11-20-19 RRR report_color.jpg

Swimmers participate in the “Party at the Rock” at Rock River Rapids on July 19, 2019.

DRC aquatics program coordinator Donita Grinde-Houtman presented the annual Rock River Rapids report to the Derby Recreation Commission board at its meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 12.

Without accounting for any additional expenses and utilities still to come through November and December, RRR did show a revenue increase of $96,412. That is nearly a $35,000 jump from the 2018 finalized data.

Attendance numbers did drop through this prior season and Grinde-Houtman attests those numbers to below-average temperatures.

RRR staff said an average of 80 degrees through its brief opening in May led to a drop of nearly 3,200 attendees from 2018 to 2019. However, attendance increased from 34,146 to 38,809 in July 2019. That also led to an average daily attendance of 1,116.

They also witnessed a three-year high of 25 hours closed to do inclement weather.

“ Our temperatures were colder and that definitely plays into people buying passes and deciding how much time they’re going to spend out there,” Grinde-Houtman added.

While a drop of season passes did occur, the aquatics program coordinator indicated

that they saw an increase in the promotional period of Nov. 1-Dec. 31, 2018.

“Although we observed a decrease in our overall season pass sales (-$7,670), we saw an increase in number of passes purchased (158) [at the end of 2018],” Grinde-Houtman added.

Otter Party numbers increased again in 2019, seeing 131 take place in 2019. That number has more than doubled since 2017. She said almost 90 percent of this year’s events took place Friday through Sunday.

RRR also saved on chlorine expenses thanks to a cooler, cloudier summer.

“We ordered two less palettes of chlorine, which was a cost savings of just over $6,800,” she said. “When it’s not as sunny or hot, we’re not burning through chlorine as quickly.”

An expense not detailed on the report was two new floatables for the shallow pool, which will total $7,871.

“We had two floatables in our shallow pool that are nearing the end of their life cycle,” Grinde-Houtman said. “We were able to to prolong them

for this season and we have already ordered

two new floatables because we received a discounted rate of doing it after the season.”

Grinde-Houtman also said that she credits some of the success of the facility to its staff-retention rate. She reported that the national average is approximately 60 percent and RRR had an average of 72.3 percent returning team members. A total of 14 employees have now worked at the facility for six years or more.


REVENUES 201720182019
Season Passes$78,509$79,928$72,258
Admission Adult $157,877$176,584$172,608
Admission Youth $179,798$193,610$190,950
Admission Senior $8,135 $8,965 $9,438
Discount Groups $23,397 $22,918 $24,520 
Rentals-After Hours $29,815 $28,150 $29,738 
EXPENSES 2017 2018 2019 
Chemicals $41,432 $56,433 $45,865 
Utilities $125,245$107,397$94,941 
Equipment $20,900 $27,799 $13,817 
Facility Supplies $8,068 $9,616 $9,962 
Uniforms $8,274 $7,816 $8,350 
TOTAL 4,8411,677
AVERAGE —  968419 
TOTAL — 24,738 20,536 
AVERAGE 884 854 
TOTAL — 34,146 38,809 
AVERAGE 976 1,116 
TOTAL 10,045 9,191 
AVERAGE 913 935 
May— 91 80 
June — 91 86 
July — 91 91 
August — 90 88 

NOTE: 2019 numbers from January-September 2019. Daily attendance

was calculated from 12:30-7:00 p.m.