'It's like Christmas morning for us': Adventure Bay reopens under heat warning in Windsor
Windsor’s largest water park, Adventure Bay reopened Monday afternoon after sitting closed to the public for more than two years.
Reduced hours were met by happy swimmers, relieved the operation resumed despite less availability.
“The sentiment around here is it’s like Christmas morning,” said Jen Knights, executive director of recreation and culture for the City of Windsor. “We are extraordinarily excited to be reopening Adventure Bay.”
Knights said water parks were amongst the last of the attractions granted the ability to reopen under provincial reopening procedures, noting hours will operate daily from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. until Labour Day weekend.
“Certainly the aquatic staff shortage that many municipalities across the country are experiencing played a major role in our reopening date and our reopening hours,” Knights explained. “Our staff are required before they even come on to our pool decks or into the waterpark to have over 100 hours of training and a number of certifications so that we can keep everybody safe.”
Knights told CTV News many staff moved on to other things during the two-year COVID-19 pandemic hiatus, adding officials have been working to catch up on certifying and recertifying staff.
“It's a challenge because we realize that the staff that we have, many of whom are young and in high school, college or university have competing priorities and competing things that they haven't been able to do for a couple of years,” Knights said. “And to have them come out and try and take a bunch of aquatic courses in a short period of time just from logistics and scheduling can be a challenge.”
Meantime, all other outdoor pool programs resumed Monday according to Knights who said enough staff had been recruited for participants of all ages to take part at Atkinson, Central, Mic Mac, Remington Booster and Riverside Centennial Outdoor Pools.
The only outdoor pool staying closed this season is Lanspeary Pool on Langlois Avenue. The city said it will not open this summer due to the number of repairs it needs.
A replacement report is expected at the next city council meeting on July 11.
“Lanspeary was built in the early 1950s and has lasted an extraordinarily long time,” Knights said. “But the amount of mechanical and structural work required for that pool, unfortunately, didn't give us the opportunity to open it this summer.”
“We're asking council to take a look at the report and review and certainly provide direction to administration moving forward.”
Knights said, “Windsor has a wide number of water-related options for people whether it's the splash pads or the beach or the indoor facilities, Adventure Bay, outdoor pools. So as far as programming, we are relaunching a good amount of our programming so that people can hopefully come out and join us based on what their interests are. But, we're really pleased and are looking forward to welcoming people back.”