Gulf Islands Waterpark Winds Down A Successful Season

Their first season ended abruptly with the arrival of Hurricane Katrina.

"After the storm we didn't know exactly where we would be or if we would even be here," says Gulf Islands Water Park Vice President of Operations Glenn Haggerty.

The following season, just opening was the highlight.

"We're coming back as the community comes back, as the sportsplex comes back," says Haggerty.

So, it's no wonder he considers 2007 the best season ever.

"It wasn't a huge growth, but we did see growth, which is always positive," says Haggerty. "It was very consistent with the averages of the water park industry."

Most of the waterparks visitors are still south Mississippians. But, Haggerty believes Gulf Islands is on track to become what its developers always dreamed it could be, a premier family attraction for the entire Gulf Coast.

"We're pulling from the Mobile, Hattiesburg, New Orleans Markets, and we have seen an increase in that draw."

New Orleans Resident Tim Parsons is one of those new customers.

"I just brought my kids out here to have some fun," says Parsons. "I've got my 2 and five others."

He says an hour drive is more than worth it for his crew.

"They're having fun," says Parsons. "I give it a good grade."

Encouraging words for a place where fun is their motto and business is finally good.

Next weekend is the last weekend Gulf Islands Waterpark is open for this season.  The Gates will be open Saturday and Sunday from noon until 5 pm.