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TradeWinds' water park in the Gulf opening Thursday

Just in time for spring break, the TradeWinds Island Resort is set to open its new Splash Island Water Park at 10:30 a.m. Thursday.

The 15,750-square-foot floating inflatable water park is within the swim zone off the beach at the TradeWinds Island Grand, which is at 5500 Gulf Blvd. on St. Pete Beach. It will offer a variety of inflated slides, jungle gyms, trampolines, rafts and loungers floating in a roped-off area along the resort's shoreline.

Here are just some of the park's planned offerings:

• A slide with a climbing wall and "bounce cave" dubbed the "Summit Express."

• Free Fall, a slightly smaller version of the Summit Express with an enclosed splash zone.

• Jungle Joey, complete with a mini-slide and ladder log.

• Rockit, described as a "huge, inflatable island" suitable for rocking and rolling on the water.

• Revolution, where guests can climb to the top or use as a giant see-saw.

Large canopied loungers and oversized rafts will surround the park — offering a place for parents to relax while watching their children play.

The cost of using the water park is currently the same for guests and non-guests, $15 for one hour and $20 for two hours.

The park is open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., weather permitting. It will be cleared of all users at noon, 2 and 4 p.m. for about 10 minutes for swim breaks. Lifeguards will be on duty at all times.

The park can accommodate about 150 people, but the actual number allowed at once will depend on the mix of children, teens and adults.

In addition to opening the park, Keith Overton, president of the TradeWinds Island Resorts will announce a community partnership with Tampa Bay Watch, a non-profit dedicated to the protection and restoration of the marine and wetland environments in the Tampa Bay area.

The park will be open to TradeWinds guests and the public. Visitors can opt for a daylong pass or pay by the hour. Prices start at $15.

The lack of nearby public parking is one drawback for the general public. Parking at the hotel is restricted to its guests.

The water equipment will be anchored in place and will be dismantled each night.

For more information, call (727) 367-6461.

TradeWinds' water park in the Gulf opening Thursday 03/15/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, March 15, 2011 3:47pm]
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