If you’ve lived in Tri-Cities for more than a few years, you know the rumors of a water park have rumbled since the beginning of time, at least it seems like it. I’ve lived here for decades and it’s been a topic of discussion even when Oasis Waterworks was in operation.

Photo: Vintage Tri-Cities Instagram
Oasis Waterworks - Vintage Tri-Cities FB

The Tri-Cities touts 300+ days of sunshine a year with some of the best weather this side of the Mississippi. So, why should we have to drive 2.5 hours north to Silverwood theme park’s Boulder Beach in Sandpoint Idaho, to experience a real water park attraction?  It’s never made sense to me – why don’t we have a water park like that here? We should be marketing our weather to the world with a huge themed water park.

Oasis Waterworks was the original waterpark and it served its purpose for our area at the time.  Now, with our local population exceeding 300,000 (with more on the way) the city of Pasco is considering a 47,000 square foot aquatic park (phase I) on 4.6 acres - which will employ 16 people.

Is this really enough? Is this what the community really wants?  Sure, it would be a great addition to our area, but it likely won’t be big enough to keep people from driving north, and it won’t attract out-of-town guests. Shouldn't it be an attraction and a community amenity?

A water park is an amusement park with intense slides, wave pools, artificial surfing, lazy rivers, arcades, and waterfalls. An aquatic center has a swimming pool, low-intensity slides, a lap pool, and a party room to rent. Don't we have this type of center in the community already?

I’m a long-time resident of Pasco and I’ll vote yes if it’s put on the ballot, but I think we could be missing the idea most people have in their mind – go big.  Easy for me to say – it takes money and lots of it. Thank you Pasco for keeping our hopes alive.

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