Adventure Bay Closing Doors More Often


Header-image-TuomiBy Robert Tuomi

Drastic moves are possible for the city’s money losing downtown waterpark, known to some as Adventure Bay and to a growing legion of beleaguered taxpayers as Misadventure Bay. Apparently, the city, reported to the CBC, February 4, might right now be putting a plan in place to reduce the park’s operating hours as soon as March’s spring break ends.

While the potential cost-cutting measure might help compensate for the park’s continuing declining popularity, it will mean its fixed expenses will now have to be amortized over fewer opening hours.

Currently, the park’s doors are unlocked for early bird hours only on Monday and Friday mornings. It is open from late afternoon to early evening on most weekdays, although is totally shuttered on Wednesdays.

Michael Chantler, assistant manager, confided to the CBC, that “… the park is not as busy now as it was when it opened and users can ‘totally expect’ the park to be open less often during the week. ‘When something’s brand new everybody wants a piece of the action,’ he said. ‘It is a little less busy than when it first opened.’”

Those opening days were more than glorious.

The hopes of the park turning the city around and helping to revitalize the dwindling fortunes of the downtown were in the air on January 17, 2014, when the broadcaster quoted the city’s then failed mayor, Eddie Francis. He was caught bragging about it having, “… many attractions that I think will have great appeal to people of all age groups. So we were very careful in the planning of the facility to make sure it was a family attraction.”

Apparently all the planning didn’t work out for families.

The broadcaster talked with parent Besmallahsow Rali and found out, “… the aquatic centre for him and for many in his neighbourhood is too expensive.”

It was also curious to see Francis use the term, “think.” It questioned his ability, as a tourism impresario or even a property developer.

The startling reality is the park was planned and built without any real thinking at all.

Unbelievable, in a Ripley’s sort of way, it was all done without a market study. This did nothing but cement the reputation Francis was earning for half-bakery.

Former city councillor Alan Halberstadt, writing in the February 2012 issue of Biz X Magazine, opined about the, “… lack of an independent market study as the most glaring oversight leading up to the rushed decision to spend $78.1 million to build a downtown aquatics centre.”

The reason the Olympic pool side of the building failed is well-known. The city opened its new competitive pool at a time Toronto had taken its revered Etobicoke Olympian out of service for a complete update, and before two new pools for the Pan Am Games were opened.

Now, with all three open to rave reviews, Windsor’s pool is no longer as busy and probably never will be.

Proceeding with the big build in Windsor, with three competing pools being added in the most populous area of the province, was certainly nothing if not foolhardy for Francis, even if what has been revealed can politely be termed as hindsight.

But, Francis did not have to work in the dark or just think things up. To Halberstadt, spending a $100,000 on a market study would have been most enlightening, particularly after, “… $1 million was set aside to pay Lawyers and Consultants to navigate City Hall through the bidding and design build process.”

At the same time as the water park’s managers plan to reduce hours, they are also looking for a third, most likely gullible, party to take over operations of its concession stand. It, too, is not doing well.

While the real damage of Windsor’s costly downtown misadventure is it becoming a burden for taxpayers, Francis does not get off lightly. As the pool and waterpark decline in popularity, so too does his tarnished legacy.

Robert Tuomi can be heard at 8:30 pm every Monday evening and noon every Wednesday co-hosting Talkin’ ‘Bout Windsor on CJAM 99.1 FM. Listen on demand to previous episodes or catch the discussion live and join in. Talkin’ ‘Bout Windsor is broadcast every Monday and Wednesday to the Windsor and Detroit listening area and streamed online at CJAM.

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About the Author

Robert Tuomi
After initially succeeding as a broadcast journalist and achieving senior level assignments, Robert branched out into marketing communications. As a senior executive, primarily in the high-tech industry, Robert created award-winning and comprehensive, multi-faceted initiatives to enhance sales and expand market awareness for some of the largest companies in their fields. Email Robert Tuomi

19 Comments on "Adventure Bay Closing Doors More Often"

  1. I would go more often to Adventure Bay if it was warm enough in there to not be freezing. I’ve been there 3 times and every time you get out of the water, you freeze and have to get back in to warm up. I was shivering the whole time and I’m not usually a cold person. Turn up the heat and maybe more people would come out.

  2. My husband and I enjoy taking my son and he loves it. We are in the highest unemployment rate what do you expect? The gym should be bigger and located to access from the out side. You could have longer hrs. It’s garbage.
    They did landscape that is awful. Looks like a dog’s breakfast in the back parking lot. They plant trees don’t take care of them watering etc. Then replanted then cut some down. WHY?? Because Windsor does not maintain anything. Look at the side walks! ! Why don’t you take the concrete out and asphalt it all cause that is the way it is headed. Just wait till this new hospital is built stupid location…put that money into the nurses…cause we will have a hospital and not enough to do the job.
    Windsor does everything half ass and backwards. We as the people can’t vote on it. It is what is good for the mayor and council at the time and not the people.
    What about having the sports person coming in really? Are city is not big enough for what you are trying to do.
    It just goes on and on. Nothing for the people keep putting money in your pockets council!

  3. Love this facility, bought the 104.00 yearly pass. No brainer. Parking is CHEAP compared to Toronto, I only paid 3.50 for 4 hours!!!! Coming from Toronto and wife from Vancouver We’ve never heard so much complaining as comes from Windsorites. Must be a union taught thing. Wow ! Read Trip Advisor about Adbay. Most people from out of town love it. But windosites won’t get behind anything. That’s what’s holding this city back.

