The early birds looking for an early Saturday morning bath were joined by a steady stream of first time visitors flowing from the Gulfport Sportsplex parking lot.
The turn stiles finally turned at the long awaited opening of Gulf Islands Waterpark.
"Yesterday, we received 120 thousand hits on our web site, inquiring about our opening, and the delay yesterday," says Tom South, Chief Financial Officer of Gulf Islands Waterpark. "But today we're open and today is a waterpark day."
Now South and his fellow owners goal is to turn this waterpark day into a watershed season, already shortened by mechanical and weather related delays.
"We have reduced our season pass price this year by 20 dollars to accommodate for the short season this year," says South.
But even a short season is a welcomed one, at what Gulfport officials are calling the new number one family attraction on the Coast.
"The economic impact of the Sportsplex itself with sports tournaments is about 8 million," says George DeCoux, Director of the Gulfport Department Leisure Services. "And it's anticipated that this one here will be closer to 18 million."
The entertainment impact seems unmistakable.
So too, seems the promise of no more waiting for more family oriented fun on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.