

That’s the word from Dave Ruter, the All Seasons Center facility and recreation director.

The biggest day for the pool, which opened their Siouxnami Waterpark addition on June 22, came Aug. 20 with 1,777 patrons.

Several factors come into play, according to Ruter. It was only three days until school began, so people were looking for more local activities, and it was 90 degrees that day.

“It was a good day. People have asked me what the capacity was, and I said it was 1,778,” he joked. “It was really good.”

While the project was still under construction last year, the average daily attendance was 215 people. That’s gone up to 781.

“That’s really good, and we expect it to be a bit higher next year,” Ruter said.

In the days after the new Siouxnami Waterpark addition of the All Seasons Center opened, pool staff asked pool patrons where they came from.

“You can see they’re coming from a long ways away,” Ruter said.

In one August day, they had pool guests from throughout Sioux County and beyond, including Sioux City, Minnesota, Nebraska, Connecticut, Arizona, Michigan and Denmark.

The All Seasons Center allows the Siouxnami Waterpark to be rented out 6-8 p.m. Saturday nights. This has been popular, Ruter said, with water park space rented out every Saturday night in August and another three nights already booked for different times in 2020.

That, Ruter hopes, is a sign of a good year next year.

“I think next year will actually be better than what we’ve had this year, with people coming from farther away yet,” he said.

He said all of the features in the addition have been well-used by patrons, and the zip line has been popular, but there have been some ongoing issues with the zip line’s retraction system.

“That zip line issue is getting worked on by the company in southern Missouri,” Ruter said. “They’re probably going to come in and replace that north pole, lower it and tighten the cable. Hopefully some of our woes will be fixed.”

Tanya Vande Griend went over some of the numbers.

From May 2018 through September 2019, admissions were up $126,000 from last summer.

Summer memberships were up $17,000, though she said, “Those are kind of hard to gauge exactly because you can purchase a membership in December for the following year, so it’s hard to track them.”

Pool rentals were up $4,000 from last summer.

Concessions were up $35,000.

Vande Griend said they have plans to expand concessions next year.

“Some ideas we hope to try next year include adding a second slush machine because we couldn’t keep up with just the one we had. Maybe bringing back pizza and offering some sort of meal deal with pizza or family night,” Vande Griend said.

Jill Miller spoke about staffing at the pool. She said they hired 58 lifeguards, and they all stayed throughout the summer.

They had eight concession stand workers and a concession stand supervisor.

“We offered three different life guard classes last year, and we trained 41 lifeguards for the area. Twenty-five of those were hired by us. The rest were for area pools. We’ll offer three more classes this winter and spring,” Miller said.

She was pleased with how the lifeguards performed with the opening of Siouxnami.

“It was a little overwhelming for 15-year-olds to get out there and have 1,000 people swimming, but they did really well. We did training every other week on different stuff,” Miller said.

Sioux Center city manager Scott Wynja said they take the training of lifeguards seriously.

“There’s a lot of different summer jobs you have, but there aren’t too many jobs where you have to get 35 hours of class and pool time before you can even apply and get the job. It’s critical,” Wynja said.

He praised the work of the All Seasons Center staff and leaders throughout the process of opening Siouxnami, saying that their hard work has paid off.