Despite a low turnout Saturday because of cold weather, Sun Splash Family Waterpark's opening weekend this year was a breeze compared to 2012.
Last season, a storm blew through on the first weekend, knocking out power at the park. Sun Splash did not open on the second day due to the outage.
"This year was actually a dream come true," waterpark manager Sandie Greiner said Tuesday, comparing the most recent opening weekends.
Officials reported that there were 219 visitors Saturday.
"It wasn't a full house because of last week's cold spell," Michelle Dean, a spokeswoman for the city's parks and recreation department, said. "But, we did have several hundred visitors throughout the course of the weekend."
According to Greiner, more than 400 people turned up Sunday.
"And it will get better now cause the weather's warming up," she said.
Many of the park's visitors were from outside of the state. Over the weekend, Greiner talked to people from Minnesota, Wisconsin and Canada.
"They thought the water was great," she said.
During the offseason, Sun Splash underwent a few changes, including a renovated gift shop - renamed the Treasure Trove Gift Shop - and an all-around fresh coat of paint. The pools usually get one every other year.
"We did have some seasonal pass holders in the park," Greiner said of the opening weekend. "A lot of comments that the park looks really good."
The park updated its souvenir cup for 2013 to a thermal insulated one. Officials also reduced the price for refills from $1.50 to 99 cents.
"They love the new souvenir cups," she said.
Dean added that the park hosted its first birthday party of the season during opening weekend - a 13th birthday party for a girl.
"The child's father was really pleased with how it went," she said.
With a staff of about 150, about half of the park's employees are new.
"You can kind of tell after the first weekend if you hired the right people," Greiner said. "The staff, I feel really really confident with this year."
Throughout the spring, Sun Splash is open only on the weekends, except for Friday, March 15 - a School's Out Day for Lee County Public Schools.
"We're real excited about this upcoming weekend," Dean said.
Greiner added that surrounding counties are off for spring break.
"So, we're hoping to have a very busy Friday," she said.
The park's weekend hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
It will be open March 23-31 for Lee County's spring break, but will return to the weekend hours until late May, when schools are dismissed for summer.
The 2013 season runs through Sept. 29.
Sun Splash is currently hosting a Facebook contest through Sunday.
"People can register to win free tickets," Dean said.
Early Bird season passes are available through April 7. Prices range from $54 to $64 for Cape residents and $69 to $79 for non-residents. After April 7, they rise to $74 to $84 for residents and $89 to $99 for non-residents.
"A lot of people tend to buy them over spring break," she said.
Season pass holders get unlimited admission to Sun Splash during regular operating hours, including Family Fun Nights and Aqua Theatre Nights. They also receive reduced parking fees and discounts on food and merchandise.
Sun Splash Family Waterpark has more than 14 acres of wet and dry attractions for all ages, including three speed slides, a Lazy River, a Tot Spot for small children, a family pool, and open and enclosed water flumes.
For the 2013 season, there are three Family Fun Nights and three Aqua Theatre Nights scheduled. Discounts and other activities are planned.
For more information, visit online: www.SunSplashWaterpark.com.
Sun Splash Family Waterpark is at 400 Santa Barbara Blvd.