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?

If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed! If you wish to support this blog, please head over and use our services at The Next Wave Printing for all your printing needs. We have 4 Color Business cards starting at just $13.50.

10 Responses

  1. Gina Kay Landis October 9, 2009 / 10:38 pm
    David, I think they should hand it over to 5 Rivers Metroparks as it would be a great addition to the parks system (and promote regionalism, as you say). Why wouldn’t they? Stubbornness. Hope they do anyway!

    Brilliant or Bozo? Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  2. Jennifer October 9, 2009 / 11:42 pm
    Moraine has really been hit hard with the loss of the several different GM plant locations over the last 10 yrs. DMAX Ltd, being the only partially owned GM facility still located in Moraine.  Moraine kids attend Kettering schools & until the recent loss of tax $…the Kettering Schools probably should have been named GM Moraine Schools.  (Yet, the Kettering folks always put their noses in the air to those bussed in Moraine kids. ) I hope that Moraine is working hard to try & get these locations filled with other industries, I sure don’t see Jon Husted doing much to help.
    I would hope, that if Moraine finds that the Splash park will no longer be a future viable community business resource…they would first seek partnership or trade with Dayton, prior to selling elsewhere.
    With knowing very little about the water resources, that I understand we are so rich with here in Dayton….if Dayton were to take control of Splash Moraine …what are all the other major Dayton Attractions with close river access & in the order from the Moraine area of the river?
    Below link is to City of Vancouver Washington  also a river city…..it seems they have capitolized on their water wealth….

    http://www.cityofvancouver.us/default.asp?menuid=10460

    Brilliant or Bozo? Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  3. J.R.Erwin.CEO October 10, 2009 / 12:47 am
    The Spash is just another reason..why..cities shouldn`t be in the recreation business.
    Look at Dayton facilities for kids…..
    I offered The Dream to Moraine on the GM open 300 acres…the Director of Economic Development stated…they weren`t interested in my $1.5 million payroll tax and …were..NOT..a priority.
     
     
     
     

    Brilliant or Bozo? Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  4. truddick October 10, 2009 / 10:34 am
    Simple question:
    DDN reports Splash Moraine operated at a $400k deficit and had maybe 3/4 of a million visitors per season.
    Why was the city not concerned with operating this recreation facility for profit?
    I agree with Mr. Erwin to a point.  Certain rec facilities are good for the public at large–they get kids off streets and into organized athletics, they promote health (thus lowering all our health care costs), they educate.  Splash Moraine, on the other hand, was not a pool where one could exercise, it was an amusement park–and an ill-managed one at that.
    Find private enterprise to buy this “destination”.  Moraine has lessons to learn–how it’s foolish for a small town to count on a big rust belt employer, how it’s stupid to displace large numbers of loyal citizens, and how ridiculous it looks for a municipality to run serial impeachments for mayor and council.  And above all, how concentrating on gimcracks like a wave pool ought to come AFTER those foundational miscues are repaired.

    Brilliant or Bozo? Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  5. David Esrati October 10, 2009 / 10:48 am

    @truddick

    What’s even more stupid is having a municipality the size of Moraine in an area like Dayton.

    There is nothing wrong with Splash Moraine that good management can’t fix- and Kettering has a similar water park on a smaller scale- along with a real pool, ice rink, skateboard park, BMX track, Soccer fields- youth sports. If the whole region was run as well as Kettering- we’d be a lot better off.

    Brilliant or Bozo? Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  6. Drexel Dave Sparks October 10, 2009 / 11:10 am
    Why not just invest in innertubes? We could place them strategically along the banks of the Stillwater, Great Miami, Little Miami. People could grab one when they needed, and float to their destination.

    Brilliant or Bozo? Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  7. J.R.Erwin.CEO October 10, 2009 / 11:42 am
    I`m not a ~brain surgeon…but I see 89,000 people come in….and there is a $400k loss….Dahhh…raise the entrance price by $2 dollars per person for locals and $4 for non-residents. .I think that would be a $..profit..(???)lol
    For the ~powers to just cut-n-run and shut it down is merely foolish. If they are only open 100 days…be open another 30 days and another 30 days in the evenings.  It does appear..they had to many employese..(??)
    Then..a “destination”…amenity is where a person come here..stays here a day or more and spends…money in the community. It`s called…ECONOMIC IMPACT.
    Why is it..the  city powers  always ~screw the kids…first..??  What are they teaching the kids..??
    But, people get what they deserve. Voters just keep re-electing the same old ~sorry people and they let them hire their sorry friends..the blunder chain continues.
    Bottom line…somebody will get their ~pocket…padded…on a project..it fails.. more tax money is spent on an  good old`s buddy  contributor for them to make money…and then..another ..fail is sure to happen
    Look at the failures , who made the cash…who was managing them and who…was behind them.
    Parks and Recs knows how to  suck-up ~blow tax money. Private business should manage the profit end of the ~destination section.
    Folks…do we need another..park..???  Existing  parks can`t be maintained or policed.  Cities /Counties should be focused on fixing the current problem..at ..instead of going overseas to bid on high tech stuff. Average hard working people need average l/t jobs..! Kids need structure,education and proper recreation.
     
     
     
     

    Brilliant or Bozo? Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  8. Tony October 15, 2009 / 1:14 am
    Does anyone remember the 2 mobile homes parks that no one gave a second thought about any of the residents? Some lost 1000’s of dollars as they lost their homes. This is just a drop in the bucket compared with how many suffered while the city destroyed their homes. Some did not deserve the deceptive practices and cruelty by the council moves to by the property. How about the results: Oak-point? I do think the five metro parks should manage Splash Moraine by the parks systems. The city has stolen the taxpayers money for there arrogance and greed. I do believe the city of Moraine should be managed by or be merged into another city firing them all and be absorbed by all of Montgomery County. Any ideas as to this plan?

    Brilliant or Bozo? Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  9. David Esrati October 15, 2009 / 5:54 am

    @Tony-

    Unfortunately, regionalism will come to Dayton kicking and screaming and later than it needs to. Of course, so will enlightened leaders. As it is, we have a hard time finding people to step up to the plate when times are tough.

    Splash Moraine was at least a better attempt at “economic development” in that it provided something for the public- instead of being another example of corporate welfare. Unfortunately, Morraine wasn’t able to successfully market it- starting with the name. Change it to Splash 5-rivers and it becomes all of ours, not just Mrraine.

    Manufactured homes will get no respect until they start paying property taxes on the structures (they have a title instead of a deed in Ohio). With advances in modular, factory construction, it’s time to revisit Ohio’s approach to them.

    Brilliant or Bozo? Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *