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Numbers on increase as temperatures soar

After a few weeks in the hot seat, sizzling Northeast Tennessee summer days are already making things a lot more comfortable at Jonesborough’s Wetlands Water Park.
“It’s been fantastic, especially with the warm weather,” said Wetlands Director Matt Townsend. “We are well ahead of the past two years.”
Total sales during the park’s 2015 grand opening weekend, held May 23-25, were $22,509 with more than 1,800 customers showing up to cool off. That’s in comparison to $15,236 and 1,077 patrons in 2014, and only $11,654 and 725 customers in 2013.
“We probably finished that week a good 25 percent up from the year before,” Townsend said.
That’s good news, especially considering the recent scrutiny by the Board of Mayor and Aldermen over the park’s last two years in the red.
Board members stressed in the May 11 BMA meeting that they were expecting to see a turnaround from the lower numbers of 2013 and 2014.
The warmer weather has definitely helped to set the park well on its way to meeting that goal, according to Parks & Recreation Director Rachel Conger, and she is hopeful for the upcoming months.
“We weren’t sure what was going to happen,” Conger admitted in looking back at the Wetlands opening. The holiday weekend fell at an earlier time than staff were used to, and Johnson City students were still in school.
But when the park opened, customers kept coming. “We’ve had a great opening weekend, and it’s been great so far,” Conger said.
In addition to the water park-favorable weather, Conger has also been pleased to see some of their new marketing plans bear fruit.
“We’ve refreshed our marketing plan,” she said. “Nothing really major, just to make sure we are on course and reaching our target market.”
And they’ve been taking advantage of social media’s reach.
“We have our Facebook account and we now have Twitter and Instagram,” Conger said. “We’ve gotten good feedback from that.”
For promotions that have only been announced via social media, “those days have been awesome.”