Theme Park, Amusement Park and Attractions Industry News

Virus Closes Water World for the Season


For the first time in more than 40 years, Hyland Hills Water World, Federal Heights, Colorado, will not open for the 2020 season. The closure is due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are deeply disappointed to have to make this decision,” said park spokesperson Joann Cortéz, “Water World is a summer institution in Colorado, and for many individuals and families, it’s just not summer without Water World.”

While there is no evidence that COVID-19 can be spread through the use of pool water, guidance indicates that a water park the size and scope of Water World would not be permitted to open within the park’s short summer operating season. The 70-acre park plans for up to 500,000 visitors each year in a typical 90 to 93-day season.

Water World staff sought guidance from waterpark industry experts, local authorities, the Centers for Disease Control (“CDC”) and Health Department to successfully create a guide for park opening. The guide addressed all aspects of park operations including safety, social distancing, sanitization, reduced capacity models, and seasonal employee training. However, the unknown still exists in terms of official restrictions. Specifically, when and if, large numbers of people might be permitted to gather this summer.

“Our hearts are saddened for the fun water park memories that won’t be made in 2020,” Cortéz noted. “And, more so, for the 1000 young workers who had looked forward to working at Water World this summer. For those kids, a summer job at the park is something they have aspired to after hearing the stories of a lifetime from older siblings, and generations of family members who worked here before them.”

Hyland Hills Water World is the nation’s largest family water park, featuring more than 50 thrilling and unique attractions on 70 beautiful acres. Now in its 41st season, community-owned Water World, has hosted more than 15 million guests over the years, and is widely regarded as one of the best water parks in the world. It is located 10 miles north of Denver, just minutes from downtown.

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