After much speculation about its closure, park officials are saying the The Rapids Water Slides at Shadow Cliffs Regional Recreational Area will not open this year because of extensive repairs that needed to be done, according to an article in the Contra Costa Times.
East Bay Regional Parks District managers told the Times, "there isn't enough time to fix structural, electrical, pump and other equipment problems in time for the Rapids Waterslides season," which goes from Memorial Day to Labor Day weekends.
If the repairs are never done, the slides will likely never reopen.
Mimi Waluch, the district's revenue and administration manager, told the Times that opening this year just wouldn't be safe.
She said the water slides owner didn't make repairs that would ensure the facilities were up to safety code, and didn't add access required by the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The parks district simply let the lease expire in December, according to the Times. The story also said parks managers are looking at whether to rebuild, replace or tear down the slides, which are the only ones in the Tri-Valley area.
Glen Kierstead, who opened the slides in 1981, told the Times the water slides should and could be saved.
He said he would be willing to renovate and reopen if parks officials would give him a long-term lease — meaning 10-plus years — to make up for the $200,000 repair pricetag. But that did not happen.
Pleasanton resident Christine Romeo told Patch back in May that she didn’t want to see the water slides axed.
“I think it’s kind of sad,” Romeo said as she watched her 5-year-old son, Daniel, play at another Pleasanton Park.
“I think it brings a little more excitement to the park,” she said of the slides.
The slides' Facebook page hasn't been updated since May — the most recent posts are thank yous to people who supported keeping the slides open.
Patricia Knutson, Kierstead’s assistant, told Patch back in May that her boss was not happy with the plans to take the slides out. She said the public clearly wanted them to remain open, because the slides are unique.
“We serve a different purpose than the larger parks," she said at the time. "Our slides are only a small fee — it’s a different type of facility."
"There’s nothing like it in the Bay Area.”
Patch readers also weighed in back in May, in story comment sections.
"I enjoyed them as a child growing up in the area and can't wait for my kids to do the same," said Patch reader Lisa Doherty.
"They are safe, they are fun and they offer something no other park in the area does. Shadow Cliff's waterslides are a great way to spend a summer day with yor family."
Another Patch reader said: "I moved to the Tri-Valley five years ago, right around Labor Day, and we took my stepson to Shadow cliffs and the waterslide our second weekend here.
"We had so much fun, I got over being sad we had moved!"
"I'm going to fight to keep it open," Kierstead told the Times, "but it seems like the park district bureaucracy wants it closed."
Do you have memories about the water slides? Tell us in the comments.