Whitewater park making big impact in Manchester - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Whitewater park making big impact in Manchester

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It's been a little more than a year since a whitewater park opened in Manchester, and many say there's been a very positive impact.

The Yetley family from Solon among those making the trek to Delaware County Wednesday to give the park a try.

Their youngest, Grace, says her favorite part is, "Probably going down the little waterfalls. It scares me, but it's fun being with my family and doing that."

The Yetley's aren't the only ones visiting the park, though.

Many of the visitors to the park come from out of town, and that has a big impact on businesses in downtown Manchester.

"We have people that come in, they go out to eat, they'll stop by, get gas, get food, maybe get a drink. So it's really been good for our businesses, for our downtown, and for our city as a whole to get people in here to town that wouldn't have been there otherwise," said Doug Foley, the city's Parks and Recreation director.

Jessica Pape, the executive director of Manchester's Chamber of Commerce, says it's also a great amenity to entice people and businesses to come and to stay in Manchester.

"It makes Manchester really come to life for them. People see that there's fun things to do, they also see it's a really forward thinking and progressive community, that people had this vision, and that was something that had always been there, and they said let's take it from something good to great," she said.

And that turning something good to great can be felt in the amount of visitors they see on any given day.

"On a busy weekend, if it's hot, it's nothing to see hundreds of people here, where in the past we may have seen a couple hundred in the summer, and now we'll have them in one day," Foley said.

The city has also started planning events around the park. For more information about it, visit http://www.manchester-ia.org/whitewater-park/.

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