Launch - Just Add Water - October 2018


“Category 5 Rapids—Extreme Waterslides,” made up of three water raft rides, opened for the 2018 season at Splash Away Bay Water Park. (Credit: Quassy)

How Quassy Amusement Park Found Success with Water

The designation of “water park” may bring to mind images of a huge stand-alone park with 50 acres of water slides and a massive wave pool, or a large aquatic park sitting in the shadow of the hyper coaster at a regional amusement park. Yet, adding water attractions can also make a splash at smaller, family-owned amusement parks.

The 20-acre Quassy Amusement & Water Park in Middlebury, Connecticut, found success in the past 16 years with adding traditional water park attractions—with the summer of 2018 proving no different. This year, Quassy constructed its biggest water attraction yet. Named “Category 5 Rapids—Extreme Waterslides,” the complex features a trio of big raft rides from ProSlide. The addition is the largest single investment in the park’s history.

The latest water park expansion follows modest beginnings in 2002 when, after 95 years in operation, the park added “Saturation Station,” a family water play area with a large tipping bucket, water sprays, cannons, and cascading fountains. 

“We saw the industry growing and did research on what our customers wanted, and water was a big item they all asked for. ‘Saturation’ expanded our appeal, and we have been growing ever since we added water,” says Quassy Park President Eric Anderson.

It’s important to note that Quassy didn’t overextend itself and try to start with a multi-attraction water park. Instead, the park aggressively marketed this one attraction with TV ads and billboards. Plus, the water play area was included in the park’s all-day ride wristband. Anderson says as time went by, “Saturation Station” became so crowded on certain days that guests could hardly move around.

Recognizing the need for expansion, in 2006, Quassy built two ProSlide “Tunnel Twisters” slides, and in 2013, added the “Bullet Bowl” raft ride, body slides, and a kids splash pad. At this time, the park decided to give the water park its own moniker.

“As the area become larger and larger, we needed to be able to give it an identity. ‘Splash Away Bay’ came up as a name among management, and we liked it,” Anderson says.

In 2016, a five-slide children’s complex was added, and this year’s “Category 5” marked Splash Away Bay’s fourth expansion since first adding water park equipment in 2002. With Quassy’s all-day ride and water park pass in 2018, costing $28.99 for adults and $24.99 for children, the park is value priced for families. When asked to name the three most critical factors that has made Quassy successful in operating its water park, Anderson stresses, “Safety—safety—safety.”