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Butte's Ridge Waters waterpark opens to the public on July 13
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Butte's Ridge Waters waterpark opens to the public on July 13

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Waterpark enthusiasts will soon have a new way to stay cool when Butte opens Ridge Waters at Stodden Park.

Butte's three-year-old, state-of-the-art swimming pool is slated to officially open to the public on Monday, July 13.

Originally, the opening had been scheduled for June 11, but with COVID-19 preparations and a broken underground pipe, J.P. Gallagher, Butte-Silver Bow's parks and recreation director, said the county had to delay the pool’s opening.

Due to COVID-19 precautions, up to 50 patrons will be allowed entry on a first-come, first-serve basis for each of the three open sessions each day. These sessions will run from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., 2 to 4 p.m. and 5 to 7 p.m.

“The hour-long break between each session is to allow our staff to sanitize the equipment, clean up everything and get the facility ready for the next session,” Gallagher said.

He said people will not be allowed to call in advance for reservations, and patrons can only attend one session per day.

Gallagher said the purpose of limiting the number of patrons and admission during the day is to help with contact tracing if it becomes necessary.

Patrons are encouraged to wear masks when not inside the pool, while staff will be wearing masks when engaging with people, he said.

Gallagher added staff will continue to update the public about the restrictions that will be in place at the facility throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Kristine de Leon is a reporter for the Montana Standard, her focus in on natural resource stories.

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