Story by John Emeigh, MTN News
BUTTE, Mont. – Butte’s new outdoor pool clearly made a big splash this summer.
“It’s just been an overwhelming success for the community and for Butte,” said Parks and Recreation Director JP Gallagher.
The pool officially opened on June 26 and has brought in more than 30,000 patrons in just under two months. And they’ve come from near and far.
“You know, the success that we’ve had from the community and also the support from outside the community. We’ve had multiple people come from Helena, Bozeman, Dillon Deer Lodge,” Gallagher said.
The pool has also brought in about $230,000 in revenue, far more than first anticipated. It takes approximately $400,000 to maintain a pool throughout the summer.
“We’re coming close to bringing in the revenue to offset those costs, so offset costs will go back to the taxpayers. We’re looking at probably bringing in about $300,000 to operate it this year because it was a shortened season. We’re looking in the $300,000 to $350,000 to operate it,” Gallagher said.
Along with the pool, you got the new Carousel facility, plus millions of dollars in renovations coming to Stodden Park over the next few years. It has officials confident it will increase the popularity of the Ridge Waters Pool.
“I believe our park is going to be a destination park, I think we proved it with Ridge Waters already. I think once we have everything in place, everything’s finished, people are going to be excited to come,” he said.
A good dry – or rather wet – run for the pool. The last day the pool will be open this season is Labor Day, Sept. 3. It will reopen next Memorial Day.