Beyond the Fold: February 22

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

I had a great time featuring the two indoor water parks in Columbus: Fort Rapids and CoCo Key.

A few notes on how we put together this issue and more on the water parks featured in this weeks's Pulse section.

Themes Alive excels doing themed issues such as our Valentine's Day issue "Affairs of the Heart" and the "Ultimate Restauarant Guide," in which we try to relate most of the other sections to the Pulse. Some of our best issues since the relaunch in May have been ones in which the cover concept seeps through to the back pages.

But I really like doing issues that cover a topic in three pages of Pulse and let the other sections have different material. Our coverage of indoor water parks was just the right amount. We said everything we needed to say in three pages and left it at that.

We try to give precise and engaging content to a specific demographic, and the appeal of the parks skews a bit younger than most of our readers. I thought: Big kids might enjoy the parks, but is it a stretch to put the water parks on the cover, knowing they're geared towards younger sliders?

However, I'm glad we covered the parks the way we did for several reasons.

First, the trend of indoor water parks is sweeping the Midwest, and it's been in the news a lot. Putting the Alive spin on something like this is definitely worthwhile. Second, it was fun as hell to ditch work and head out to a water park. (To the kids who cut me in line last weekend, I got paid to slide! Rock!)

And finally, I think that the parks offer something valuable for people stuck indoors during winter. Young families and readers in their 20s or 30s can have a fun afternoon at either. Try to find a coupon or a special, though, since the prices are a bit steep.

Hot fun in the wintertime Speaking of temperature, every indoor water park advertises that the climate is 84 degrees. Beth Kelly, CoCo Key's director of marketing, explained that the park has to appease those who enter the water and those who don't.

Swimmers don't want to be uncomfortable jumping in and out of the pool, so water and air temperatures must be warm and can vary from each other only by several degrees. On the other hand, Kelly added, those who remain clothed will be uncomfortable if things are too hot.

Eighty-four degrees is the scientifically precise temperature to make everyone happy.