Dizzy’s Water Whirler

Expansion Adds To Water Park Fun

“America’s Biggest Little Water Park” is about to get bigger due to a $12 million expansion that includes two new rides set to open this summer.

The SplashDown Beach project is expected to be completed around summer 2015, which will add an extra eight acres to the current 18 operating acres of water fun and three-acre reserve parking lot.

“Steve Turk purchased the park in 2004 and continually invested in it. He wanted to see it grow,” SplashDown Beach General Manager Andrew Chafatelli said. In a press release, Turk said: “This will be the largest single expansion at SplashDown Beach since we purchased the park in 2004. We have created a true family destination for summer fun.” Turk and his wife saw the potential in purchasing the property because of its closeness to Interstate 84 and Route 9, he said. “The original owner had the property up for sale and we thought that was the best move for us,” Turk said. “We agreed with the elementary-aged market and decided to keep the park at a moderate size so the young families don’t feel overrun by teens.”

SplashDown Beach has a contract with HIT Entertainment, providers of children’s entertainment. The contract allowed them to build the first permanent water park attraction based on the cartoon character Bob the Builder.

“We have a contract with Bob the Builder and wanted to bring another character in; Dizzy seemed like the perfect character,” Chafatelli said. Dizzy is the cement mixer on Bob’s team. The Turks spent approximately $10,000 on the two new rides and grounds surrounding them.

Dizzy’s Water Whirler, a teacup-shaped ride that can accommodate up to 24 people, is up and running now. Arctic Plunge Racer, the first of two five-story family raft rides, will open later this summer. A four-story water playground with multiple slides, water cannons and dumping buckets will go into the Bob the Builder-themed area later in the expansion.

Local business partners that advertise SplashDown Beach are happy about the benefits they will receive from the expansion. “I anticipate that our business will grow as a result of the expansion,” Scott Pawenski of EmbroidMe, a partner of SplashDown Beach, said in an email. “In our particular case, the additional rides will require additional staff, which translates into the need for more uniforms.”

Cosimo’s Catering, another local supplier of SplashDown Beach, is looking forward to the increase in business not only in the park at Cosimo’s Pizza and Shipwreck Grill and Cafe but in future venues as well. “It’s going to help us eventually with more outlets. Any expansion is a good thing,” SplashDown Cosimo’s Catering Manager Frank Allen said.

The expansion will provide more than 150 seasonal job opportunities for park attendants, ride attendants and other staff positions when completed, Chafatelli said. In a letter to the Poughkeepsie Journal on Dec. 30, Jessica Stevens from Beacon said the water park is a major source of income for the area and an expansion can only be beneficial economically.

Martina Marchese, Poughkeepsie Journal

Bob the Builder SplashDown Beach

World Waterpark: Bob the Builder Splash Works at SplashDown Beach

Featured in World Waterpark Magazine October/November 2011 Issue

Bigger, faster and more extreme has been the focus at SplashDown Beach Water Park since coming under the ownership of Steve and Shelley Turk in November of 2004. SplashDown Beach in Fishkill, New York, is found in the heart of the scenic Hudson River Valley, just 60 minutes north of the major metropolitan market of New York City and 90 minutes south of the state capital of Albany.

The waterpark was originally called Splash Down Park and was in operation since the mid 1980s. When the park was purchased by the Turk family, it was primarily geared towards families with children under age 10. Upwards of 80 percent of the visitors were local, using the park as a swim and recreational facility. The Turks had a different vision for the park. In the summer of 2005, the “Monster Wave Pool,” “Rock Beach” and the “Humunga Half-pipe” were introduced in an effort to reach a wider age-based market previously not captured. In each subsequent year, a major ride or attraction has been added, reaching out to the older and more selective segment of the family market—teenagers. With the addition of ProSlide Technology’s “Bullet Bowl” in 2010, the park reached record numbers, doubling the attendance since the Turk’s first operating season in 2005.

