One Month Since Closing: Wasserbahn Waterpark Accusations Still Strong In Iowa
Last month news broke of the Wasserbahn going out of business and many Iowans were shocked to hear the news about the waterpark closing. That sadness has been replaced with frustration and confusion over the last month.
More news and accusations have been coming to the surface since the announcement. The biggest is a call for justice for employees who may not have been given notice of the closing.
In my last article, I talked about how many were thrown off by this closing, though many on Facebook said they knew it was coming allegedly due to poor conditions.
It appears that some employees and many customers didn't see this closing coming though some apparently did. The first public announcement was allegedly a deleted Facebook post about the closing made in February. According to KCRG, the waterpark had a recent investment as well.
The closure came despite Smock Investments and Owner Thomas Smock receiving two rounds of COVID relief money for Wasserbahn. Records show the business got $141,500 in April of 2020, and then another $198,562 in February of 2021. Still, employees claim checks were bouncing.
Though some internet rumors speculate financial mishandling, that has not yet been proven true. Other Quad City residents speculated a darker reason behind the closing. They posted their comments on our Facebook page. See below:
It should be noted that while there are opinions online, there has been no legal source to back up claims at the time of writing this.
There are a lot of rumors. The main speculation revolves around Florida.
It also does not look like this location is just closing, but actually being demolished. After a phone call, KRNA reported,
In a brief phone conversation with someone at the hotel, we were told that a former operator, Thomas Smock, was allegedly delinquent on his financial responsibilities and owner Yule Park will reportedly be tearing the building down.
Pictures of the location seem to prove this.
Writing can also be seen on the doors of most spots.
The Facebook Group
At around the time of the closure, a Facebook group was created calling out the hotel and waterpark for not giving a warning of the closing, and even worse, reportedly not giving out refunds. The group was called "Did Wasserbahn Waterpark Rip You Off?" and you can learn more about that page here.
The most recent news comes in from The Gazette which states that the park has had multiple health and safety complaints,
The Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals Food and Consumer Safety Bureau visited the hotel Dec. 7 after a guest reported seeing black mold in a section of the hotel closed for renovations since 2019
You can find even more here. People on Facebook also shared their stories about this.
It appears that since 2013, the park has had some on and off issues with a change of ownership around that time. According to a 2014 article from the Iowa City Press-Citizen,
Under previous owners, the water park was closed after "numerous ongoing violations of state swimming pool regulations," the IDPH stated. The violations include "repeated failures to properly chlorinate the swimming facility, maintain proper water chemistry, and conduct proper testing and record keeping."
Wasserbahn Waterpark was an indoor waterpark located at 2211 U Avenue in Williamsburg, Iowa. More information can be found here. Our photos of the building shown above were actually given to us by a past employee who requested their identity remain anonymous.
There was also an auction of some of the supplies at the Wasserbahn and you can see those photos here. Do you think more information will come to light soon, or do you think this is the end of the story? Let us know!