Renovated Rhodes pool has splashy reopening - East Valley Tribune: News

Renovated Rhodes pool has splashy reopening

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Posted: Saturday, September 5, 2009 8:33 pm | Updated: 12:38 pm, Tue Dec 4, 2012.

A modified mailman's creed would be suitable for Mesa's grand opening Saturday of the newly renovated Rhodes pool: Neither rain, nor wind, nor gloom of a thunderstorm stayed swimmers from the free admission to the facility at 1860 S. Longmore.

A modified mailman's creed would be suitable for Mesa's grand opening Saturday of the newly renovated Rhodes pool:

Neither rain, nor wind, nor gloom of a thunderstorm stayed swimmers from the free admission to the facility at 1860 S. Longmore.

The grand opening included the unveiling of the first city-owned Flowrider, which is like a wave pool on steroids.

Of all the city officials on hand despite Saturday's storm, perhaps one of the bravest was Vice Mayor Kyle Jones, who took to the rapidly moving feature at the aquatic center, though mostly on all-fours.

Darla Armfield, a recreation supervisor for Mesa's aquatic programs, said roughly 150 people had weathered the light rain to be the first to jump into the renovated pool.

Whether popular for its entertainment value or the thrill of testing out the new water attraction, the Flowrider might also help the city's cash flow.

Described as a unique way to surf or boogie board on a free-standing wave, the unique attraction is also a pitching point for renting out the facility.

Councilman Dennis Kavanaugh said private parties can be held on a deck next to the Flowrider, along with partygoers enjoying as many big waves or wipeouts as they can stand - or can't stand.

Even Kavanaugh said he's braved the waves, albeit in a commercial on the city's municipal Channel 11.

In the commercial, Kavanaugh plays pitchman for the pool, and by what he calls the wonders of digital enhancing, is shown surfing like a pro while fully dressed. "I look goofy, but I'll do anything for the city," he said.

Rhodes pool will be open today and Monday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

The renovations at the pool were approved by voters who backed a half-cent quality of life sales tax.

Armfield said the opening came on time even as other pools are in line to close in the city. "This rebuild was much needed, and we hope the community will take advantage of the new amenities and experience Flowrider," she said.

Kavanaugh said the expected closure of the Taylor pool, in the northeast section of the city, has been delayed in response to community support to keep the site opened.

"Right now, we're looking at the school district and the city to find money," he said.

While there are no guarantees that the city will be able to fund the Taylor pool, Kavanaugh noted that not many years ago Rhodes was in a similar predicament.

"I'd rather not have to close any of the pools," Kavanaugh said.

Pool and city officials hoped some small assistance would come in the form of the fees charged at the sites.

Admission to the pool is $1.75 for children 17 and under and $3.50 for adults. The Flowrider costs $5 for children 17 and under and $10 for adults, and includes a mandatory, short safety video.

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