Jellystone offers aqua park for all ages to enjoy


Just before Memorial Day, Jellystone Park installed its newest attraction: an aqua park. The playground on water is intended for people of all ages, campers, and the general public. (Photos by Kim Brooks)

Jellystone’s aqua park features various obstacles for people to maneuver over, around and under. All users must wear a life jacket while on the structure.
By: 
Kim Brooks
Express Editor

     “We’re looking to offer the community an experience.”

     Monticello Jellystone Park recently opened its newest attraction on their lake: An aqua park.

     Campground owner Chip Smith described it as a “playground on the water.”

     As soon as the governor allowed playgrounds to fully open on June 1, relaxing some of the COVID-19 state restrictions, Jellystone introduced their aqua park to the public.

     “This is something that has been in the works for seven years now when we put our pool in,” explained Smith of adding new attractions to the campground here and there over the years.

     Some other new features at Jellystone include: laser tag, gem mining, and a new glamping cabin (they now have four total galmping cabins).

     “In November we bit the bullet with the aqua park,” said Smith.

     The aqua park is designed for people of all ages, of as Smith says, “kids of all ages.”

     Basically the aqua park is an obstacle course, providing an alternative to a swimming pool, which Smith said tends to get crowded at times at the campground.

     “We looked at getting another playground, but we already have two of those,” he said. “This is something different.”

     The aqua park fits up to 72 people, but for the sake of social distancing, Jellystone is only allowing 35 at one time. With staff monitoring the structure at all times, all participants must wear the certified life jackets while enjoying the aqua park. Jellystone provides the life jackets for 30 pounds up to 3XL.

     “You can’t go on the aqua park without one of our life jackets,” urged Smith. All children must also be accompanied by an adult.

     Aside from offering the aqua park for their campers on weekends, Jellystone is also offering it to the public Monday through Thursday.

     “We’ve had quite a few people in the community come out already,” said Smith.

     The cost to the public is $15 for unlimited play.

     Smith said they wanted to offer something for the community for day use to make it worth their while.

     “It’s already exceeded our expectations,” he said, having demonstrated the aqua park himself. (The video can be seen on Jellystone’s Facebook page.)

     The aqua park arrived at Jellystone in parts and pieces a week before Memorial Day. It took a day and a half to assemble and install on the water, all done by professionals. The structure uses 30 700-pound weights to hold it down, especially during windy days.

     Aside from wearing a life jacket, the other rules include: no flipping, no diving, and no pushing or shoving.

     “It’s not designed for the untrained person to do a flip,” warned Smith.

     Jellystone, like all campgrounds, took a hit earlier this season due to the pandemic. While typically opening in mid-April, they were shit down for all of April and most of May. They opened to 10 percent capacity on Memorial Day weekend. They also couldn’t allow any seasonal campers.

     With campgrounds now filling up, Smith said people were ready to get back out and about.

     “They’re tried of being isolated and quarantined,” he said. “People want to socialize.”

     Jellystone is practicing social distancing and implemented increased hygiene measures in an effort to keep everyone safe and healthy.

     “We’re cleaning and disinfecting high-touched areas,” said Smith. “And we’re only allowing 10 people at each site, family only.”

     In addition, they’re not allowing hugs with the Jellystone mascots (Yogi Bear, Cindy Bear, and Boo Boo) to keep everyone germ-free. But, pictures are still allowed at a safe distance.

     While they’ll never make up for the lost revenue, Smith said with the new attractions they’ve seen higher occupancy rates.

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