Two new waterslides are expected to open this summer at the Otter Cove Aquatic Park, costing the St. Charles Park District about $1.1 million.
A "thrill-sleeking" slide will contain a sharp drop leading to a run-out exit, said Laura Rudow, superintendent of parks and planning.
The other will be a triple racer slide with a timer tracking how quickly each rider makes it to the bottom, she said. Three people can ride side-by-side with dividers in between.
"In the end, you know by their time who finished first, second or third," Rudow said. "The idea is to capture a very broad audience and bring this element of competition."
Otter Cove opened seven years ago at 3615 Campton Hills Road and is the park district's largest revenue-generating facility, Rudow said. About 800 people visit the water park each day, and roughly 5,000 season passes are expected to be sold this year.
Surveys completed by season pass holders indicated a desire for new amenities, she said.
"You want to stay fresh. You want to stay current," Rudow said, noting some kids who are in their early teens have been visiting Otter Cove since it opened. "We want to keep that traction alive."
Manufacturing and shipping problems caused a delay in installation, but the slides likely will be functional within the next couple weeks, Rudow said. The rest of the park, including the existing tube and body slides, has been fully operational since Memorial Day weekend.
Park district officials hope the new amenities will help the aquatic center stand out as a regional facility, Rudow said, noting the racer slide is unique to the area. Other recently completed upgrades include better access to the concession stand and an expanded picnic area.
Additionally, the concession stand has been upgraded to allow the park to serve more hot food items, such as chicken strips, Rudow said. "Families can make a day of coming to our facility," she said.