Photo courtesy of Birch Bay Waterslides
With new owners fully on board, Birch Bay Waterslides manager Iain Buchanan said he’s ready to focus on helping to promote the Birch Bay community through the water park.
The waterslides will be open on weekends starting this weekend and then every day from June 23 until Labor Day. Going into the first year with the new Canadian owners, Buchanan said he’s excited about showing Birch Bay residents how the park can be a larger part of the community.
In keeping with this vision, the park now has a small informational booth just to the left as visitors enter through the main entrance. Waterslides staff will run the booth during regular business hours and provide information on places to eat, stay and recreate in Birch Bay.
“We’ll use this as an additional way to get people to learn about the bay,” Buchanan said.
Buchanan and the owners are also considering the different options for the park’s interior space. Buchanan said they are thinking about opening up more space for commercial outlets.
The park is currently spread across four acres, while the entire property is 14 acres. While the former owners certainly had the drive, Buchanan said the new owners have the financial ability to expand the park.
“Now we finally have the opportunity to bring it up to its potential,” Buchanan said.
Expansion is definitely a possibility in the coming years, but Buchanan said they want to focus on improving and promoting the facilities already at the park in the near term.
“We’re trying to take care of the attractions we have,” Buchanan said.
This year, customers will see an increased focus on safety and cleanliness, with brand new flooring added to the locker rooms to prevent slipping. Also, though state law does not require it, Buchanan said all of the lifeguards will be lifeguard-certified.
Now in its 30th year, the Birch Bay Wateslides have enjoyed relatively consistent success up until a few years ago. Hard economic times across Whatcom County, added to two wetter-than-average summers, resulting in declines in attendance figures, Buchanan explained.
“That’s really a hindrance to an outdoor park,” Buchanan said.
More recently, though, business has picked up, and Buchanan said he’s seen more families from Whatcom, Skagit, Snohomish and King counties than he has in years. He attributes this to the downturn in the economy inducing people to take vacations closer to home.
With local attendance on the rise, Buchanan said he wants to renew the park’s focus on being a flagship of sorts for other family activities in Birch Bay. He wants to see more people come for the waterslides, but stay for the community.
Tickets for Memorial Day weekend, Saturday, Sunday and Monday, May 26, 27 and 28, will be only $10 plus tax, marked down from the normal price of $17.95. Park hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
For more information on park hours, ticket prices and special group rates, visit www.birchbaywaterslides.net