No more waterslides for Shadow Cliffs

Park District could not find right vendor for popular summer facility

What a ride it has been but the popular waterslides opened in 1981 at Shadow Cliffs Regional Recreation Area will not be refurbished or rebuilt.

One vendor, Harvest Family Entertainment LLC, based in Texas, made two proposals, said Jim O'Connor, assistant general manager of the East Bay Regional Park District, but they did not meet the terms set by the district.

"They wanted the district to fund 80%," O'Connor said.

This would have equated to the district paying $2.4 million to replace the current facility on 3.5 acres, or $9.6 million to expand water features to be on up to 11 acres.

"The staff recommendation was to reject the proposals," O'Connor said. "They didn't meet the terms, which was full funding and future operations and maintenance."

At the Park District operations committee meeting Feb. 21, its members voted 3-0 to support the staff recommendation, he added.

A long-range land use plan for Shadow Cliffs Regional Recreation Area, approved by the Park District board of directors in May 2011, said the waterslides were expected to remain open for another 10 years. However, the facility was not reopened for the 2012 summer season after inspections last winter determined they needed extensive repairs.

The land use plan calls for removing the waterslide structures, then adding picnic sites with tables, benches, barbeques, shade shelter, wind screening and trees. It also calls for developing a "splash pad" playground or other water-play area geared to families with young children.

"The committee is asking us to expedite the land use plan," O'Connor said, "but we currently have no funding to remove the existing waterslides and no funding to implement the plan."

Supporters of the waterslides attended previous Park District meetings to speak on their value as a recreational facility during the hot summer months and as a place for teen employment, but O'Connor said no one from the public attended last Thursday's meeting.

The Rapids Waterslide was opened in 1981 by Glenn Kierstad under a 25-year contract. After its expiration, the operation continued with year-to-year agreements, which Kierstad has said prevented him from making improvements.

Water Ventures, a water park developer based in Lake Forest, conducted a study of the facility last summer and concluded the "site is an excellent venue for such a water park," and a request for proposals went out with a deadline of Dec. 20. But only Harvest Family Entertainment responded.

The Rapids Waterslide area covers about 3.5 acres, which includes four waterslides, a maintenance building, office, storage, separate men's and women's restrooms with dressing areas and lockers, and a picnic area with a shade structure, picnic tables and barbeques.

Water Ventures reported that in order to be successful, the waterslides facility should offer more opportunities for water play, such as wave pools, leisure pools and lazy rivers. But it said improvements needed before reopening the current facility would total $885,100.

"The cost estimate for the renovation work would be $1.4 million when you add up all the engineering costs, permitting, inspection," O'Connor said in September.

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3 people like this
Posted by oldtimer
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 26, 2013 at 8:23 am

Why would anyone attend the meeting. Their agenda was clear all along, shut down the waterslides. The fa├žade of opening it for bids was just to make us feel good. I'm sure my out-of-town grandkids, who regularly went to the slides, will be all tingly with excitement over the interpretive center.

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Posted by olfthfl
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Feb 26, 2013 at 8:58 am

I seem to recall that at one of the meetings I attended on this matter Mr. Kierstad spoke and said that the repairs required could be completed for far less than those mentioned and that all he required was a multi-year contract be granted. What happened????

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Posted by shadowbozo
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 26, 2013 at 9:04 am

shadowbozo is a registered user.


Mr Kierstad, unfortunately passed away. That is why nothing ever happened with his proposal. I'm all for an NRA approved shooting range at the site. The hill where the slides are now will make a great backing for the shells from shooting at targets.

I can see the hill from my backyard. I just hope they do something with the space. Hopefully, it won't cost taxpayer money, whatever they decide to do.

(Pleasanton Weekly Online staff has no information and cannot verify that Glenn Kirstead has died. Unless this poster has other verifiable information, he/she should correct this post with the correct report.)

2 people like this
Posted by Kathy
a resident of Ironwood
on Feb 26, 2013 at 9:20 am

this is so sad. My daughter worked every summer there and through college. When the kids were small, we spent nearly every day there with a picnic lunch that you brought from home. A very cheap fun, active summer. Looks like middle and elementary kids will sit in the house playing video games and getting fat.

