Water Soaked

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  • Published : December 5, 2012
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Jason and Marie Salerno, brother and sister, have been running their family business, a water park called Wild Water, since they both graduated from college. The Salernos operate the park, which is located near the New Jersey shore, with the help from their parents. Marie’s husband and Jason’s wife are also involved in the business. Wild Water has now been in business for more than 40 years – it is a landmark to both local and summer tourists. The water park features such attractions as a wave pool, several water slides, a flume ride, a kiddie pool, and a tube ride. A picnic park, shaded petting zoo, aquarium, snack bar and restaurant called the Seafood shack round out the park’s offerings. The park opens on Memorial Day and cuts back to weekends only after Labor Day, typically closing in the fall. With just a few months to accumulate revenue the family and employees of the park work extremely hard. Marie oversees the financial aspects of the business, while Jason manages the staff. The staff – ride operators, ticket takers, lifeguards, and the like – are very loyal/ Some have parents who once worked at the water park, and many have siblings who also work there. By its very nature, the organization culture of Wild Water is hierarchical – but most, who work there, including Jason and Marie, would refer to their employees as part of the family, Jason holds weekly staff meetings, where employees are encouraged to voice their ideas about any aspect of the park’s operations. Photos of workers and customers line the walls of Jason and Marie’s tiny office, and stories about the park and its people abound, including sightings of celebrity visitors and near-disasters such as close call with a hurricane While the organization culture has remained largely unchanged for the past four decades, the environment in which the park operates is changing. Anew state safety law requires some expensive updating to meet the code. The Salernos recently learned that some of the smaller...
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