The History of Waterworks Park
The history of waterworks park in Redding California is one of ups and downs of shaky beginnings and powerful surges with nearly as many twists and turns as a ride of one of it´s key attractions, the cork screw, and flume ride. However the park now enjoys a recent past of powerful new attractions and a great future with exciting expansions. The park opened on time and on budget in the spring of 1985.
The park was designed in what was considered to be an optimum location. Located within the city limits of Redding, population 80,000 Waterworks park is on Highway 299 and Interstate 5. The main freeway connecting Seattle to San Diego. It sits on about eight acres of land with a stream running through it. The park is seven miles south of Lake Shasta, one of the largest recreational lakes in California and ten miles east of Whiskeytown Lake, one of the prettiest. It is two and a half hours drive from Sacramento to the South, the same drive North to Medford Oregon and three hours to Eureka on the pacific coast and three and a half to Reno Nevada on the East. The weather is ideal, we are at the head of Sacramento River Valley where the average high tempeture of the day in July and August is 100 degrees.
Initially the park was owned by Slideco Recreations with David Enns as its president. After many years of steady growth the park was bought by Yanaco Corporation with Joe Murphy as President and CEO. White Water Wests Geoff Chutter was a great assistance in the design and park layout, the Bucking Bronco, the Whipper Snapper, and the Cork Screw are flumes that are still contemporary and popular. The late Kelly Ogle WWA hall of famer from New Braunfels, Texas, designed and installed our Kiddy play area and Raging River with the help of our project engineer Gary LaFramboise. Both of these attractions are the most popular features in the park. Old fashion for sure but our regular customers tell us in interviews and surveys not to change a thing. With the Raging River we pump about 10,000 gallons of water a minute down the Raging River over moguls and sandbars around steeply banked turns and through what used to be intermediate pools. The river starts in a pool at the top of a mountain over a weir the width of a tube. If the ride operator who is launching the rider just glides the tube into the weir and waits a few seconds for the water to rise, the tube and riders will pop out down the chute.
In 2000 we built what is now called The Avalanche, an extreme ride but safe for all ages. By 1995 we had known for sometime that tradition of a leisure river would expand our target group and create an activity for parents, grandparents, and grandkids for those who prefer less aggressive recreation. We also increased the much needed water play area in the park. The idea of creating a theme to Tropical Island with a river rounded as a center piece to the park has been burning for years. We had to do it in limited space. We visited a dozen parks and received incredible cooperation, helpful advice, and encouragement. Design incorporates two entry loading bases to enable all tubes to be loaded outside the rivers current. The base has been designed to accommodate handicap lifts that can be used with out struggling with the current. The Lazy Lagoon was finalized in 2003.
Two fifteen horse power pumps and one seven and half horse power pump drives the ride and the filtration and can be utilized in any combination depending on the time of day or season. The filtration turn time will be between two and half to three hours during the day time. Over the last several years we have changed over the entire theme in the park to tropical which began with the addition of our Lazy Lagoon ride which has palm trees surrounding it. In addition we have a food and beverage facility called the Beach Club Café, The Sand Dollar Gift Shop, and an outdoor barbeque area. In 2005 we added another exciting ride called the Cyclone. We will continue to provide water ride enjoyment for a great price for years to come.
The park was bought in 2005 at the beginning of the season by Joseph Murphy, sole owner of Yanaco Corporation. Waterworks Park is one of the few Native American owned businesses in the state of California. Joe Murphy was the previous president of Redding Rancheria Economic Development Corporation, responsible for the development and expansion of several major projects in the City of Redding, specifically the Hilton Garden Inn, Win River Mini Mart, and Win River Casino. As a tribal member of Redding Rancheria Joe Murphy is proud of his heritage as a Pit River and Yana Indian.
The future looks bright with several expansions in the pipeline including drop slides, some enclosed flume rides, a wave pool, and a family entertainment center. The park is a major tourist destination for Northern California and especially Redding with over fifty percent of the parks day sales coming from tourists. The park is continuing to look at additional venues for the facility during the off season from Labor Day through Memorial Day. With several boat shows, RV shows, and other events to utilize its extensive parking.