2 people like this
Posted by :(
a resident of Castlewood
on Feb 26, 2013 at 9:37 am

I'm so sad. I have the best memories of that place throughout my childhood and even summers while in college when I worked at a summer camp and we took the kids there. It's truly the end of an era. At least we still have the nasty germ infested ridden lake.

2 people like this
Posted by Beth
a resident of Laguna Vista
on Feb 26, 2013 at 9:53 am

I am saddened that no solution could be reached that would still allow the water slides to remain open. It is truly a unique gem in the tri-valley that will now forever be lost.
I agree it seems like EBRPD has had closure on their agenda from day one. Sorry an interpretive center and picnic tables dont offer a lot of FUN. I am all for busuiness being in the black, but seems like some financial help is needed from the city & parks for a defined period. Really dont want the water slides to go.

2 people like this
Posted by local
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 26, 2013 at 10:24 am

The Pleasanton City Council also wanted this water slides shut down. Even our current mayor campaigned against any enhancements to the water slides when they were previously working on upgrading it.

Such a shame. The slides were a good resource for our youth. With this gone, now there is nothing for kids to do in Pleasanton. Have to go to Dublin or Livermore. Our city seems to be great in eliminating youth-friendly facilities.

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Posted by Dan
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 26, 2013 at 10:39 am

I think the proposal for a large water "pad" playground is great. We have brought our kids to similar structures elsewhere and they're lots of fun.

Shooting range with the direction of fire toward the beach area??? I wouldn't trust that backstop so much! Remember the Mythbusters backstop didn't stop a cannon ball from smashing through someone's house... Certainly they wouldn't allow cannons at Shadow Cliffs, but shooting toward an actively populated area doesn't sound prudent. One high fire over or around this backstop could easily kill someone.

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Posted by John
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 26, 2013 at 11:34 am

The basic lesson of this story is how cash-strapped the park district is. If we want amenities like the water slide, and no corporation is willing to pay for it, then we have to pay for it via taxes. It is a simple equation that seems lost on a lot of people here. Heck, the district says they don't even have the money to remove the slides that are there now.

Personally, I was never a fan of the water slide. That sort of amusement seems outside the responsibility of the park district. On the other hand, if enough people want it, and few enough people complain about the traffic it generates, then we need to foot the bill. Plain and simple.

You can't have fun public amusements without paying the taxes to support them...

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Posted by AnnaS
a resident of Foothill High School
on Feb 26, 2013 at 1:12 pm

Children of the community want these water slides, the location is a great for building them, but no business is ready to make an investment.
Isn't it a perfect example of how heavy taxation and endless regulations work for working families? Even before 2012 elections California was the one of the most socialist places in America. Yet, Californians voted for even more. Now instead of water slides you can enjoy sitting on benches along Stanley, watching the traffic and use your money to pay government bureaucrats to generate more regulations and invent more taxes.

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Posted by Eric
a resident of Val Vista
on Feb 26, 2013 at 1:54 pm

Eastbay regional parks must have money to burn. The water slides at shadow cliffs made lots of money for EBRP but they are bound and determined to get rid of the water slides at all costs. This shows EBRP has no ideas about how to get the youth in the trivalley involved in the outdoors. They are stuck in their ways and refuse to change

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Posted by Linda
a resident of Pleasanton Middle School
on Feb 26, 2013 at 9:23 pm

I am a 70 year old senior citizen and I loved driving down Stanley Blvd. seeing all of the children going down the slides laughing and having a wonderful time, including my 2 grandchildren and now all of the fun of yesteryear has gone down the drain because no one on the counsel or committees will stand up and be counted. Shame on you..

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Posted by Julie
a resident of Del Prado
on Feb 26, 2013 at 9:27 pm

So foolish to get rid of the water slides. I know there is a way to keep them but the people "in charge" are not interested.

Sad, Sad, Sad!!! My family has enjoyed them for years. I was excited when I thought there would be a solution. I think we were lend on to no reason, just to make us have some hope and then be disapointed, just like the previous comment said. Just what we need, a interpretive center and picnic tables!!

No one attended the last Thursday meeting that wanted the water slides to stay because no one heard about the meeting!!! Where was it posted??

Bad, Bad, Bad....This area is all about wine and restruants. Ver disapointed. I have lived in Pleasanton for 42 years and have been let down......

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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