Water Wizz of Westerly set to shut down following financial struggle
By: Ellie Romano
WESTERLY, RI (WLNE) - After 40 years in operation, Water Wizz of Westerly announced it's closing its doors for good at the end of the 2019 Summer season.
The manager of the park, Ken Rider, said the costs to operate Water Wizz are just too high, so the owners decided not to renew the lease.
"I think the added cost of minimum wage and being weather dependent are factors," said Rider.
Water Wizz has been a family-owned and operated park since its opening in 1979.
"Every single day, you hear about someone who came here 30 years ago when they were kids and now they're bringing their grandkids here," said Rider.
Rider has many of his own memories of the park. He's worked at Water Wizz since he was 14. He said he feels like a chapter of his life is closing along with the park.
"I think it's a landmark down at the beach. Water Wizz has become synonymous with going to the beach in Misquamicut," said Rider.
The park announced it will be closing on Facebook and word traveled fast.
"I think it's going to be a sad thing because the kids have fun here and it's right in our backyard," said park visitor Alicia Hanson.
"It's really sad, it's been here for so long," said park regular Amy Riccio.
© WLNE-TV 2019