HARTSVILLE, SC (WMBF) – The city of Hartsville opened its highly anticipated water park, Neptune Island, located at 1109 14th Street.
City leaders and water park staff celebrated the opening with a ribbon cutting ceremony Monday morning.
With already 500 season passes sold, Jordan Braddock, the project’s marketing and events coordinator, said she hopes Neptune Island will spur more growth in Hartsville, making it a tourist destination.
“We expect the park to welcome over 90,000 visitors this summer just to our park, so we’re hoping that will extend to the rest of the city in terms of heads in beds and the more people visiting our restaurants or businesses throughout Hartsville.” Braddock said.
Neptune Island is an extension of the current Splash Pad built in 2013. The water park took exactly 217 days to complete, with construction starting last year in November.
Braddock said the staff has been working non-stop, especially within the last week, to finish the final touches.
“To see the excitement on all the children’s faces as they walked through those gates for the first time is exactly why we did this project,” Braddock said.
Two of the first guests to try out the new water park were Beth Guttry and her son, Sams.
Guttry said she and Sams drove by the water park every day on the way to school since the start of construction.
“We watched one by one as the slides have gone up, while they were painting the volcano, and Sams just became more and more excited,” Guttry said.
Sams said Hartsville Mayor Mel Pennington promised he could be the first inside Neptune Island two years ago, making him even more thrilled for the water park to open.
“It’s awesome because he said that I could get, like, in early and I’m just super excited, and it’s just awesome to have something big here in Hartsville,” Sams said.
Neptune Island allows people to beat the heat by lounging in a quarter-mile-long lazy river and the Castaway Bay wave pool, or by racing down the speed body slide and the three mat-racing slides, among many other features.
The park can hold up to 1,300 guests and is equipped with 130 employees and 65 lifeguards.
As for the adults, Braddock said the water park does sell beer and wine. However, alcohol is only allowed in designated areas at the cabanas and sitting area.
“We are following the laws and the safety precautions set by the state of South Carolina,” Braddock said. “But we’ve also added our own as far as wrist bands and drink limits, and things like that to ensure the safety of all of our guests and the enjoyment for everyone.”
There will be a grand opening celebration this Saturday, June 23, at 10 a.m. For hours of operation and ticket prices, click here.
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