It’s not just the sizzling Georgia summer that drove approximately 469,000 people to Six Flags White Water Atlanta in summer 2007. A commitment to the guest experience, community involvement and “green” operation all lift this facility to the top of the commercial waterpark list. In fact, it was recently named No. 13 in the Aquatics International Top 20 Waterparks of 2007 listing.
The privately held Herschend Family Entertainment Corp. opened White Water in Marietta, a northwest Atlanta suburb, in 1984 before selling the park to Six Flags in 1999. Under both owners, White Water has never closed a ride, only added them — 20 at last count.
But recently, things haven’t been flowing smoothly at the 45-acre park. Faced with a severe regional drought, White Water vowed to reduce water usage by 10 percent to remain operational during the 2008 season. New low-flow toilets, urinals, faucets and shower heads were installed; water meters were upgraded so more recycled and filtered water is utilized throughout the facility; and new wells reduce the dependence on the public water supply. Recycling bins are becoming a ubiquitous presence, helping reinforce the conservation message to employees and guests.
“The great thing about our water conversation plan is the fact that our efforts contribute to long-term water conservation, not just changes that we will make for one season,” says Hela Sheath, White Water spokesperson.
Social responsibility has been a goal in other ways as well. The park serves as a summer destination for Southern cities as far away as Knoxville, Tenn., but it extends a philanthropic reach more locally.
Throughout the summer, White Water hosts events benefiting Special Olympics Georgia; local children’s charities; and “Give Kids the World Passport,” a program that donates park tickets to hundreds of families with children suffering from chronic illnesses.
“Six Flags White Water has been a staple in the community for years and we’ve always received much of our attendance from the core market,” Sheath says. “As a result, it’s important for the park to give back to the local community.”
To keep the community updated on recent and future additions and promotions, operators have turned to the Internet. The park recently launched an updated Web site and offered several online promotions. A huge waterpark located a stone’s throw from a metropolis would seem a natural slam-dunk. But White Water hasn’t been content to sit on its laurels. Since first opening its gates, the park has grown in leaps and bounds in terms of rides and social/environment awareness. Next year will mark its 25th anniversary celebration and no doubt, Six Flags White Water will be even more of a success when 2034 rolls around. — Neal Broverman