Sponsored: Lions Water Adventure off to a roaring start after Memorial Day opening

Sponsored: Lions Water Adventure off to a roaring start after Memorial Day opening

The Lions Water Adventure made a big splash on opening weekend.

Memorial Day weekend marked the reopening of the park, with record numbers coming out. Kinston City Manager Tony Sears said attendance was boosted with a vengeance in comparison to 2018.

“Last year we had a lot of rain, which did affect our numbers, but we were at near capacity all three days this year,” Sears said.

Opening day at the Lions Water Adventure was met with incredible excitement. Photo by William “Bud” Hardy / Neuse News.

This was also the first year for the park under Swim Club Management Group, a Hunterville-based organization specializing in aquatic maintenance. Sears said the company, who delivered a proposal earlier this year to help increase efficiency, productivity and profitability for Lions Water Adventure, has shown strong early dividends.

“Their level of expertise, safety standards and efficiency has proven to be a huge benefit,” Sears said. “We’ve had a great start so far and we couldn’t be any more excited.”

SCMG President and CEO Brian Sheehan said the company believes in the possibilities of Lions Water Adventure.

“There’s a lot of uniqueness to the area and a ton of potential, so we’re excited to be engaged,” Sheehan said. “We had the highest ticket sale revenue on record (this Memorial Day Weekend) and had about 1,000 guests each day. We’re extremely excited about that and felt it was a great way to start this relationship with the city of Kinston.”

Sheehan said the plan of SCMG is to bring liveliness to the water park in the short and long term.

“When we looked at the numbers of the Lions Water Adventure, we saw that at a certain stage the newness wore off,” Sheehan said. “Attendance numbers and revenue decreased year after year, so we wanted to keep the park relevant with numerous ways to enhance guest experience.

“We engaged local restaurants like Sugar Hill Pizzeria to increase the quality of the concessions and partnered with a local cleaning company to make areas as clean as possible. We’ve also included an employee training program with a focus on the concept of Disney magic and the feeling people have when they visit those theme parks. We had two mock openings so the staff could prepare for this and even under a short amount of time — we had about 60 days to prepare — we’re proud of this accomplishment.”

SCMG is under a two-year contract with the city of Kinston, and Sheehan said he hopes the organization continues to keep the connection strong.

“Our goal and objective is to partner with the city as long as they’ll have us,” Sheehan said. “We’ll continue to do our part to add value and make it a win-win for the city, community and company. For us to continue to needle forward, we’ll continue getting creative whether it’s little things like hospitality to bigger things later, such as new features and elements at the park.

“Right now, we don’t have any reason to believe attendance will drop. We hope to offer unique events and specials in the future, and we’re on track to improve attendance and revenue this year.”

To learn more, visit www.lionswateradventure.com.

Photos by William “Bud” Hardy / Neuse News.

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