Dublin-Laurens County Recreation Authority announces the closing of Southern Pines Water Park for the 2020 season due to COVID-19.
Dublin— June 2, 2020 — After careful deliberation and seeking advice from state and local officials, the Dublin Laurens County Recreation Authority announces the closing of the Southern Pines Water Park for the 2020 season due to COVID-19 restrictions specific to the Governor’s Executive Order concerning water parks.
This would have been the beginning of the second season of the water park and we were excited about the many improvements we had worked so hard on such as our new cabanas, equipment, and our capacity for birthday parties. The decision was one that the DLCRA board members and staff labored over for weeks. We sought input from officials at the Georgia Department of Public Health, CDC, and both city and county officials. We also worked alongside other water parks in the state in trying to navigate the new guidelines to determine a realistic opening scenario. DLCRA chairman Jack Walker said “It’s a very complicated set of factors we were tasked with interpreting. I went into these discussions adamant that we should open but I’m in a position where it’s irresponsible to bulldoze rather than hear and listen, and once I heard all the factors, I realized we have no other option but to close for the season. I think most of our board and staff felt the same. I hope the public will trust that we tried as hard as we could. We have excellent leadership at the local and state level who have far more information at their disposal than we do. They have also demonstrated trustworthiness in how they’ve handled re-opening our economy. I personally believe in their desire for getting our normal lives back. So we trust these guidelines. The bottom line is, it’s impossible to maintain safety in a water park during a pandemic, even when the numbers are declining.“
“We just found out that most, if not all the other water parks in the state have canceled their normal seasonal operations. There are a few privately owned companies with indoor pools that are staying open in a very limited fashion.“
The DLCRA hopes to focus our efforts this summer on virtual programming, deferred maintenance projects, and partnering with community entities to do all it can within the confines of health and safety to provide meaningful experiences and find other ways to celebrate summer. The staff is looking forward to opening Southern Pines Water Park in 2021.