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Shadow Cliffs "The Rapids" Water Slides Will Not Open This Year

Slides operator wasn't able to get extensive repairs done on time.

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.

Tanya Rose March 16, 2012 at 04:06 PM
Julie March 24, 2012 at 11:23 PM
East Bay Regional recommended closing down the slides at a cost of $100,000 to dismantle them. They have no funding for at least 10 years for any park improvement to repair the area, so the park would be left with a big mud hole. And the community would be left without the slides. The owner of the slides who built and has operated them for thirty years (at NO cost to the taxpayer), wants to renovate and continue to operate them (at NO cost to the taxpayer), but EBRPD will not extend or renew his lease. The report and recommendation is heavy handed and exaggerated (cost in the report was 12mil, was reduced to 6mil, owner says $300K) and they will not let the operator of thirty years walk onto the site to respond to the report. A political decision has been made to eliminate the slides but there is NO benefit to the community and there is a loss of a treasured amenity. The Water Slides are the best deal going for taxpayers, and a fun and affordable amenity for our kids and families. Speak up or the slides will be lost! April 16th 7pm Pleasanton Parks and Rec meeting, City Council Chamber, is scheduled as a public meeting on the topic. julie.testa@gmail.com
Camaro on Cinderblocks March 25, 2012 at 06:49 PM
I don't blame the owner for not spending the money to fix the slides if the city won't grant a decent lease contract. Give him the 10 year lease. Spending $100,000 to tear the park down so it can be a mud hole is moronic.
Tanya Rose March 28, 2012 at 03:40 PM
Hey all - new story on the water slides up on Patch today: http://bit.ly/HeJi3c
Patrick Meagher August 04, 2012 at 04:40 PM
My sister and I used to visit the park as kids when it was called "Splash Down" during the 1980's. What a FANTASTIC park it was! The ambiance was also a perk for going there. After Splash Down I always thought it was strange to see newer water parks constructed on large towers of unattractive steel compared to the cool hills and Ivy Vegetation that surrounded the cool blue slides. Patrick Meagher Yuba City CA


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