KNOTT'S WATER RIDES REPAIRED
Local Pool Contractor Selected for the Job
by Tami Stokes
“Oh, that place is so great!” exclaimed my 14-year-old neighbor when I asked her about her family’s trip to Knott’s Berry Farm last summer. Caitlin continued by sharing her favorite ride (Supreme Scream), her favorite treat at the park (funnel cakes with powdered sugar), and her favorite memory (daring her cousin Shelby onto the Boomerang).“I love Knott’s because it’s different. It has a smaller feel than nearby theme parks, but it’s actually just as big and just as fun. And it’s so clean.”
Many seem to agree with Caitlin. Hundreds of thousands attend the park every year, including many local residents, who buy annual passes for their families. Knott’s Theme Park has somehow managed to create a wonderful balance of nostalgia and progress, with wholesome and exciting entertainment venues. It has remained highly competitive in the tight Southern California market with timely additions of world-class thrill rides. But despite its success in this regard, Knott’s has never forgotten its humble beginnings as a family-owned berry market and nursery. It retains an “Old West” feel through much of the park and prides itself on several patriotic attractions. “It’s a great place for families,” agreed Caitlin.
The maintenance department is responsible for keeping many of the attractions at Knott’s in tip-top form. Safety is their first priority, which is why when the water rides began showing subtle signs of age seven years ago, They sought a guaranteed long-term solution. Despite Knott’s rigorous maintenance routine, issues of wear led personnel to seek outside expertise on how best to perform waterproofing procedures on containment pans and to keep them functioning at full capacity for many years to come. Practically speaking, though, these rides are among the most popular in the park, and down time was a major concern. Daily revenues had to factor into any potential renovation.
Armed with these considerations, park administration eventually settled on Advanced Pool Coatings, a company out of Northern California that specializes in commercial and residential pool resurfacing. With a reputation among local fiberglass suppliers as one of the best contractors around, Advanced has the tools and experience to transform almost any existing surface into one that is lasting and durable, not to mention beautiful.
Timber Mountain Log Ride, inside Knott’s Ghost Town, was the first water ride approved for an update. These types of attractions use large metal pans that collect the vast amounts of water required to run the ride. The largest pan is about 120 feet long and 5 feet wide, and collects the 24,000 gallons of water that has flowed through the flume. The ride’s smaller containment pans average about 200 to 300 square feet and serve the waterfalls along the Log Ride’s exterior.
Dwight Johnson, vice president of Advanced Pool Coatings, says that he and his crew created shells of fiberglass for all the metal pans, rendering each one completely leakproof with an almost indestructible finish. The crew was able to access all the difficult-to-reach areas with the necessary equipment and to perform the work within the stringent schedule imposed by the park. Knott's agrees. “The ride was shut down for a minimal amount of time. It was just a matter of a couple days.”
Evidence of the success of this first project lies in subsequent jobs requested by Knott’s over the next six years to the present. Advanced has resurfaced parts of the Log Ride’s flume by fiberglassing over new wood structures. The company refurbished the pans associated with waterfalls at the Calico Mine Ride, also in Ghost Town. And just this year, it “glassed over” (in effect, waterproofed) the 60-foot-diameter turntable at Big Foot Rapids, a whitewater river raft ride in Knott’s Wild Water Wilderness.
Advanced Pool Coatings has proven its ability to address all the waterproofing challenges presented to date at Knott’s Theme Park with the least possible disruption to guests and with their safety and comfort always in mind. Knott's adds that over the past few years “there have even been a few mornings when the crews started early and completed their day’s work before 10 a.m., when the park opens.” In fact, Knott’s is so satisfied with the work Advanced has done for the park that jobs are already in the planning for next year. “It’s really worked out well for us,” says Knott's.
Locally, Advanced Pool Coating’s reputation for commercial work is truly impressive. Educational and community institutions like Sierra College, Cosumnes River College, Sacramento YMCA, and the San Juan Unified School District have all selected Advanced when refurbishing their aging pools. In addition, Advanced has performed work on city pools, many apartment complex pools in the area, and the Officers’ Club pool at McClellan Air Force Base.
Although Advanced Pool Coatings is capable of producing superior commercial work and tackling unique challenges presented by venues like Knott’s Berry Farm (as well as the Marin County Civic Center, where Advanced crews performed extensive repair of a historic fountain designed by renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright), the company is better known around the Sacramento area for its residential work. Advanced has resurfaced literally hundreds of residential pools in the past 10 years, and specializes in transforming old swimming pools with bad plaster into gleaming, smooth-textured structures. Your pool will look like new again. What’s more, the work is warranted for five years, with a long-lasting fiberglass surface that is much easier to maintain than plaster and that is impenetrable by algae and most stains.
Advanced President Paul Walter says it generally takes about two days to transform an old residential pool into a new looking one. The application process consists of several steps, from prep work, to the spraying of fiberglass, to cleanup. For a complete, step-by-step description of a typical application, please access the web site listed below and select Specifications.
If you are eager to beautify your pool for this swimming season, don’t delay. Paul urges pool owners to call soon for an estimate. “We already have a large backlog of work and expect that by Memorial Day, the backlog will extend well beyond the Fourth of July.” For Advanced Pool Coatings, your pool is just as important as any water ride at Knott’s Berry Farm—just try to avoid the long lines.