Castaway Cove's future looked to be drying up before the city took it over

Castaway Cove
Castaway Cove
Castaway Cove
Castaway Cove

WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - Castaway Cove water park is owned by the city of Wichita Falls, which makes a profit of $100,000 to $200,000 a year on the park.

However, it did not start that way. Its future was in question until 2009.

"If the city didn't purchase it, it was going to be a derelict operation up there on the hill that would have become an eye sore for the community," Deputy City Manager, Jim Dockery said.

Every summer people from all over Texoma come to the north Texas staple to cool off and have some fun.

"We have people from Dallas, Fort Worth, Abilene, and Lubbock that come here instead of staying down there in their area," Park Manager, Steve Vaughn said.

It was originally built for $6 million and was privately owned. A couple years in, the financial burden began to grow.

"They were having to come up with cash out of their pockets every year to satisfy those requirements," Dockery said. "They did that for a few years and just realized that it probably wasn't the great investment they thought it would be for them."

That's when they went to the city, in hopes they would take it off their hands.

"It appeared to be a win win situation for both the private sector to get out from under it, the city to keep the facility out there that a lot of citizens were using, and for the community," Dockery said.

He added that the park is still run the same way, but a few financial changes have made a big difference. It has led to a successful water park that Vaughn said really belongs to the community.

"We hope we continue to have an atmosphere like that," Vaughn said. "Where people want to come out to their park Castaway Cove in Wichita Falls."

"I think it's been something positive for the community, positive for the city, and something we can be proud of," Dockery said.

Vaughn said that he can remember when he was in junior high and high school and how much he would have loved to have a park like Castaway Cove.

Dockery said that is one reason why it was important for the city to take it over. The city has seven more years of payments on their loan for the park.

Dockery said once it's paid off, that is when the city will really start making money on their investment.

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