Making a splash while staying safe: Dollywood Splash Country emphasizes new COVID-19 rules


PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (WATE) — “Safety first” is the standard at Dollywood Splash Country Water Park and that standard is shown throughout the park and through its staff.

Splash Country’s lifeguards are required to complete in-services every week. The training sessions cover a number of topics from life-saving skills to guest interaction.

Celebrating 20 years this summer, water park staff pride themselves on providing guests a safe but memorable experience. Guest interaction, a key part of their success, can be challenging while wearing PPE.

“We’re learning how to communicate in a different way with masks over faces and the extra six-foot distance,” says Dollywood Splash Country operations manager Lauren Lowrey. “It’s been a learning curve, but the lifeguards have adjusted to it.”

Lifeguards and hosts rely on their tone of voice, eye contact, and phrasing more than ever while communicating with guests.

Staff not only works provides a friendly and welcoming environment to enhance the guest experience, but are also taking extra safety precautions when it comes to COVID-19 concerns.

Hosts and lifeguards wear masks, except for guards in a position where they need to jump in and save a life, adhere to social distancing as much as possible while making sure guests are adhering to the rules in place for their safety.

A few safety measures include:

  • Guests need to wear masks upon entering the park and when social distancing cannot be achieved; like in line for food or in the bathroom.
  • Employees and guests must also get their temperature checked and answer a series of questions before entering.
  • Masks are provided upon request.
  • Social distancing decals and sanitizing stations can be found throughout the park.
  • Chairs, rails, tubes, and other equipment guests utilize are all sanitized after every use.
(Photo: WATE)

“It’s so important that we’re providing that safe environment for our guests beyond the usual safety that we have with lifeguards,” says Lowrey.

Going the extra mile with safety measures is paying off as guests we talked to felt comfortable and safe while beating the heat.

Earlier this week, a Splash Country lifeguard was awarded the “Golden Guard” award through Ellis and Associates, who they are certified by, which is only given to 1% of every group of guards audited across the nation.

Guests relations and safety is what makes Splash Country a popular attraction — even during a pandemic.

“We want to provide that safe environment for them and we want it to feel as normal as we can possibily make it,” says Lowrey.

The park is operating at a reduced capacity from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day of the week.

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