  4. The people who planned this project are stupid. It is in one of the worst areas of Windsor. The parking lot is directly behind the busiest liquor store in the city, in the core of downtown. Who the hell would park there, and take their family through this section, passing by drunks, and crackheads….Once again, you have idiots who do not live in the area, planning the area. It will close

  5. I luv the idea , it was a great tourist attraction but wow Paying more because I come from out of town and to pay for parking I just cannot do it, I know alot of people cannot afford it. Even the ones that live in Windsor, Do some specials, more advertising, Never been there , would luv to go but just can’t afford tickets plus meals plus parking and the gas on top it

  6. John Browne | 12 February 2016 at 22:03 |

    $18 for an young parent is to expensive $140 a year is reasonable. And you don’t allow me to bring my healthy food in and I must buy expensive fat food. Heck you did a $5 Special and the park was full on your anniversary. If your goal is to attract tourist then do a $5 out of town promotion weekend once a month. Your supposed t market this get creative and stop sitting on your butt. Did you ever think of a food specials with Admissions?

  7. My daughter and I , and family and friends love spending time here! The cost isn’t expensive at all in my opinion. You can either go to a place like waterworld and pay next to nothing or go to a place as fun as this and pay a little bit more. It depends on the experience you want to have. Everytime we go we have just as much fun as any other time. I agree that it should be the same price for everyone, windsor or not though.

  8. Maybe because the cost of parking is almost as much as you pay to go in. Then the cost to get in the park is nuts. I spent well over a hundred dollars for my family for just a couple hours. It wasn’t worth it. They should have proper family rates. Especially for ppl that live in the area. Lots of a amusement parks have cheap season passes for people that live in their area. They should have made it all more affordable.

    Free parking or free parking passes with the purchase of a ticket.
    Cheaper individual tickets
    Reasonable family rates
    And cheap season passes for local residence

    That’s what would have saved it. It would have been jammed packed every day

  9. Maybe if the park was more affordable to lakeshore and surrounding areas it would bring in more traffic. For my husband and I to take our two boys it would cost us almost $100!!! I’d love to go but can’t justify paying that much 🙁

  10. Daniel Martin | 11 February 2016 at 22:43 |

    All Olympic Centers Without Exception, FAIL After Use.

    People are not Athletes, and when Special Mass-Wealth Spending is done by Cities, Provinces, Governments, all for the sake of their own Publicity, it is by virtue then detached from the very citizens who are trained to gawk in awe of it.

    You can not expect them to use it, as such venues are not built for the common man, they are built out of ego and pride and taxes, all for the spectacle and for the election from its successes. Such places are a tool, and not a promise.

    If the people really could benefit from such a place as this, then it would be built by the common people for the common people, special spending and events neither included nor required.

    Windsor already had an Indoor Water Park, neglecting it in favor for the Olympic Associations that would bring in only a meager and momentary spectacle at least, with at most being its gross post-mismanagement and ridiculous intentions of becoming something it could never be: Fun.

  11. If this project had been a good idea, a private entrepreneur would have taken it on. The city should not have gone into the waterpark business, especially at such a huge cost to taxpayers. It is disturbing.

  12. By charging $5.00 more per person because we live in the county, means we have never been there. I go to Kalahari in Ohio. Works out much cheaper for my family to take an overnight trip.

  13. The Adventure Bay project went over budget, it was a loosing issue right from the start. There are a lot of people out of work in this city or are working for minimum wage, who cannot afford to bring their children to this mickey mouse water park. Fast Eddie and our ineffective mayor and city council fired our AG for Windsor so they could build this park with little opposition as possible. The AG investigates a project first before they even start it to see if the dollar value is worth the investment, fast Eddie and our ineffective mayor did not like the idea so they fired him. The best thing the city could do is sell this white elephant and cut our losses, we can’t afford this burden anymore.

  14. It’s way to expensive. Just for an afternoon to take the kids your looking at around 50 bucks.

  15. I agree with a lot of people it cost to much and the 1 and only time i took my 2 girls there i was asked for id and a peice of my mail to prove i live in Windsor so i could get a cheper price….. But i thought that was just stupid cause when ur going swimming who Carry’s there mail around with them and i just said it wasnt worth it at all it cost to much and they want a lot of information to just go swimming….. I can say i wont ever go back i cant afford that to start but its just to much of a hasel to remember to bring all that stuff with u……

  16. If Adventure Bay was truly run like a business, they would find better ways to market themselves. There are a lot of people in this city who cannot afford it, or have just not been there. Offer some discounted nights, and encourage groups, tours, schools, etc to use the facility at a discount. When guests are there, offer them 2 for 1 coupons. A short term loss for a long term gain. When you have money like the city does, they only look at the ‘net gain’, then trim the fat so it still appears to be feasible.

    There are many businesses in this city that have become very successful by following this type of marketing. It’s hard to get the people to say good things about it if they have never been there. I wish the best for Adventure Bay, and hope there are good things to come.

  17. Marny beale | 10 February 2016 at 12:48 |

    Don’t anyone say it can’t get worse. This debacle was predictable from day 1.
    How did he or Dilkens think the average family could ever afford to enjoy this place? They knew and just did not care.Shame.

    • The project was never about affordability for families. It was only ever about the construction contract.

      • Windsor resident | 14 February 2016 at 18:55 |

        I wish Farhi owned the land beside adventure before they built the arena. We might have had a great arena and area surrounding it without two white elephants costing us millions in losses. Spits and express would be happier too. Greed, corruption and incompetence. With regards to hospital I can’t think of a worse location in the whole city. Might be the worst parcel of land in our whole city if an actual urban planner did a proper study. Why even put in Windsor? to make us pay for services? Would be better for Windsor if they put it in lakeshore or la salle.

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