Aquatopia tops the charts as the nation’s #1 indoor water park according to USA Today Readers’ Top 10 Picks.
Facing stiff competition from 19 other entries nominated by a panel of experts, readers landed Tannersville Water Park as their top pick after four weeks of voting. Finalists on the top 10 list also included Kalahari Resorts at No. 3 and Great Wolf Lodge Resorts at No. 7.
Kit Pappas, General Manager of Camelback Resort, noted that “2021 has been a banner year for us and we plan to welcome more guests in 2022 ‘with specials including the recently completed Mountain Mayhem, an immersive waterslide’ offering four unique techno-centric adventures, which include multi-colored lighting effects, music and thrilling visuals projected inside the slide – an exhilarating sensory excursion for all.”
“We are thrilled to have Aquatopia recognized as the #1 indoor water park by USA Today’s 2022 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards,” Pappas said in a statement. “We are especially pleased to offer new attractions to our collection of fun, exhilarating and memorable indoor entertainment just in time for summer.”
The Pocono Record is owned by Gannett Co., Inc., which also owns USA Today.
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Pappas added that the water park is packed with attractions for all ages, from their AquaPlay structure, seven pools, the Storm Chaser, an uphill roller coaster and the Oasis water bar.
Pocono Mountain Visitors Bureau CEO and President Chris Barrett hailed Aquatopia as a “premium outdoor attraction”, stating that “there really is nothing like it that I know of, not just in the United States. United, but in the world”.
Barrett added that Aquatopia’s proximity to other cooler attractions also elevates its appeal to visitors and residents, regardless of the weather in the Poconos.
“I think the diversity of this attraction really makes it incredibly appealing: a guest could visit us in the dead of winter when it’s 20 degrees outside and ski on a Friday night, Saturday, visit Aquatopia and its controlled environment at 84 degrees,” Barrett said. mentioned.
Other crowd pleasers are a simple hop, hop and a jump, Pappas said, pointing to the dry indoor family adventure center featuring a laser beacon, rock climbing wall, ropes course, climbing experience virtual reality and more.
Outdoor enthusiasts can also enjoy nature in the Poconos with Camelback Mountain Adventures year-round, from classic winter activities like skiing and snowboarding to zip-lining, sunbathing and Camelbeach, the outdoor water park, in summer.
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Camelback is looking forward to a busy summer season, as are the other three water parks in the area: Great Wolf Lodge, Kalahari Resorts and Conventions and H2Oooohh at Split Rock Hotel! Indoor Water Park – which plays a pivotal role in attracting nearly 28 million visitors to the region each year, with travel spending exceeding $3.3 billion.
These large resorts, along with other tourism-related businesses, also employ 35,201 people in the Poconos, or about 24.5% of all jobs in the region. This gives $981.4 million in labor income, $520 million in taxes, and $282 million in state and local taxes alone.
“We believe all Poconos attractions benefit northeast Pennsylvania, and we’re thrilled that Aquatopia is contributing as an economic engine by creating jobs and bringing travelers to our area,” Kappas said.
The 10 Best Readers’ Choice Awards always lead polls in several categories, including “Best Small Town for Adventure” and “Best Small Town Culinary Scene.”
– Brian Myszkowski covers the tourism industry in the Poconos and is a senior reporter at the Pocono Record. Contact him by sending an e-mail to [email protected].