After five years of thrill-seeking technology, Steve Turk and park manager Andrew Chafatelli felt that SplashDown Beach needed to design an attraction that would revive the children’s area of the park. The SplashDown Beach team landed a deal with HIT Entertainment, one of the world’s leading independent children’s entertainment producers and rights owners, to bring the first Bob the Builder amusement attraction to the United States.

Creating Bob the Builder Splash Works™
The vision for the children’s area was to develop a highly themed play area with a widely recognized brand that would attract younger families, and Bob the Builder was the perfect fit for SplashDown Beach. In fact, season pass sales increased notably in November as promotion for Bob the Builder’s arrival began. “Splash Works” is a 1,600-square-foot, Bob the Builder-themed spray-and-play area geared towards children ages 1-6. It contains more than 50 interactive features, including Bob’s tool shed play structure, two slides, tipping buckets, tot bounces, dancing water, geysers and motion sensors that will offer a soaking just for walking by. Bob the Builder meet-and-greets are available daily at the park.

Rain Drop Products is based in Ashland, Ohio. Rain Drop supplied all of the above, in addition to the in-ground features for “Splash Works.” Included was their “Rain Brain” computer system, which allows features to respond to children’s movements and step activators that trigger different water effects throughout the play area. Almost every above-ground feature was uniquely engineered specifically for “Splash Works,” including a life-sized Lofty character that interacts with the children with the push of a button. Rain Drop’s fabrication team delivered the entire system and supervised the installation, all in time for a Memorial Day Weekend opening.

Christina Schneider, SplashDown Beach’s in-house designer, worked closely with HIT Entertainment and Rain Drop to ensure each feature was precisely what was envisioned, all while meeting the proper scale and color. Christina also designed the Town façade at the back of the spray area. Local fabricator Todd Lanthier of the GNS Group brought the town façade, the “Splash Works’” sign and the Bob the Builder figure to reality. Todd’s team remained true to Christina’s detail in design and color. Beyond Bob the Builder With the new addition of “Splash Works,” SplashDown Beach has continued to focus on the kinds of amenities and offerings that appeal to families and local community and business groups.

Throughout the season, the park plays host to corporate picnics, family reunions, scout troops and many other groups. To give groups the best value for their dollar, the park offers programs like:
—In-park meal deals. Whether it’s Cosimo’s Pizza on the Boardwalk, Cosimo’s Grill, Nathan’s Famous Restaurant or the Shake Shack, groups love the deliciously affordable in-park meal deals, available anywhere in the park.
—Catered event dining. Provided under one of the park’s Special Event Tents or Pavilion areas, menu options can range from the simple yet delicious hamburger & hot dog variety to the more upscale lobster, clam bake and steak dinner menus. Custom entertainment, theming, balloons, floral arrangements are all available. If a group wants to design a custom menu, then SplashDown Beach’s experienced event planners do their best to fulfill their needs. In regards to family reunions, in addition to the usual services and options, the park offers lots of extras at no additional cost, including free parking, complimentary life vests, Boardwalk games and custom printed tickets with the family’s name.

Additional activities include character photos, Body Art and Spin Art T-Shirts.

Of course, SplashDown Beach is a fantastic option for birthday parties. Birthday party packages includes use of the waterpark (full day or half day), a t-shirt for the birthday child, plates, cups, napkins, utensils, balloons, 1 slice of pizza per child, 1 slice of ice cream cake per child, admission to the Reptile Exhibit, 20 arcade tokens and a souvenir cup.

At the end of the day
As the Bob the Builder character walks the park during his meet-and-greets, a barrage of children young and old eagerly hug and take photos with him. The guests’ reception of Bob has been outstanding. The Turks, as well as the staff of SplashDown Beach, look forward to building a future with Bob.

Bob the Builder Splash Works

Bob the Builder Sets Up Shop at Water Park in Fishkill, NY

America’s Biggest Little Water Park Meets America’s Favorite Builder!

Bob the Builder “Splash Works” Opening Summer 2011!

