Since 1992 families have spent countless Summer days at DragonLand Water Park in Pekin, splashing around and racing down the parks signature red and blue slides.
But this year will be a little different as the pumps that put the “water” in “water slides” have broken.
“They’re old just finally gave out, unfortunately. We’re just operating with a swimming pool and a very dry slide that won’t work,” Peoria Park District Superintendent of Recreation Shawn Powers said.
All the plumbing is original to when gas was just $1.13 a gallon and the Pekin Park District had been planning on replacing them for a while.
“It was a project we were hoping to begin before any failures happened, unfortunately, a failure got there before we could get the ball rolling,” Powers said.
Replacing the pumps, filters and resurfacing the slides could cost between $500,000 and $600,000.
“We’re definitely worth everybody’s time and effort to put this. I think an aquatic center is important to a park district and a community above the cost. It’s more of an investment into the community than an investment into making money,” Powers added.
The park will still be open this year at a discounted price of $4.50, a dollar less than normal.
“Last year we lost two of the areas water parks and DragonLand is kind of one of the last ones. It’s very important I know for the families of Pekin, it’s a family place,” Powers said.
Younger swimmers will still be able to ride the park’s dragon slide.
The Peoria Park District Board will meet this Thursday to discuss repairs and funding sources though Powers is optimistic they will have the slides up and running by next summer.