WAAY 31 learned more details on why a popular water park in Decatur is staying shut this summer.
On Tuesday, Point Mallard Water Park announced the coronavirus-related closure.
"Safety is going to be our top priority," Nicole Belcher, Point Mallard's marketing director, said.
Belcher said the staff worked for weeks to find a way to safely re-open the park, but finally decided to close.
"To provide the safety for both our team members and our patrons we felt like that was the best decision for the park this year," Belcher said.
She said other factors, including hiring staff led to the decision. She said by the time the park hired and trained everyone, it wouldn't open until July.
"With that shortened season, it's weathe- based so we would be looking at the possibility of not knowing how many days that we would be able to be open," she said
Decatur Mayor Tab Bowling told WAAY 31 operating the park costs $10,000 a day, and with max attendance it brings in $15,000 a day - netting about 5 thousand dollars. But, social distancing guidelines would force the park to limit capacity to 50 percent. Cut the amount customers pay in half and the park loses money if open.
Bowling said if the park runs at a deficit the money comes out of the cities general fund. Belcher said remaining closed actually benefits them financially.
"We're actually able to control some of that deficit and for many things," she said.
Belcher said the park will use the downtime to make some improvements, and plan for next summer.
"We have already started planning events to have the best summer for next year," she said.
This summer would have been the parks 50th anniversary., so it’s using the extra time to also plan an amazing 50th birthday for the park.