Since Pirates Bay Water Park is officially closed for the season, the Baytown Parks and Recreation Department is working to get a new toy for the park that will be the only one of its kind in the United States.
Next season visitors will have the chance to race through a NinjaCross course — an interchangeable obstacle course that will be suspended above a pool.
“This structure is currently being fabricated in Richardson, Texas and will be erected in their shop before its brought down here and installed,” Jenna Stevenson, aquatics superintendent for Baytown Parks and Recreation, said.
The obstacle course will be suspended over the activities pool at Pirates Bay, which will replace the lily pads.
The course can have six to eight obstacles that will hang from a frame above the water. Each side of the frame will have the same obstacles so users can race one another.
“It’s going to be a lot of fun,” Parks Director Scott Johnson said.
While there are few NinjaCross courses in Germany and Japan, Baytown’s will be the first in the U.S.
“There is a fitness company that has bought into this product overseas, and actually wants to put it indoors and over pools,” Stevenson said. “And they’ve been biting at the bit and asking NinjaCross when ours will be installed so they can see it.”
The new attraction could also be used to attract new visitors to the park, as it has the potential to be used for tournaments or special events.
“It definitely opens the door for some new activities at the water park,” Johnson said.
In addition to announcing the park’s newest attraction, Stevenson said Pirates Bay recorded strong numbers in its 10th year despite having a shorter season.
The water park had to close about two weeks earlier than it has in previous years due to the Goose Creek CISD school year starting early. Since many of their employees are high school students, there was not enough staff to keep the park open. But since school started earlier, it will also end earlier, which means the water park will open four days early next season.
Despite losing two weeks this year, Stevenson reported the park had about 156,000 visitors this summer. At Calypso Cove, just under 17,000 people visited.
Pirates Bay earned just under $3 million this season.
“We had a good season,” Johnson said. “The lifeguards are always awesome, and we can’t wait to do it again next year with our new toy.”
Stevenson told the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board they had about 25 rain days between the two parks.
“Rain days are counted when it rains at some point during the day or people were pulled out of the water due to lightning in the area,” Stevenson said. We also had seven days when we closed early, opened late or did not open at all due to the weather.”