WESTERLY, R.I. (WPRI) — Water Wizz of Westerly announced Wednesday it will be shutting down for good at the end of the summer.
The family-owned and operated water park has been in business for 40 years and cited “aging infrastructure, the ever-increasing cost to operate a small, seasonal business and recovering from the significant financial impact of Superstorm Sandy” as its reasons for closing.
According to a Facebook post, the water park will remain open until Labor Day weekend.
“The Water Wizz family is humbled and grateful for your patronage,” the post reads. “If you have the chance, stop by to get those last slides in before Labor Day.”
After the park’s post garnered hundreds of comments, the Water Wizz location in Wareham posted to its Facebook page reminding everyone that it’s not affiliated with the Water Wizz in Westerly and will remain open.
Ken Rider, a Connecticut native, has been summering in Westerly since he was a child, and said Water Wizz was his first job.
“I have two little girls who love coming here every day that I am here. They’re sad,” Rider, who has worked for the water park for 28 years, said.
Joan Ellis of Summers, Connecticut said she has been visiting the water park for 30 years and is heartbroken by the news.
She said she remembers watching her children play on the same water slides that her grandchildren are enjoying today.
Ellis said they still haven’t had the heart to tell the kids that Water Wizz is closing.
“They look out the window every morning because they can see when it opens,” Ellis said. “That is why I am going to be very disappointed when they close.”
Rider said he is unsure of what will happen to the facility – and the property – after it closes down.
The water park will remain open seven days a week until Labor Day.