The Perfect Enemy | How La Mirada’s Splash water park rebounded from COVID-19 to make record profit
December 9, 2022

How La Mirada’s Splash water park rebounded from COVID-19 to make record profit

How La Mirada’s Splash water park rebounded from COVID-19 to make record profit  The Whittier Daily News

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For most of the last 15 years, La Mirada’s Splash, its regional aquatics park, has generated large profits.  Then COVID-19 arrived and the finances turned from black to red.

But since the darkest days of the pandemic, Splash brought in more than $3.8 million, the most money ever in a year, and netted nearly $760,000, the second highest margin, according to recently released city figures for fiscal 2021-22.

  • Remington, 5, a Golden Retriever, splashes in the pool heading to retrieve a tennis ball tossed for him by his owner Dave Heinrich during the 3rd Doggie Dive event held at the Ole Hanson Beach Club in the City of San Clemente on Saturday, November 19, 2022. The recreational swim event for dogs featured swimming with tennis balls, a costume contest, a doggie pie eating contest, doggie goodie bags and prizes. (Photo by Frank D’Amato, Contributing Photographer)

  • Splash! La Mirada Regional Aquatics Center in La Mirada, CA,...

    Splash! La Mirada Regional Aquatics Center in La Mirada, CA, on Friday, November 18, 2022. Escamilla is at the pool five days a week. La Mirada’s water park is making a profit, about $700,000. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Brian Patno works out in the pool at Splash! La...

    Brian Patno works out in the pool at Splash! La Mirada Regional Aquatics Center in La Mirada, CA, on Friday, November 18, 2022. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Splash! La Mirada Regional Aquatics Center in La Mirada, CA,...

    Splash! La Mirada Regional Aquatics Center in La Mirada, CA, on Friday, November 18, 2022. Escamilla is at the pool five days a week. La Mirada’s water park is making a profit, about $700,000. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Swimmers take advantage of lap time in the pool at...

    Swimmers take advantage of lap time in the pool at Splash! La Mirada Regional Aquatics Center in La Mirada, CA, on Friday, November 18, 2022. Escamilla is at the pool five days a week. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Edwin Escamilla works out in the pool at Splash! La...

    Edwin Escamilla works out in the pool at Splash! La Mirada Regional Aquatics Center in La Mirada, CA, on Friday, November 18, 2022. Escamilla is at the pool five days a week. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Debra Dawson does laps in the pool at Splash! La...

    Debra Dawson does laps in the pool at Splash! La Mirada Regional Aquatics Center in La Mirada, CA, on Friday, November 18, 2022. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

The figures don’t include the $840,000 annual bond payments that helped pay for Splash and the sheriff’s substation, both of which opened in 2007. The city now owes about $6 million.

Splash lost about $800,000 in fiscal 2020-21 even though the aquatic center was open the summer of 2021. It wasn’t open the summer before.

The difference in 2021 was that the city didn’t find out Splash could open until a week before the opening date in May, La Mirada City Manager Jeff Boynton said in a Nov. 17 telephone interview.

“This year we had more time to plan and prepare,” he said. “We could do promotions. It remains a popular destination.”

In addition, the city added another slide to Buccaneer Bay, it’s water park fun center that includes a “lazy” river, now four water slides, a children’s interactive play structure, a zero-depth beach entry and two spray pad areas.

The new 300-foot-long slide off of a 40-foot tower was unveiled last year but continues to bring in more customers, Boynton said.

Slash also has a 25-yard teaching and training and 50-meter competition pools.

Councilmember John Lewis praised city staffers who run the aquatic center.

“Splash has attracted many people from Southern California, and the fact we continue to grow is a testament to our city and staff and how well they have done to compete with other water parks,” Lewis said.

“They could be going to Disneyland or Knott’s Berry Farm but they prefer to go to Splash,” he said.

Plans are under way to make improvements for next summer, Boynton said in a written staff report for the City Council at its Nov. 8 meeting.

The three original slides will be repaired, repainted, and coated, he wrote.

Portions of the park’s “lazy” river plaster floor service have begun to crack and peel, he said. The city is seeking a consultant to make repairs to be done by May 2023.