022220_jekyll slide

A four-waterslide complex, seen here at its original location at the Surf Lagoon waterpark in Pooler, will be an added attraction at Jekyll Island’s Summer Waves in 2021.

Summer Waves on Jekyll Island is getting an additional water slide, but patrons will have to wait a year to try it out.

The recently purchased water slide complex will be installed at the water park after the upcoming summer season.

Summer Waves General Manager Steve Sharpe said in addition to being a nice attraction for visitors, it’ll also help do away with that hobgoblin of summer attractions: long lines. At peak efficiency the slide complex will move hundreds of people though its tubes every hour.

“What it’s going to do for us, mostly, is move people,” Sharpe said. “With the four slides on the complex it’ll move like 700 people an hour, which will drastically decrease the wait times on the busy days for the bigger rides, like Pirate’s (Passage), for example. Pirate’s gets backed up sometimes. That’s our big thrill ride.”

The Jekyll Island Authority officially agreed to purchase the complex Tuesday from the owners of the shuttered Surf Lagoon water park in Pooler. It’s costing the JIA $100,000 to acquire and another $68,000 to dismantle and transport to the water park, costs the JIA board approved in January.

To JIA, it’s a bargain.

“This slide complex is worth $1.2 million, installed,” JIA Chief Operations Officer Noel Jensen said at the January board meeting. “Summer Waves management has ensured the slide complex is in great shape and all parts are available.”

Sharpe said they knew it would be a good fit for Summer Waves.

“We talked to an engineer and had it set in place just to make sure it’s in our scheme before we even really made an offer on the slide,” Sharpe said. “We wanted to make sure it fit what we needed, and it fits pretty nicely.”

Once the complex arrives in Glynn County, it’ll be stored until the next offseason.

Jensen said there will be a request of $320,000 from the board for fiscal year 2021 to install the complex and make it operational.

Expectations are when Summer Waves opens for the 2021 seaon, there will be a $1.2 million slide complex in operation after a $488,000 investment.

“They’ll actually start taking it down (in Pooler) this year,” Sharpe said. “We’ve got to get it down and out of their way.”

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