SIOUX CENTER, Iowa (KELO) — After its inaugural summer in 2019, Siouxnami Waterpark is set to start its second season on Friday.
The 12,000-square-foot waterpark located in Sioux Center in Sioux County, Iowa announced its plans to open starting noon on Friday. The park’s announcement came on Wednesday, a few hours after Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds said the state would lift a 50% capacity limit on all businesses in the state. Reynolds’ new emergency proclamation allowed swimming pools to open statewide as long as facilities “take reasonable measures under the circumstances of each establishment to ensure social distancing of employees and patrons.”
The Siouxnami Waterpark is part of the City of Sioux Center’s All Seasons Center and Vernon Arena. Sioux Center city manager Scott Wynja said waterpark staff had been planning to open around Memorial Day with expected capacity limits. Wynja said planning ahead was hard not knowing what the state’s requirements would be, but after June 10’s announcement Siouxnami Waterpark will open this weekend without a capacity limit.
The waterpark does have a new set of operation policies and procedures. You can see the waterpark’s complete policies and procedures in a document attached below in this story.
“We’re really excited for year two,” Wynja said. “We’re going to do all we can. We’ll have certain staff dedicated to disinfecting certain equipment and touchpoints. But a lot goes back to personal responsibility and practicing social distancing. We ask people to be patient in line, be patient in using the lazy river.”
Wynja said city leaders knew the state would allow pools to open after safety guidelines were put in place by the Iowa Department of Public Health and CDC. He thanked the Sioux Center mayor and city council for supporting the waterpark’s opening process.
“I think they put together some good policies and procedures that will be very beneficial to offer a very safe environment for those visitors and customers that attend our pool,” said Wynja, who added the waterpark employees roughly 65 high school and college students during the summer. “Also safety precautions and measures that are going to be in place for our staff.”
Siouxnami will open 12-8 p.m. Monday through Friday, 12-6 p.m. on Saturday and 1-5 p.m. on Sundays. Monday through Friday the 12-1 p.m. hour is reserved for membership holders and their guests. The waterpark features a 400-foot lazy river, three water slides ranging from 64 to 253 feet at a height of 30 feet and a pool that holds more than 400,000 gallons.
One of the new safety measures in place will limit tubes on the lazy river to 60 people. Wynja said there’ll also be different marks and lines at the slides, diving boards and zip lines. The park also will have limited deck chairs, spaced 6-feet apart. Wynja encouraged visitors to bring their own lounge chairs to be used.
“We’re trying to follow the guidelines and encouraging people to practice social distancing,” Wynja said. “The last thing we want to see have happen is if people aren’t’ following the guidelines. If we’re not meeting those guidelines we’ll have to put additional measures like capacity measures in place.”
The waterpark is asking anyone who is feeling sick or experiencing symptoms to not attend the waterpark. Wynja acknowledged some people won’t feel comfortable attending the waterpark this summer and he understands those concerns.
“For those that are able to come out and enjoy the waterpark we want to make it a safe and comfortable situation,” Wynja said. “The weather looks great and we’re excited to get a couple months use out of our waterpark before we have to shut it down again. We’re pretty excited to have some people come and visit.”
Siouxnami Waterpark’s opening comes a few weeks after Wild Water West, the waterpark based just west of Sioux Falls, opened. Public pools in Sioux Falls will remain closed for the 2020 summer.
Wild Water West has been operating with a limited capacity of 5,000 people. Last week, one visitor at Wild Water West told KELOLAND News she was impressed with the social distance measures.
Splash Center Waterpark in Huron made the decision to close for the 2020 season.
A unique name
The All Seasons Center in Sioux Center put together a naming contest for the waterpark name last year, which led to nearly 600 name entries before Siouxnami Waterpark was picked.
“It was great to get the community involved with that,” Wynja said about coming up with the name of the waterpark. “We thought the Siouxnami name was pretty appropriate with Sioux County, Sioux Center in the name along with a big wave and making a splash.”