BY C.L. HARMON
As you drive by the entrance to Jellystone Park on Hwy 51, there now waves an OPEN flag blowing in the summer breeze. But, unfortunately for owners Bob and Beth Ryan, open does not carry the meaning they hoped it would by this time of the summer season.
“Only quiet camping is available for now,” Beth Ryan said. If this were a race, one might say that it’s becoming a long race to the finish line battling obstacles to the left and to the right. But since it’s a water park, we will just say its been a long, tiresome swim toward the shoreline with obstacles coming from above and below for the Ryans.
After a tour of the park at Salt Creek North, its obvious to see that the park is far from where the owners had hoped it would be by this time.
Although the park is open for campers at this time, none of the amenities that will make it a fun Yogi-themed water park are in place. Ryan explained that progress has been extremely hindered by the flood and even now several of the park areas are still partially underwater. Those camping and swimming areas that are currently accessible are littered with driftwood and debris from the high water level. Many of those areas were already updated and completed for campers who had made reservations before Memorial Day. The cleaning and upgrades of the campsites, such as leveling and adding new gravel are now in the process of being done again, which is costly and takes time away from other projects around the park, Ryan said.
On a positive note, the architect has been there to get the design of the ranger station going and so the progress is slowly gaining momentum. Also Section C, where the cabins will be built, has workers preparing to lay septic lines and the electrician has been out to upgrade the system that will be needed to power all the various size cabins that are slated for construction. Many of these will be available for rent by Memorial Day of next year, Ryan said. They are expecting any day to start actual construction on several other aspects of the park.
“The pool installers will be here at the end of the month and the concept designer for water parks is scheduled to meet and help us with the layout of the park at end of month. Pool construction should be underway by September 1, Ryan explained. She also said that the Wibit (giant floating toy in the lake) is here and was originally scheduled for a May 1 installation. However, the German company that does the installs was behind and that turned out to be a blessing in disguise with all the floods that plagued the month of May.
“Nothing with the water activities will be operational this season. “Only quiet camping is available right now she reiterated.”
As for campsites, Ryan explained they are $5 more per night than the city offers for their sites, but they have hot showers and renovated bathhouses.
Ryan wants residents to know that she and Bob are happy to finally move forward with this $4.5 million dollar project that has been drowning in setbacks since the beginning. And though it has been a choppy, wave-filled swim, they are inching ever closer to a beautiful shoreline that them and their patrons next
Ryan would like to caution swimmers about staying off the docks until they have been deemed secure and safe by their employees. Also they will offer reduced rates the week of Labor Day flat which will fee of $10 to launch boat instead of $5 per person normally charged.
It’s Been A Choppy Swim Toward The Shore Line For Jellystone Park Organizers
BY C.L. HARMON