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Sandy Beach Waterpark closes for summer, mechanical and staffing issues to blame

The president of the company that manages the park says shipping challenges also play a role.

MACON, Ga. — Besides students heading back to school, there's another sign that summer is coming to an end: pools and waterparks closing.

One Macon-Bibb waterpark locked its gates a little early this year. That's Sandy Beach Waterpark on Lake Tobesofkee.

"We've had some mechanical issues at the park all season," said Matt Satterly, the president of the company that runs the park.

Mechanical and staffing issues are nothing new in a post-pandemic world, but for veteran aquatics manager Matt Satterly, it still takes some getting used to.

"The types of pumps they have, the EQ series pump; prior to COVID, you could get those in 2 or 3 days, any time of the year. And now, they tell you 6 to 9 months," Satterly said.

Another real issue at Sandy Beach? Two of the three big attractions are closed. The parts and experience are both unavailable.

"There's not a person in Macon, or Atlanta, or in the southeast that works for the company that does that. So, you're dependent on that one company that built this machine to come down here, and take a look at it, when they have them all over the country," Satterly said.

The park has been plagued with issues through the years, like a 2019 delayed opening, and allegations of chemical burns in 2018. Satterly says that was all with a previous company.

"They didn't do anything illegal, but some of the corners that they cut made the path a lot easier for some of the issues that we're seeing mechanically. So, there's some areas that will need to be addressed on top of just some of the equipment not working," Satterly said.

He says he's not quite sure if the park will be open again next year, but he says they'll continue to work with Macon-Bibb County to develop a way forward.


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