Saturday, May 15, 2004

Park swimsuits: Keep it clean, and no metal

By Erica Solvig
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Ready to hit the waterparks? Watch what you wear: Parks don't allow swimsuits with rivets, snaps or zippers.

The metal pieces can scratch or nick the multi-million-dollar equipment - especially the body slides - at places such as The Beach, Coney Island and Paramount's Kings Island's new attraction, Crocodile Dundee's Boomerang Bay.

"It's not like we check every bathing suit when they come in the park, but the lifeguards are on the lookout for things like that," Beach spokeswoman Tara Nahrup said.

Besides scratching the fiberglass slides, the friction between the metal and the skin when patrons go down the slides can hurt.

"The number one concern for lifeguards is safety," Kings Island spokeswoman Maureen Boothe said. "It can just cause undue wear and tear to the slides and hurt our patrons."

Kings Island allows swimsuits with rivets, snaps and the like on rides that have floats or mats, but the park is banning them on body slides, such as Down Under Thunder and the new Jackeroo Landing children's area.

The Beach and Coney Island discourage suits with metal anywhere, but are more stringent about such suits on the slides.

"But we still find people who wear their cutoff shorts into the wave pool," Nahrup said.

The parks also ask guests to restrain from wearing provocative swimwear - to maintain the family environment.

"It's not a huge problem," says Mary Schumacher, vice president of Coney Island marketing. "Most people are prepared when they come."

The rule doesn't just apply to the larger parks. The year-old Florence Family Aquatic Center also has a policy that proper swimwear is required.

"Anything could happen," said Vanessa Lenear, Florence parks and recreation administrator.

"It could be caught on something or it could even damage the inner-tubes. You can ruin the fiberglass. (The policy) is just a precautionary measure."


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