by A.C. Hall
As the City of White Settlement took possession of the Hawaiian Falls Waterpark last week they began assessments on the property. Some of the council members who walked through the park took to social media to share their thoughts on the state of the property and their impressions painted a vivid picture. Overgrown weeds, cracks in pools, piles of junk and garbage, issues with water slides, and improper painting are just some of the problems that these council members say they encountered at the property.
“The owners of HF have fed you a line of bull,” council member Dave Mann wrote on Facebook. “They had no intention of opening the park in May. Looks like no one’s been on the premises since they closed last day they were opened.”
Speaking with The Grizzly Detail late last week, Assistant City Manager Jeff James confirmed that there are many issues at the park.
“We would’ve had a revolt on our hands if it opened in that condition,” James said.
James spoke about things like the weeds and general poor condition of the park, but also pointed towards chemical containers and trash strewn about the park.
“Cleaning up the park so people are going to want to come there is going to take time,” James said.
Council member Steve Ott also walked through the park and shared his thoughts on Facebook about some of the issues he saw there.
“The main rides and the pumps seem to be okay, with very little maintenance required. However, the water slides have become oxidized due to not being maintained when they closed the park last year,” Ott wrote on Facebook. “We will have to have someone come in and get them cleaned and waxed.”
Ott echoed much of what Mann and James said, speaking about the need for the park to have a lot of general cleanup done.
The City and Mann shared numerous pictures documenting the issues at the park. These pictures show piles of trash and junk, multiple cracks in the lazy river, uneven and messy painting, and overgrown green areas. Mann addressed some of these issues as he shared his pictures of the park on Facebook.
“Lazy river has multiple cracks that have to be sealed then the entire pool needs repainting,” Mann wrote. “Slides were never treated to keep their color.”
As he continued to share about the condition of the park Mann voiced his frustration.
“Hard for me to believe how this park has gone so wrong! Our citizens deserve better,” Mann wrote.
Once he finished posting all of his pictures online, Mann stated that he hoped everyone would now understand why everything transpired between the City and Hawaiian Falls in recent weeks.
“Now you see why city council stepped in,” Mann wrote.
Another aspect of the property that Assistant City Manager Jeff James touched upon was the arcade. The space was once filled with games and electronics but is now completely empty. James stated that all of the arcade games that used to fill the space were repossessed and that the City was aware this had happened.
A major unresolved issue with the Hawaiian Falls closure are the many season pass holders who are seeking refunds. Hawaiian Falls originally told season pass holders that they can use their passes at other Hawaiian Falls locations. With the closest Hawaiian Falls location around a thirty minute drive from White Settlement, some pass holders continued to ask for refunds. Those pressing for a refund have reported that the company is putting them on a list with the promise to get back to them once the issue has been sorted out.
On Monday, some season pass holders reported receiving an email from Hawaiian Falls regarding refunds. In a copy of the email shared with The Grizzly Detail, Hawaiian Falls appears to offer a choice between keeping the season passes along with a complimentary cooler pass or a full refund. However, the wording of the email never expressly promises a refund, instead stating:
“If you would prefer a refund, we can denote on your account that you are declining to choose the free cooler pass as well as the use of your season pass at one of our other six waterparks and would prefer to opt for a full refund.”
Nowhere in the email does it expressly say that a refund will be given, nor does it give any timetable or method by which any refunds would be sent. The email does put a deadline of May 6 for season passholders to choose between the complimentary cooler pass and a full refund.
As of Monday evening, some season passholders had yet to be contacted regarding a choice between the cooler pass and a refund.