Splash Moraine to Five Rivers Metro Parks? How regionalism begins

Moraine is hurting. They won’t be the first or the last community to struggle thanks to the economic meltdown.

The Dayton Daily News mocked me for suggesting that the City put the airport- a regional asset, on the table as an opener to discuss regionalism.

Now we have Splash Moraine closing:

City officials built Splash Moraine in 1999 and opened it in 2000 with the idea of it being a destination location, he said. The $3.7 million water park, which has no debt and was open 100 days a year, annually drew an average 68,000 visitors from throughout Ohio, with only 15 percent being Moraine residents. It’s highest annual attendance was about 98,000.

via 187 jobs cuts in city of Moraine and Splash Moraine pool to close.

Should Moraine sell the park, built with tax dollars, off to the highest bidder, or should they trade it to the regional entity- Five Rivers Metro Parks in exchange for a revenue share?

This is a regional asset, that could serve the entire region- and still generate revenue for Moraine, without the responsibility of managing it. Like it or not, Splash Moraine was a major employer for youth, as well as a part of place building. Sure, it’s not GM jobs, but they were jobs. And, how many happy memories are there for kids- who are a key target group that we’re trying to keep in our community.

What would other communities give to keep this open? How do we take care of Moraine, after it took care of us for years?

This would be an example of reactive regionalism- how do we get to be proactive about it?

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