Essex to consider inflatable water park at Colchester Beach

The region’s first outdoor inflatable water park will open on Colchester Beach if Essex City Council approves and meets all provincial and federal requirements.

Aqua City officials approached the town about signing a lease to operate a park at 87 Jackson Street, Colchester.

Town officials asked the Department of Natural Resources and Forestry if it would allow it, and after months of research, it was confirmed that it was.

Aqua City needed a barge to place concrete weights on the surface of Lake Erie to secure inflatables and buoys. Buoys will mark the perimeter of the park. The chain will hold the inflatables in place so they don’t float away. They can be removed if desired.

The company also needed to set up a tent on the waterfront to register customers, store equipment and hold safety briefings. It will also house emergency telephone equipment and first aid equipment.

All participants must wear life jackets in the park. Children under the age of five are not allowed, and children under the age of ten must be accompanied by an adult.

The town will pay half of the cost of the safety audit conducted by the lifesaving association. It sets water safety standards in Canada. The audit will ensure that Aqua City has adequate personnel and equipment and complies with the Ontario Inflatable Water Park Safety Standards, the Ontario Coastal Safety Standards and the Canadian Inflatable Water Park Safety Standards.

In the first year of operation, Aqua City will pay the Town of Essex 10% of its sales. Afterwards, salary is negotiated annually at company renewal.

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