Otter Cove Aquatic Park Goes Turbo-Charged for Summer Fun!
Anyone seeking thrills and chills at the pool this summer need venture no further than the junction of Campton Hills and Peck Roads in western St. Charles. With new, fun-tastic attractions like the Racer Slide, Turbo Freefall Slide and the Sport Spot for water hoops and other games, Otter Cove Aquatic Park is a summer sweet spot to rival any resort water theme park.
“We know that Otter Cove is a summer, daytime destination for families in St. Charles, the entire Fox Valley and even further surrounding areas,” said Jennifer Bruggeman, Assistant Superintendent for Recreation.
And with its trio of new, action-oriented amenities, Otter Cove is destined to become the place to go – and we mean go! – for wild water times.
Start off at the Turbo Freefall Slide. Built for speed, this water flume allows a single rider to experience the adrenaline rush of a short freefall before plunging down the tube. Riders will hold onto a bar above the starting seat and, when directed by the slide attendant, let go. The slide drops through the center of the surrounding Racer Slides and has a special finish that enhances the rousing freefall effect. Riders finish up at a short runout, an enclosed canal that allows them to hop out and scoot back up to do it all over again.
The Racer Slides are designed for some splashy competition among friends. Up to three people can race side by side with a timing system to track their speed.
“Competition is an engaging feature and the Racer Slides were just what we were looking for,” said Steve Gard, Aquatic Supervisor at Otter Cove Aquatic Park. “Moving beyond the idea of friends racing down individual tube slides to see who finishes first, a single race slide has a starting line and timing system so racers can share results at the finish line.”
Such competitive and spine-tingling activities are part of a growing trend in aquatic park design, according to industry insiders. But the St. Charles Park District didn’t have to go far to learn what their patrons wanted. Each year, surveys are collected from hundreds of pass holders at Otter Cove, providing valuable input that helps the Park District responsively improve features and amenities.
“For some time now, patrons have been asking for more amenities that offer excitement and thrills for adolescents and adults,” said Bruggeman. “Those are exactly the challenges we brought to our design firm to help us resolve.”
The Park District worked with SBH General Contractors of Wheeling, Illinois; Perkins + Will of Chicago for architecture and project management; WBK Engineering in St. Charles for civil engineering and Water Technologies Inc. of Beaver Dam, Wisconsin for aquatic design and engineering.
In addition to the Racer and Turbo Slides, this year Otter Cove expanded its roped-off, deep water free space in the Frog Bog Activity Pool to accommodate water sports enjoyed by tweens and teens. Known as the Sport Spot, the addition of a basketball hoop encourages even more water sport play.
But never fear. For those who still want a lazy, hazy day at the pool, Otter Cove’s favorite features abound. Float along Turtle Creek Lazy River or come for the popular “Not So Lazy River Walks” offered on Tuesdays at 6 PM and Thursdays at 12 PM. Feeling a bit more energetic? Do laps in the 25-yard lap pool at the Crayfish Canal. Play in the Splash Park under Dumping Buckets and Spray Cannons. A sand/water play area and sand volleyball court are perfect spots to take a break from fun in the pool, and The Dive Concessions can help fuel whatever activities are on deck.
“It is important to staff to maintain the quality and appearance of the facility and commit to improvements that will help the Park stay relevant and exciting,” said Bruggeman.
Otter Cove’s opening day is May 26. Visit www.ottercove.org for information about daily admission, group rates and other seasonal deals and activities.