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The original item was published from 5/27/2020 10:30:59 AM to 7/1/2020 12:00:04 AM.

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Posted on: May 27, 2020

[ARCHIVED] Derby’s Rock River Rapids Opens June 8

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The City of Derby and the Derby Recreation Commission are pleased to announce the Rock River Rapids Aquatic Center is prepared to open on Monday, June 8 at 12:30 p.m. for its seventeenth season. The City of Derby will hold a news briefing for media interviews on Friday, May 29 at 10 a.m. at Rock River Rapids, 1900 E. James. St. In case of inclement weather, the briefing will be held at Derby City Hall, 611 Mulberry Rd.

Given the risks of COVID-19, a great deal of preparation has occurred to ensure the park is as safe as possible and meets or exceeds all CDC guidelines, state orders, and Kansas Recreation and Parks Association (KRPA) recommendations.

Instead of business as usual for the waterpark, adjustments have been made to provide for six feet social distancing and enhanced sanitation, including:

  • To limit the number of people in the waterpark at any given time, two sessions have been set: 12:30 – 4 p.m. and 5 – 7 p.m. Between these sessions, extra cleaning will occur.
  • Tot Time on Saturdays is available from 11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
  • To comply with statewide guidance, only 750 tickets (30% of occupancy) will be sold for each session. The KRPA recommends 36 square feet per person to provide social distancing in pools. Rock River Rapids has reduced occupancy to 30% of normal to achieve double that (72 square feet per person).
  • All guests must purchase tickets online in advance at Purchasing a ticket reserves your spot at a particular session (just like a movie ticket). Season pass holders must also reserve their spot online for each session they will attend but will not be charged beyond the price paid for their season pass.
  • Parental supervision is encouraged to ensure guests are complying with CDC guidelines while at the park.
  • Cleaning and sanitizing protocols have been enhanced and follow CDC guidelines. Hand sanitizing stations have been added for guest convenience. Guests are encouraged to bring their own sanitizer.
  • Guests should limit the number of personal items they bring into the park.
  • Guests are encouraged to arrive dressed in their swimsuits. Before entering pools, guests must rinse off with a “head to toe” shower. Shower curtains have been removed.
  • Lounge chairs will not be provided. Guests are encouraged to bring their own chairs.
  • Tubes and life jackets will not be provided. Guests may bring their own flotation devices and life jackets.
  • Two of the four big slides are closed.
  • The Lazy River will be available to swimmers at least 48” tall for walking. Inner tubes will not be allowed in the Lazy River.  
  • The concession stand will be closed; vending machines are available and will be wiped down every hour.
  • Swimming lessons and fitness classes are scheduled similarly to previous years, but class sizes have been reduced to provide enhanced social distancing.
  • Several annual events have been canceled (Slide and Dive, Party at the Rock, National Night Out)
  • New signs have been installed to ensure spacing while standing in line and remind guests to avoid touching their faces and encourage other hygienic behaviors. If you or a member of your family is sick, you should not enter the park.
  • At all times when the water park is open, at least one aquatics manager and a security guard are on-site, in addition to multiple Guest Services staff. Other COVID-19 safety measures include the following:
  • Encourage the use of cloth face coverings when not in the water.
  • Conduct daily health checks of staff at the beginning of their shifts.
  • Maintain distancing and discourage gatherings between different groups.
  • Exceptions to distancing include administering first aid, performing CPR, and evacuating the park in an emergency.

“I recognize some cities chose to close their pools instead of making the numerous changes to adjust to the higher level of public health awareness required by the current pandemic” said Kathy Sexton, City Manager. “Many of those decisions were based on financial circumstances or because they did not have adequate staffing. Others were based on the difficulty of making so many changes with constantly evolving circumstances. We decided the physical health and mental well-being of the community required us to go the extra mile to provide an outlet for local outdoor activity. Providing a local option makes it easier for families to follow guidance against travel and big indoor events.”

In everything we do, safety is our highest priority. We will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation closely. Rules and procedures will be amended as needed. There is a lot about COVID-19 we do not know. This plan is based on the best information currently available and may change as our knowledge improves. Should additional information need to be shared, we will do so through our multiple media platforms, including Facebook (RockRiverRapids), Twitter (DerbyRec), and

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