High temperatures – but not too hot – have helped lead to record attendance this summer at Independence's Adventure Oasis water park.
Heading into the park's final weekend of operation for the season, more than 75,000 people have gone through its front doors this year, according to Independence Parks, Recreation & Tourism. Normally, staff said, Adventure Oasis welcomes about 65,000 visitors during the season.
“We are approaching some record numbers there,” Parks, Recreation & Tourism Director Eric Urfer said. “Weather's always the key, and the temperatures were right in the sweet spot – in the 90s and there for quite a while without much rain.”
If temperatures barely reach into the 80s, Urfer explained, later-arriving crowds dwindle as sun starts to set and temperatures dip. If the high temperatures soar into the triple digits too much, people are more likely to simply stay home.
“It really was picture perfect,” he said.
Urfer said he hasn't learned how other water recreation sites in the area have fared this summer, but his staff tried to see if there was anything else to which the high attendance could be attributed.
“We did a little more advertising on social media this year and combined some program offerings this year,” he said. “Pass sales were definitely higher than years past. We're reaching our audience, and people responded well.”
Urfer said the park offered some more fitness classes this year, and a new feature was family friendly “dive-in movies.” Friday's offering was “The Little Mermaid,” and earlier offerings included “Moana.”
The city has been able to keep the water park in good repair, which also helps attendance.
“We've really taken care of it, as we should,” Urfer said. “We spent a little over a million dollars a couple years ago – mostly infrastructure that people don't really see, but a few enhancements (they see).
“We're keeping it looking new and fresh.”
Sunday is the last day for the general public, and after a couple days to let the chlorine reduce, Tuesday will be the dog swim day to end the season.