Croctail Creek didn't last long as 'getaway'
It was supposed to be an oasis for adults, a splashy sanctuary amid a water park packed with screaming kiddies.
Croctail Creek -- an 850-foot, 200,000-gallon reincarnation of the former Canoochee Creek lazy river, built for the former Wyandot Lake in 1991 -- was reopened in late May at Zoombezi
Bay for the 21-and-older crowd, complete with an island bar that serves alcohol.
Just imagine: Mom and Dad float the afternoon away, while the children (those old enough to hit the steep slides alone but still in need of a ride to the park and some snack money) entertain themselves.
The perk, however, proved as short-lasting as a frozen daiquiri in the sun.
As crowds flocked to the new park, space to cool off was at a premium -- especially because plans for a FlowRider surfing simulator and a reconstruction of the former Shark Attack slide didn't materialize.
So, six weeks into season No. 1, park officials opened Croctail Creek to all ages, with those younger than 21 required to ride inner tubes.
Some patrons weren't happy about the change, acknowledged Andy Cloyd, director of operations.
"People said, 'Aw, why'd you make it for kids?'" he said. "We previously got a lot of compliments -- adults coming after work after a long day."
Adult-only options aren't new to Ohio water parks.
A separate pool and swim-up bar are included as part of Soak City at Cedar Point and Monsoon Lagoon in Port Clinton, for example, and the Beach in Cincinnati operates a 21-plus tiki bar. (Croctail Creek surrounds a land-based bar that serves food and soft drinks in addition to alcohol.)
About 10 percent of water parks serve alcohol, according to the World Waterpark Association.
A spokeswoman for the Kansas group couldn't say, though, how many of its 1,000 member parks in North America have adult-only spaces.
Zoombezi Bay executives will meet soon to plan for next year -- and the possibility of new water rides, spokesman Jeff Glorioso said.
With more rides, Cloyd said, the youngsters might well have to clear out of Croctail.
"I think we will go back to that niche," he said. "It is very appealing."