Plainfield’s Splash Island serves as inspiration for Terre Haute possibility


PLAINFIELD, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) – It’s an indoor/outdoor water facility that’s been talked about a lot locally this election season.

Splash Island in Plainfield is a pretty big tourist attraction. It attracts people from Terre Haute and beyond.

Officials with Splash Island say they would actually welcome a facility opening in Terre Haute. They say often times they are at capacity at their facility.

They say representatives with Terre Haute have traveled to Splash Island a few times over the years to check it out.

Aniya Thompkins and her little brother, Carmello, say at Deming Park that they wish there was more for them to do.

They only took a couple of trips to the pool this summer but …

“It was closed afterwards because they had to keep putting stuff in the water to make sure the water was clean,” Aniya said.

Their mom, Jordan, says she wishes Terre Haute incorporated more city-like facilities.

“That way we don’t have to travel so far with our kids,” she said.

We took the hour and change drive to Splash Island in Plainfield, like many people from Terre Haute and beyond during pool season.

“It’s certainly not a secret that we are a regional draw and we’re always marveled by the distance folks come and visit our facilities,” Plainfield’s assistant town manager, Nate Thorne, said.

Two-story water slides, a leisure river, play area for kids, all on top of an outdoor pool.

That doesn’t include the indoor recreation center, which also has an indoor pool.

On average, the facilities here at Splash Island see 1,200 people come in daily, the revenue generated is almost enough to cover operational expenses.

Splash Island is owned by the city of Plainfield and paid for by taxpayers. It costs 2 million dollars annually. But, Thorne, says there is a 70% cost recovery.

“A lot of that is paid for in the short summer we have out here at Splash Island with the user fees and day passes.”

In fact, the facility does so well, when it was built in 2004 the plan was that it would last 20 years.

Officials realized they needed more space within five years. In 2012 there was an expansion adding the Leisure River.

Brent Bangle, director of Plainfield parks and recreation says the expansion doesn’t stop there.

The facility plans to add three more water slides and a splash pad area.

“We’re talking about ways of capitalizing on all of the space we have … We’re kind of the example of it you build it, they will come,” Bangle said.

Officials say when deciding on building Splash Island, they listened to what community members wanted which was a water-type of facility.

They say a food and beverage tax was passed years ago to generate money for Plainfield parks.

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