Mandan News

Raging Rivers has a good year

Raging Rivers Water Park netted a $100,000 profit for the 2013 summer season, according to Reid Katzung, who manages the park for the Mandan Park District. He reported the earnings Monday to the Mandan Park Board. He said there are still bills to pay off until the end of the year, but the water park stands in the black.

Katzung said the water park earned $477,123 in daily gate and membership attendance fees this year. Its concessions earned a net propfit of $83,817 – its best year since the park board bought Raging Rivers.

Katzung said the only season the water park lost money under park district ownership was in the 2009 spring-summer season, the first year the park district operated it. He said the park district spent extra money in 2009 adding safety improvements and updating features. That first year under park operation, the park district lost $16,000.

The Mandan Park District bought the water park in 2009 for $2.2 million. It uses $175,000 per year from its water park revenue to repay the loan every year through 2029.

Katzung said park attendance numbers improve not only during hot days, but when it becomes warm and dry enough to open the facility. Late openings lower attendance and profit, Katzung said.

Raging River was able to be open 59 of its scheduled 93 days this year, 63 percent of what was planned between Memorial and Labor Day.

Since the water park was bought in 2009, the best year of operation was the summer of 2012 with a total attendance of 65,854. That year, it earned $528,136 in attendance and season passes and $83,817 in season passes.

“Last year, we had 10 more days over 90 (degrees) than we did this year,” Katzung said.
He said 2011 was a poor year for attendance because the 2011 flood pushed Raging Rivers’ opening date back to June 20. It earned $467,865 in gate fees and membership passes. Concession revenue in 2011 totaled $62,560.

By LeAnn Eckroth, Lee News