Fishkill, NY—Mega Funworks Inc., dba SplashDown Beach Water Park and HIT Entertainment, one of the world’s leading providers of high quality children’s entertainment, have entered into an agreement to develop the first permanent Bob the Builder™ amusement attraction in North America. Splash Works™, Bob’s new attraction at SplashDown Beach in Fishkill, NY, will be open for the 2011 Season with a grand opening on May 28 during Memorial Day weekend.

Splash Works, a 1,600 square foot Bob the Builder themed spray & play area, is geared towards children ages 1-5, and contains more than 50 interactive features. Splash Works will include Bob’s tool shed play structure, two slides, tipping buckets, tot bounces, dancing water, geysers and many other surprises. In addition, Bob the Builder meet & greets will be available daily at the park.

“Over the past five years we have focused our attractions on the teen and adult market. This year, we want to ensure that something fresh and exciting is provided for our younger visitors,” said Steve Turk, owner of SplashDown Beach. “It has been a great experience working with HIT Entertainment; they are professional and passionate about their brand.”

Rain Drop Products, based in Ashland, OH, will be the primary water feature equipment vendor for Splash Works. They will provide Splash Works’ main structure pieces and in ground spray equipment. Included in the site is Rain Drop’s “Rain Brain” computer system which allows features to respond to movements and step activators throughout the area. Christina Schneider, Mega Funworks’ in-house designer and Steve Turk will be working with Raindrop and HIT on all of the themed elements of the attraction.

“Although we have a lot of heavy lifting in front of us, we are dedicated to opening this attraction for Memorial Day weekend,” said Andrew Chafatelli, General Manager of SplashDown Beach.

“We are thrilled to work with SplashDown Beach to open Bob the Builder’s first permanent attraction in North America,” said Julie Freeland, Director, Live Events & Attractions, The Americas, HIT Entertainment. “SplashDown Beach has taken all of the colorful and fun elements from Bob the Builder and created a great splash park that we hope that kids and families will enjoy for many years to come.”

About Bob the Builder™
Bob the Builder and his machine team are ready to tackle any project. As they hammer out the solutions that lead to a job well done, Bob and the Can-Do Crew demonstrate the power of positive-thinking, problem-solving, teamwork and follow-through. Most importantly, from start to finish, the team always shows that The Fun Is In Getting It Done! Bob the Builder can be seen building, digging and hauling on PBS KIDS® and Sprout®. Episodes are also available for download through iTunes. For more information about Bob the Builder, and the Can-Do Crew please visit www.bobthebuilder.com.

SplashDown Beach Wave Pool

What’s Living in Your Water Park?

How sanitary are water park features anyway? AOL goes undercover to sample the water at some of the nation’s top water parks.

When temperatures soar, tens of thousands of Americans push through the turnstiles at water parks across the country, seeking to cool off at a corkscrewing waterslide or a thundering wave pool. But just how safe is that water they’re splashing in?

The first water park in the nation opened in Florida in 1977. By 2006, 78 million people in North America (the U.S., Canada and Mexico) had visited a water park. But in the 33 years that water parks have been operating, there has been little governmental oversight. Many states have no specific laws or regulatory agencies governing water quality in water parks.

In 1998, an outbreak of E. coli at White Water Park near Atlanta resulted in illness for 26 children aged 12 and under, seven hospitalizations for kidney failure, and the death of one child. According to the Center for Disease Control, this tragedy marked an increase in national awareness of the importance of recreational water quality. As for the park itself, it installed automated testing systems throughout and increased chlorine levels from the recommended 2 parts per million to 3.5.

According to the Center for Disease Control, Recreational Water Illnesses (RWIs) traced to water parks, swimming pools and water play areas can be caused by a single person with diarrhea who contaminates the entire swimming area. When a swimmer swallows water in a water feature that has been contaminated with E. coli bacteria, the result can be serious and even deadly.

To check water quality at five water parks across the country, AOL sent five undercover reporters to test three water features at each park. The reporters purchased and used Watersafe® Rapid Bacteria Pool Test Strips, which test for the presence of E. coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and many other coliform (of which E. coli is a species) and non-coliform bacteria. AOL chose this kit because it is readily available.

