PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

Local News

September 29, 2012

PN survey shows splash park brings in tourists

PORT NECHES — A final tally of visitors to Port Neches’ Splash Park shows the summertime destination is popular.

Final results for the recent survey conducted from June 11 through Aug. 12 show 21.7 percent or 2,276 of the Splash Park’s visitors hailed from Port Arthur followed by 16.6 percent or 1,739 for visitors from Nederland. Port Neches residents came in third with 14.9 percent of the visits or 1,558 while Beaumont brought in 11.6 percent or 1,219 visitors.

Saturday was the most popular day to visit the park, according to survey results. A total of 24.7 percent of the visits or 2,581 people visited on Saturday followed by Sunday with 17.9 percent of the visits or 1,878. A total of 13.8 percent or 1,441 people went to the park on Fridays.

The latest results mirror interim results presented to council for the period from June 11 through July 4.

The final results of the survey were presented to council recently, City Manager Andrè Wimer said.

“Basically, the interim results and the final results were consistent in terms of use of the Splash Park,” Wimer said.

Some council members, he added, continue to hear concerns from residents about crowded conditions at the park and directed city staff to look into possible options in respect to the issue.

“One of the options that they requested was to look at having certain times during the week where the Splash Park is open only to Port Neches residents,” he said.

The city will now look at how to administratively address the issue and if this is the direction the council would like to go.

The Splash Park is located on Grigsby in Port Neches Riverfront Park.

Back in June, several part-time persons were tasked with polling park patrons seeking information such as group size, number of adults/children, zip code and visits per month to the various sections of the whole park including Port Neches Riverfront Park, Tug Boat Island and the splash park, according to information from the city.

Discussion about the Splash Park began last year when council expressed concern about the  about the safety of children utilizing the park which made city leaders wonder if the patrons are citizens of the city or from neighboring communities.

The idea for a splash park came about after 2005’s Hurricane Rita severely damaged the city’s municipal pool. City leaders at that time envisioned the splash park and Tugboat Island to be attractions for development along the riverfront. The Port Neches Splashpark Fundraising Committee, which was comprised of members of the earlier Riverfront Steering Committee, helped solicit about $400,000 from the community to complete the construction of the splash park.

Committee members chose to construct a large spray park as not only a local draw but a regional draw as well, according to a story that ran in The News in July 2007.

mmeaux@panews.com

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