MARYLAND HEIGHTS, Mo. – The Aquaport in Maryland Heights was forced to close for safety reasons Wednesday after officials found broken glass in the giant pool.
Waterpark enthusiasts will have to wait until at least this weekend as the park closes to drain 400,000 gallons of water from the pool.
Park officials suspect the shards of broken glass were left behind by trespassers who may have hopped the pool fence late Tuesday evening or early Wednesday morning.
“It appears that the vandals (tried) to use some of the slides. We found towels in various places. Obviously, the slides were not running because there is no running water, so I don’t think they got very far,” said Gabby Macaluso, Maryland Heights communications manager.
The facility’s cameras didn’t catch the suspects on video. But while police try to track down these trespassers, the city wants to make sure it doesn’t happen again in the future.
“We’re exploring higher fences, more security cameras that capture and enhanced footage quality, and police patrols overnight and during off-hours,” she said.
A surprise visit to Aquaport turned into a disappointing for a family when they discovered the water park was closed.
“We pull up and his face was just full of excitement and couldn’t wait to get here, to get inside, and now it’s just a little bit of a disappointment. So he’s a little aggravated right now,” said one mom.
As the cleanup continues, officials said this closure could mean a $5,000 loss in revenue and turning away the 400 to 500 people that visit Aquaport on a given weekday.
It will take approximately 24 hours to drain the pool and another 24 hours to refill it once they're done cleaning up the broken glass.
If you have any information on the individuals responsible, you can call police at 314-209-TIPS.