A regional attraction will soon be growing

By Lauren Payne - bio | email feedback

PARAGOULD, AR (KAIT) - Paragould's water park is enjoyed by the young and young at heart.  When the outdoor water park opens  next summer, city officials expect a new pool will attract even more people--including many out of towners.

They add they're hopeful an increased number of visitors may even mean a boost in the City of Paragould's economy.

"It has been just an overwhelming success," said Parks and Recreation Director for Paragould, Pat Austin.

Paragould's water park sees hundreds, sometimes thousands of people per day.  It's an attraction for locals and out of towners.  Austin says they're hoping to make a good thing for the city even better.

"We're going to add an additional pool back there.   It's going to be 5 feet deep," said Austin.

Austin calls it a more relaxed area for swimming or just lounging, something the park doesn't really have a whole lot of now.

"When they see that there is space back there, they'll go ahead and come out and visit with us.   It will allow us to increase our capacity," said Austin.

"It has really been a boom for our community," said Paragould Mayor, Mike Gaskill.

It's a regional attraction that Gaskill says adds a boost to the local economy too.

"They may stop at one of the hamburger places and get something to eat on the way out of town.   We're paying for that with a half penny sales tax that's collected at all of the restaurants too.   So they're helping us pay for our facility," said Gaskill.

Gaskill says being one of the first to put in a park like this, has also given the town some notoriety across the area, while adding to the city's coffers.

"It's been more successful than we thought it would be when we first went into it," said Gaskill.

While admission to the park is just two or three dollars, city leaders say the interest it's garnering is priceless.

"This has just been a win/win situation for the whole community," said Austin.

City officials say work on the new pool will begin shortly after the outdoor water park closes for the summer this month, and again they expect the new pool to be open when the outdoor water park opens next summer.  The pool is expected to cost between 400 and 450 thousand dollars.  The entire community center, including the new pool, is paid for with a sales tax.

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