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Michigan's Adventure optimistic heading into 2011

Muskegon Chronicles

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April 16, 2011

Michigan's Adventure Amusement Park hopes to continue the momentum from last summer with a new water attraction and an improving economy.

Workers from Muskegon's Tridonn Construction Co. are completing assembly work on Beach Party — a new family-oriented water feature in the park's WildWater Adventure. At the same time, the park's group business is bouncing back for 2011 with the economy, park officials said.

The water-play attraction is slated to be available when the water park opens May 28 — the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend. Michigan's Adventure opens May 18 and closes Sept. 11.

Beach Party is a multilevel attraction with more than 150 play features, including eight water slides, net bridges, water jets, curtains and wheels. It also will feature a giant geyser, which blasts a 20-inch-diameter column of water up to a height of 95 feet, providing water fun for young and old alike.

The new ride will sit adjacent to WildWater Adventure's Funnel of Fear. It will be in a location where the old Jolly Roger Pirate Ship children's ride had been, park officials said.

Cedar Fair Entertainment Co.An artist's view of what Beach Party will look like at Michigan's Adventure Amusement Park.

The water feature — which is similar to Splash Zone in Cedar Point's Soak City water park in Sandusky, Ohio — is the first new attraction Michigan's Adventure has added since the ThunderHawk ride in 2008.

However, over the past three years West Michigan's leading summer tourist attraction has weathered the  recession quite well.

Cedar Fair Entertainment Co. — owner of both Michigan's Adventure and its flagship park Cedar Point — announced last fall that the amusement and water park between Muskegon and Whitehall had record attendance in 2010. The publicly-held company does not announce specific attendance numbers for each of its 11 parks, but well more than 500,000 people visited Michigan's Adventure last summer.

Michigan's Adventure General Manager Camille Jourden-Mark attributed the record year in 2010 to exemplary summer weather, an improved economy and the park's continued momentum from past new rides.

“If we get good weather, we'll have a great year,” Jourden-Mark said. “I feel very confident. We need the good weather with our new attraction being water-related.”

Besides construction of the Beach Party water attraction, Michigan's Adventure officials have been busy putting together its staff for the summer season. A record number of returning employees from last summer and a huge number of applicants will result in a staff of more than 1,300 being hired for the coming summer season, officials said.

“We are getting good quality people applying,” Jourden-Mark said. “They have positive attitudes and bright smiles. We can be choosy.”

Michigan's Adventure's 2011 calendar starts with Physics Day for high school students May 18 and the Rock the Coast Christian music event May 21-22. The park's regular season begins May 26.

During the height of the tourist season from June 25 through Aug. 28, the park will be open 11 a.m.-9 p.m., with 10 p.m. closings on six Friday and Saturday nights from July 15 to Aug. 20.

Michigan's Adventure daily general admission remains at $26 for 2011, giving customers full access to both the traditional amusement park rides and the water park attractions. A two-day pass is $46.

Cedar Fair offers various season passes, including a Michigan's Adventure season pass for $88.99 through June 17. A Cedar Fair platinum season pass is $165, good for admission to any of the Cedar Fair parks for 2011.

 



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