HARTSVILLE, S.C. – A little more than one month into its second season, Hartsville’s Neptune Island Waterpark is racking up some impressive attendance numbers.
The park opened on a limited basis (weekends only) to start the season on May 18 and went to its full seven-day-a-week schedule on June 9. As of June 30, approximately 32,000 guests had visited the park, according to Hartsville Finance Director Karen Caulder.
Caulder gave Hartsville City Council members an update on the park for the new season during the council’s regular meeting Tuesday. She said the figures she cited were compiled by park personnel.
In its first season last year, which was shortened by a late opening due largely to construction delays – many because of bad weather – the park drew approximately 64,000 guests, city officials said. Officials have previously said they anticipate as many as 80,000 guests this season.
If the first month and a half is any indication, attendance could surpass that mark.
“It’s been going very well,” Caulder said.
Financial figures, including ticket sales revenues, were not included in the update.
Caulder said the city offered several promotions to kick off this season. One of those was a discount for students who brought their final report cards with them to the park during the month of June. Caulder said 1,156 students took advantage of that offer.
“Teachers loved it,” she said.
Park officials also made some improvements to food services at the park, Caulder said.
Wait times for park attractions and features have also been cut, she said. On a recent Saturday when about 2,500 people visited the park during the day, the average wait time was about 12 minutes, Caulder said.
Admission prices vary, and season passes are available for purchase. So far this season, park officials have sold 3,827 season passes, Caulder said. Cabana rentals for private parties have also surpassed last year’s level, she said.
The park’s website has also seen an increase in activity, according to Caulder. Last year at this point in the season, website visits were about 11,500, she said. So far this year, she said, the number is approximately 162,000.
So far this season, two surprise audits of lifeguard services have resulted in perfect scores for the park, Caulder said.
The park also provides summer jobs for young people in the area, Caulder said. Most of the park’s staff for the season is made up of about 130 young people, most ages 16 to 19, and most of whom live in the Hartsville area.
The park’s hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from noon to 6 p.m. Sunday. The season ends on Sept. 8.