Aquatopia has topped the charts as the No. 1 indoor waterpark in the country according to the USA Today 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards.
Facing stiff competition from 19 other entries nominated by a panel of experts, readers landed on the Tannersville waterpark as their top choice following four weeks of voting. Runners-up in the top 10 list also included Kalahari Resorts at No. 3, and Great Wolf Lodge Resorts at No. 7.
Kit Pappas, managing director of Camelback Resort, noted that “2021 was a record year for us and we expect to welcome more guests in 2022” with special offerings including the recently-completed Mountain Mayhem, an immersive slide “offering four unique techno-centric adventures, which include multi-colored lighting effects, music and exciting visuals projected inside the slide – an exhilarating sensory excursion for all.”
“We are thrilled Aquatopia is recognized as the No. 1 Indoor Waterpark by USA Today ’10Best Readers’ Choice 2022′ awards,” Pappas said in a statement. “We are particularly pleased to offer new attractions to our collection of fun, exhilarating and memorable indoor entertainment offerings just in time for summer.”
The Pocono Record is owned by the Gannett Co., Inc., which also owns USA Today.
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Pappas added that the waterpark is filled with attractions for all ages, from their AquaPlay structure, seven pools, the Storm Chaser, an uphill water coaster, and the Oasis swim-up bar.
Pocono Mountain Visitors Bureau CEO and President Chris Barrett hailed Aquatopia as a “premium outdoor attraction,” stating that “there just really isn’t anything like it that I know of, in not only the United States, but in the world.”
Barrett added that Aquatopia’s close proximity to other, chillier attractions also elevates its appeal to visitors and residents alike, no matter what the weather looks like in the Poconos.
“I think that the diversity of that attraction really makes it incredibly appealing: a guest could visit us in the dead of winter when it’s 20 degrees outside and ski on a Friday night, Saturday, visit Aquatopia and its 84 degree controlled environment,” Barrett said.
Additional crowd-pleasers are a mere hop, skip and a jump away, Pappas said, pointing out the dry indoor family adventure center featuring laser tag, a rock-climbing wall, a ropes course, a virtual reality experience and more.
Outdoorsy types can also enjoy nature in the Poconos with Camelback Mountain Adventures year-round, from classic winter-weather activities like skiing and snowboarding to zip lining, sun tubing and enjoying Camelbeach, the outdoor waterpark, in the summer.
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Camelback is eagerly anticipating a busy summer season, as are the region’s three other waterparks— Great Wolf Lodge, Kalahari Resorts and Conventions, and Split Rock Hotel’s H2Oooohh! Indoor Waterpark— which play pivotal roles in drawing nearly 28 million visitors to the area every year, with travel spending exceeding $3.3 billion.
Those big resorts, along with other tourism-related businesses, also employ 35,201 people in the Poconos, about 24.5% of all jobs in the area. This yields $981.4 million in labor income, $520 million taxes and $282 million in state and local taxes alone.
“We believe all Poconos attractions benefit Northeastern Pennsylvania, and we’re pleased for Aquatopia to contribute as an economic driver by creating jobs and bringing travelers to our region,” Kappas said.
The 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards are still conducting polls for several categories, including “Best Small Town for Adventure” and “Best Small Town Food Scene.”
— Brian Myszkowski covers the tourism industry in the Poconos, and is Senior Reporter at the Pocono Record. Reach him by emailing email@example.com.