A Whale of a Good Time!

By Jerimiah Junkers, World Waterpark Magazine, January 2017

Cape Codder Resort & spa brings the fun and beauty of the surrounding Cape to guests year-round.

You look to the sky and feel sunshine warming your face. As you bask in the glow of another beautiful day along the Cape, you smell the salty and fresh reminder of the nearby Atlantic. Then you hear a soft, distant rumble that is paired with a quick flash of light. The water beneath you begins to chop and a light mist of an impending storm brewing greets your cheeks. the thunder grows louder as the water carries you faster toward what you believe to be a distance yet still very large....well, you just don't want to believe your eyes!

 First one, then another and then another steady stream of water helps wake you from a sun induced daze. it reveals that you are just feet away from the massive tale of a humpbacked whale. 

Then, you reaalize that you are just enjoying the unique indoor/outdoor waterpark experience at Cape Codder Resort & spa in Hyannis, Massachusetts.

The expanded experience found at the Cape Codder Resort & Spa is the brainchild of ownder Bill Catania. "I wanted to extend the season. Why not make it a year-round destination for people to enjoy the Cape," said Catania. "I wanted to have a place for people to come and experience the Cape even in bad weather."

There was a true need for a diverse place to entertain the young and the young-at-heart. The Cape was seeing a growing number of popular kid destinations go by the wayside. 

"It's an indication of the Cape's evolution into an adventure travel destination," points out Christopher Adams of the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce. 

The waterpark was in the planning stages for almost a decade. Once the shovels finally broke ground, it took nearly a year of construction to complete this investment of around $6 million by the Catania family, which owns the Cape Codder Resort & Spa. 

Rather than hiring a theme park company, Catania designed the park  himself and worked with pool and lighting vendors to build the facility. He used ultra-efficient filtration and ultraviolet light system that produce hardly any cholorine odor. 

Delivering an amazing waterpark experience

The vast 20,000-square-foot expansion has the usual draws of regular and high speed waterslides coupled with a massive indoor wave pool. What the owner wanted was to set his park apart. 

"Our dream for the indoor and outdoor waterpark was to have it be unique to draw visitors," said Catania. "But it also had to be modeled after the spirit and tradition of the area."

Two attractions now found at cape Codder Resort help him do just that.

The first is the aptly named "Stormy River."

"While many waterparks include a 'lazy river' as one of their calmer attractions, the Cape Codder Water Park's 300-foot river is as much of an adventure as its high-speed body slides!" boasts Joyce Groemmer, the resort's Director of Marketing. "Winding through the entire park, the 'Stormy River' gives guests a little time to relax on a tube, but wait, there's a hurricane a brewin'! Thunder rumles, lightning flashes and rain sprays down as the river gets wild... tossing the tubes and the riders."

The ever-so-real replication of the temperamental seas is accomplished with a variable speed Riverflow Pump System. 

"It all starts with the idea of the builder for a unique water experience," said Phil de Tournillon of Riverlow Pumps By Current Systems. "Riverflow allowed the owner to meet the two distinct riding experiences he wanted: a calm river that can transform into a 'stormy' river. The benefit of using the Riverflow Pumps System is that all of those hurdles were crossed with one versatile system that also interfaced easily with the other water features in the park."

One example is the seamless experience created by the collaboration of the Riverflow Pumps and the Raindrop water features to make the fully adjustable "Stormy River."

"Riverflow gave us the versatility of working in a small space while still providing the ability to easily go from a calm river to a stormy and rough environment," said Catania. "It gave us an immediate cost savings as well. Believe it or not, we are not even running the pumps at full strength even when the 'Stormy River' fires up."

Feedback from guests on this action river has been incredibly positive. 

"The 'Stormy River' is fun!" cheers resort guest, Sarah. "But, don't expect it to be your 'typical' lazy river! It moves pretty fast and you will get splashed."

Indroducing a game changer overhead

The other game changer for Cape Codder is the 84' x 143' retractable glass roof. The ingenious touch contstructed by OpenAire, a company located in Cedarburg, Wisconsin, has really drawn excitement from guests as well. 

"I loved the retractable roof!" said Sarah. "It was nice to have sunlight coming in while also having an eay escape to the shade"

"The retractable roof is really cool! It turns indoors into outdoors on nice days," says Diean, another resort guest.

The glass roof is not only pretty, but practical and economical. The skylight offers many functional benefits, including a reduced need for lighting and ventilation, as well as much lower operating costs. The structure's glazed paneling and aluminum frame are fully corrosion-proof, resisting chlorine which protects the structure from damaging weather outside and corrosive conditions inside with no maintenance required. This adds up to an energy savings of neearly 27 percent compared to conventional structures. 

The park's owner loves the fact that the roof gives guests the option to soak in some sun whether the roof is open on a picture perfect Cape Cod day, or the roof is closed on the coldest of Massachusetts' winter days.

"This park is completely different depending on the time of day or the season it is," quips Catania. "It becomes a completely different park at night. And when you are riding on a tube, you can stare into the sky without a roof over your head."

Something for every visitor

Cape Codder is well rounded as an entertainment venue. Waterpark admission is included in the room rate for resort guests. Day passes are available for $40 per adult and $30 per child under 48 inches tall. The resort plans to offer discounted memberships to locals to be able to have fun in their neighborhood. The entire waterpark facility, which also features several observation deks, is big enough for several hundred people to lounge, swim and play ini at any one time. 

Since it originally opened, the waterpark has added a cafe, which is a two-teir Gazebo, serving snacks and beverages, including a full bar. There's also a separate water play area for toddlers and younger children, complete with a smaller slide, a mini pirate ship with water canons and a dumping bucket. 

The waterpark area is bordered by Cape-inspired motifs - gingerbread cottages represneting Martha's Vineyard, a dune photo mural evoking the Outer Cape, a fish monger and a surf shop storefronts. 

There are so many things to see and do aat Cape Codder. It's hard to pack it all into a weekend, but the Resort & Spa has themed accommodations to make the entire experience enjoyable. The resort has created four family suites with separate sleeping areas and bathrooms for parents and children, kitchenettes, Murphy beds and convertable couches. 

Owners worked with local artist to decorate the units with a distinctive beach theme. 

The main key throughout the construction and renovations by the owners is for guests to be, whether inside or outside, reminded that they are having fun on the Cape. 

Download a pdf of the article in Waterpark Magazine