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Ridge Waters

Ridge Waters is slated to close for the season on Aug. 26, along with a splash pad and wading pool in Butte.

The pool and splash-pad season in Butte-Silver Bow is winding down with closings planned in less than two weeks.

Ridge Waters water park, the Clark Park Splash Pad and the wading pool at Chester Steele’s Park will be open during regular hours through Sunday, Aug. 25, but will be closed for the season the following day, Aug. 26. The Copper Mountain driving range will also close then.

Initial plans were to keep Ridge Waters open through Labor Day on Sept. 2, but Parks Director J.P. Gallagher said staffing is an issue.

He said they simply don’t have enough lifeguards to stay open because most are returning to college or starting high school sports.

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“Looking around the state we will still be one of the last publicly run water parks still open into late August,” Gallagher said via email Tuesday. “We would love to stay open but can’t risk the safety of the patrons.”

Mark Fisher, manager of Ridge Waters, echoed the sentiment, saying there won't be enough lifeguards to keep the park open an extra week and keep people safe.

"My number on priority is the patron coming in and the patron leaving," Fisher said.

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Government and politics reporter

Mike Smith is a reporter at the Montana Standard with an emphasis on government and politics.

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