Emigrant Lake water slides shutting down after nearly 40 years

ASHLAND, Ore. – After nearly four decades serving southern Oregon, Jackson County Parks is calling it quits on its Emigrant Lake water slides.

Tuesday morning, Jackson County Parks notified county commissioners that it’s in the process of shutting down the popular summertime attraction. County Parks said the wear and tear is too much and there are cracks and corrosion in the columns.

Roads and Parks Director Steve Lambert said the tough decision was made due to a number of factors. He said the slides would need significant investment to address structural and safety concerns. Though the slides went into a small pool—and not the lake—drought conditions have been a concern for the last several years.

Lambert said, “We’ve seen the smiles on the kids’ faces out there on the water slides. We’ve seen the school groups, the birthday parties and it’s not an easy decision, certainly not a fun decision, because we know how fun the facility has brought to the community in the past. But, given the reality and totality of the circumstances, we feel it’s the right decision.”

Lambert said the county plans to keep the concession building in place. It will look at other options for what’s next to come for the location. One idea being considered is to rent out kayaks or paddleboards in the future.

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