Ardmore parks staff reflects on summer, looks ahead to fall and winter

Drew Butler
Children play a game of water basketball during the 2020 Recreation Celebration at the Ardmore Community Water Park. Almost 11,000 people visited the water park over the summer.

The Ardmore Regional Park Authority met Monday at The Clubhouse to receive updates from park staff about completed and upcoming projects. Among the items discussed were the numbers from the Community Water Park as well as events coming up this fall.

Alicia Henry, Ardmore Parks and Recreation Assistant Director, reported the attendance and profits from the Community Water Park over the summer. She began by reminding everyone that maximum capacity was cut in half from 290 down to 145 because of the coronavirus. The park was also open 10 fewer days than previous years because it remained closed through the end of May.

The concession stand ended up netting a little over $2,800 in profits which was down considerably from 2019 where the concession stand brought in almost $10,000.

“It rained on us the last week were were open, so that messed up our totals a bit,” Henry said. “So we have a lot of product that’s left over that we can use at our concerts or other events.”

Attendance this year was just under 11,000 guests down from around 13,600 last year. The park took in over $33,600 at the gate and brought in just under $6,000 from 56 parties bringing the grand total to just under $41,500 where as last year it brought in over $52,000

“Overall it really wasn’t a bad summer considering there was a pandemic and we weren’t sure if we could open at all,” Henry said.

Director Teresa Ervin said the plan now is to focus on fall and winter projects and activities. For example staff began working the Festival of Lights on Monday.

“We started with some minor stuff today, and you may even see some lights up by the end of the week,” Ervin said. “We’re trying a little bit different approach this year that I hope will be more efficient and take less time. We want to make sure this works and that we have all the time we need to put everything out, that's why we went ahead and started today. 

Ervin also discussed plans for a community meeting that will take place at 6 p.m. tonight at Whittington Park.

“There was a group of citizens that felt like we need to add something to Whittington Park, so we’re going to hear some ideas of what they would like to see,” Ervin said. “This will help us start planning the future of the park.”

She also discussed the scheduled grand opening of The Clubhouse that will take place at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 23.