Splash Indoor Waterpark and Resort, 92 E. First St., in Oswego, has been under construction for several years. The COVID-19 pandemic caused work stoppages, cost overruns and supply problems, but the facility is scheduled to open this summer.
OSWEGO — Splash Indoor Waterpark and Resort is now set to arrive in the Port City this summer, an Oswego business owner helming its development said Tuesday.
The new year-round aquatic attraction, at 92 E. 1st St., was previously scheduled to open this winter, but supply-chain issues and administrative hiccups involving state agencies have pushed the date to the summer, said Shane Broadwell, who is working on the project and is a partner of Broadwell Hospitality Group. The project is marketed as a partnership with the Clarion Hotel, also owned by the business group.
“Getting everything in line has been difficult. We look at the industry, and everybody talks about delays because you look at the industry and everybody talks about shipping delays, back orders and certain things like that,” he said.
Broadwell said the $6.7 million project was hit with a kind of “perfect storm” of setbacks in the past couple of years.
“At one point, the New York State Department of Health determined our project was a non-essential project during the start of the pandemic,” he said.
In April 2020, state officials called for a stoppage to construction projects deemed non-essential as they tried to navigate the COVID-19 epidemic. Examples of essential projects included roads, bridges, transit facilities, utilities, hospitals and health care facilities, affordable housing and homeless shelters.
Work on Splash resumed in 2021, Broadwell said. After state agencies like DOH and the Department of Environmental Conservation sign off on plans, studies, and designs, the developers’ next task is to find contractors who can do the required plumbing, electrical and construction work.
“In 2021, it was just very difficult to find certain labor, just the way it has been for everybody else,” he said. “Costs all of a sudden took off multiple times, too.”
Costs have stabilized enough for the project to “come together,” Broadwell said.
“Everything has been hard to get your hands on,” he said. “Everything from your standard tables and chairs, and everything across the board. Everything has been in a slowdown period, but right now everything is really coming together very well and is lined up to be on time.”
Broadwell said he hopes the park can bring and retain 60-70 jobs when it opens its doors.
“There’s a lot of key employees within the park space itself. We do need a lot of lifeguards,” he said. “We think we’ll probably have at least six on shift at all times plus supervisors. You also get into the sales team, who will help coordinate events and birthday parties.”
Because the waterpark is an indoor attraction, Broadwell said he is projecting peak times to hit during winter months.
“Historically, the hotels struggled during those times,” he said. “With the focus on marketing about being an indoor waterpark and resort campus, the projection is now that we will be able to maintain jobs that would have been typically the subject of layoffs during the slowdown months.”
The group plans to offer overnight packages for families who want to stay at the hotel and enjoy the waterpark.
Broadwell added there will be opportunities to partner with other city attractions like the Children’s Museum of Oswego.
“The idea is we can help people extend their time in the city so they can see what else Oswego can offer within the community,” he said. “That’s going to be a fun option that we’re talking about now with other partners and just kind of creating that crossover opportunity for everybody.”
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