According to Tom Round, Vice President of Business Development at Silver Lake Research Corporation, the Watersafe® product “detects a broad range of bacteria, including E. coli, Pseudomonas, Shigella, and Enterobacter. The presence of any of these bacteria in a swimming pool indicates a possible unsafe condition, such as inadequate disinfection, that could lead to recreational water illness in bathers.” The test strips display results quickly, whereas the results of lab tests, which are certainly more thorough and more accurate, may not be available for days — and may not be convenient for anyone intending to take a dip right away.

Whenever possible, the reporters also interviewed park personnel on the methods used to maintain water quality.

Splashdown Beach, Fishkill, New York
Though not one of America’s largest parks (it’s billed as “America’s Biggest Little Water Park”), AOL chose SplashDown Beach because its intimate size attracts families with young children. (The park had ample signage about the importance of waterproof swim diapers to minimize leakage.)

The test was done on around noon on a busy Saturday in late June when the attendance numbered about 800. The park looked well maintained and clean.

Testing and Results
The water was tested in three locations: the Wave Pool (mixed ages), Shipwreck Lagoon (a pirate-themed attraction for toddlers), and Cowabunga Falls (a thrill ride for older kids, teens and adults).

All three tests were negative.

Water Park Maintenance and Safety
Steve Turk, SplashDown Beach’s president and chief executive, stated: “We take [water monitoring] so seriously. Lifeguard and maintenance teams check every attraction every hour, so each one gets tested twice each hour. On busy days, testing is done every half-hour as well. Computer-monitored probes track water quality continuously at each attraction and automatically adjust chemicals. “Water quality is everything,” said Turk, who also routinely conducts “surprise” tests.

Who Monitors the Park?
As a result of a cryptosporidium-fueled outbreak at an upstate New York water park, New York State requires the use, in addition to chlorine, of ultra-violet or ozone treatment of water in water parks. Tom Allocco, a spokesman for the New York State Department of Health, said the State Sanitary Code governs water quality at water parks in the state by setting regulations, but county health departments are responsible for monitoring and enforcing them. Inspection frequencies vary, according to county health departments, he said, but at a minimum, they are conducted at least once a year. State law requires that disinfectant and pH levels be tested at least three times a day, Allocco said.

Turk said he was aware that his park exceeded state regulations. “I’m fastidious,” he said. “That’s the only way you keep water crystal clear.”

Click here to read the full article on aol.com.

Bullet Bowl Construction

SplashDown Beach Waterpark Gets Ready for Summer with New Waterslide

Construction nearly completed on a 200 foot long waterslide, sending riders into the “Centrifuge of Terror.”

FISHKILL Summer is here! And SplashDown Beach Waterpark in Fishkill is making waves with a new waterslide. “The Bullet Bowl” is in final stages of construction.

A towering 8-story crane was brought in to finish the job. Piece by piece, the slide is placed into its final resting stop next to Pirate’s Plunge. The slide took over 3 weeks and a 20 person crew to put together. The ride is expected to be ready for the parks opening on Memorial Day Weekend.

The Bullet Bowl is the latest in waterslide technology. Water slide enthusiasts shoot down a 200-foot tube, barreling them out into a tightly shaped bowl. Centrifugal force has them holding on as they go screaming around the Bowl until they blast out the bottom. The Bullet Bowl was designed by Pro-Slide, a world-wide leader in water slides engineering.

Anticipation and excitement is high as the ride is finally being set.

“It’s a really exciting time,” says Steve Turk, Splashdown Beach owner. “That’s the fun part of working in the amusement park industry, being the first to try the new ride!”

The ride is expected to be completed for opening day, Saturday May 29th, 2010. The water park is offering a buy one admission ticket, get one free special. More information about The Bullet Bowl and other attractions at the park are available on SplashDown Beach website at www.splashdownbeach.com.