An inspection of the facility this winter led officials to conclude that the Rapids Waterslides had too many safety issues to address in time to open for the 2012 season. At the Board Operations Committee Meeting on March 15, East Bay Regional Park District staff members presented the repair costs, which reportedly could rise to $6.3 million.
At the meeting, administrators recommended that the waterslides be permanently closed, but several Pleasanton residents spoke in favor of saving them.
A land use plan for Shadow Cliffs Regional Recreation Area approved last year shows the waterslides being phased out eventually, with the hill returned to its natural condition and picnic sites being installed where appropriate. But board members at last week's meeting weren't ready to hasten the end for the waterslides, which opened in 1981 and had 28,000 patrons last season.
"It's one of the only facilities in their park system that caters to young adults and children," owner Glenn Kierstad said last month.
After the inspections were completed, Park District Board Member Ayn Wieskamp, who represents Pleasanton, expressed concern. She noted that it all comes down to the cost, and said that she realizes how popular water features are in the hot summer months.
"Staff is continuing to evaluate the site and develop a more comprehensive cost estimate to ensure safety and building code issues are met," said Mimi Waluch, revenue and administration manager, Operations, East Bay Regional Park District.