By Peter Bodley
Infrastructure improvements are planned this year at Anoka County’s Bunker Beach Water Park.
The Anoka County Parks and Community Services Committee has signed off on $85,000 worth of improvements recommended by Cory Hinz, recreation services manager, and Tony Portesan, recreation services coordinator.
They will be paid for from the water park’s reserve fund, according to Jeff Perry, park planning and resources manager.
Most of the work will take place before the 2017 water park season opens in June, but the refurbishment of the Twisted Towers feature won’t start until after Labor Day when the season ends, Perry said.
Other projects planned as part of the improvements include phase two Tidal Wave restroom upgrades, Wave Pool bulkhead and wall painting, phase two security system and information cable replacement, ice machine replacement at Tidal Wave Cafe, first aid office refrigerator replacement, replacement of two pressure washers, new shade shelter screening around Wave Pool and mechanical room upgrades.
According to the 2016 water park report submitted to the committee by Hinz and Portesan, total attendance was 112,644, down from 120,640 in 2015, but greater than both 2014 (87,593) and 2013 (107,084).
But average daily attendance at 1,280 last season was slightly higher than the 1,277 in 2015.
“That’s because there were more rain-out days in 2016,” Perry said.
Bunker Beach is scheduled to open for its 30th season – seventh since the 2010 expansion – Friday, June 9, and close Labor Day.
According to the county website, Bunker Beach, which is located in Bunker Hills Regional Park, is the largest outdoor water park in Minnesota.