Making a Splash

September 11, 2017 Juvy Dichoso

More than 300 visitors come through the turnstiles of the Onward Beach Resort Water Park every day. If you do the math, that’s more than 2.2-million people since the park opened in March 1996, and it continues to provide fun, sun, and a good reason to smile to the island’s tourists, locals, and military families.

 

The park boasts five big slides, three kiddie slides, a wave pool, a river pool, a zip line, a touch pool, and a covered pool and Jacuzzi—nearly 900,000 gallons of filtered water combined.

 

Becca and JChryst Garrido are park regulars who come with their two sons at least two weekends out of the month.  “It’s just a really great time,” Becca said. “Our children both love the water, my husband and I enjoy it just the same. There’s something to do for everyone at the park, and it’s safe.”

 

Added JChryst, “It’s the perfect getaway after a long week of work, and allows us to all unplug.”  

 

Families arrive in droves once the park opens every day. And before they even walk through the gates they’re spotted marveling at the 40-foot manta slide that can be seen from the parking lot. Thrill-seekers can experience a zero-gravity rush, as the steep drop starts, but is hidden from view. You can go on the ride solo or dare a fellow friend.

The other four water slides are exciting rides of twists and turns that drench you once you get to bottom. One takes you down a suspenseful dark tunnel, and you won't see the light of day until you blast out and into the pool below.

The wave pool is another park favorite. Producing waves of up to three-feet high, it gives park-goers a chance to experience boogie boarding in a safe and controlled environment. Or if you just want to watch the waves crash, you can sit on the wave pool shoreline.

 

For a nice leisurely swim, visitors can dip into the river pool. Surrounding some of the park’s main attractions, the pool is almost 1,200 feet long that winds all the way around. You can see people soaking up the sun, relaxed, and floating on the river surrounded by some of the local flora.

Children can splash around at the kiddie pool, with its three mini slides and a water fountain. Adjacent is a snack bar that offers guests burgers, fries, chicken wings and nuggets, corndogs, hotdogs, and a bit of local flavor with their fiesta plates. It also serves drinks, shakes, and various beers and cocktails. To cool off, families can also enjoy ice cream and shaved ice.

If you aren’t afraid of heights, the zip line provides another fun adrenaline rush at 220 feet in length and about 40 feet from the ground. It might even help you dry off. Park attendants safely strap you in and send you from one end of the park to the other, giving you a clear view of the park from up above.

 

Vanel and Leshay Lamour came to the park as part of a family vacation. The couple and their three children travelled from Japan where they are stationed with the U.S. Navy.

“It’s a great water park for all ages,” Leshay said. “Our 11-month-old loved the water and our 9-year-old twins enjoyed the slides.”

 

Vanel said he loved the lazy river that he made several rounds. “It gives parents a chance to relax and the kids can still enjoy [the other park features] within our line of sight,” he added. “I would definitely come back to the water park if I make my way back to Guam someday.”

 

The park also offers catering and party packages via their Food and Beverage department. Local families can gather and celebrate beneath one of three canopies inside the park, enjoy a catered lunch, and swim throughout the day.

 

While there is a lot to see and do, there is more behind-the-scenes work that goes into making the park run. Water park manager Larry Balmaceda has been with the park since its inception. “We have a total of 44 staff, including beach and pool attendants, life guards, pool maintenance and grounds maintenance staff,” he said. Staff members work seven days a week so that the park opens successfully every day and to ensure the safety of all of the guests.

 

Balmaceda is proud to have been a part of the park for nearly 25 years. “I’ve really enjoyed training the new ones, pool attendants and life guards, over the years,” he said. “The guest interaction and the opportunity to meet people from around the world is probably what’s best about my job—there’s something new every day.”

 

PULL QUOTE

The park boasts five big slides, three kiddie slides, a wave pool, a river pool, a zip line, a touch pool, and a covered pool and Jacuzzi—nearly 900,000 gallons of filtered water combined.

 

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