A Look at the Numbers for the New Bedford Water Park [OPINION]
The City of New Bedford has entered into a public-private partnership with Altitude H2O of Texas to open a water park in the ocean off the city's coast.
The residents who live in the neighborhood of the water park and oppose it recently requested a number of public documents from the City of New Bedford, and they shared those documents with me.
While I'm still reading through the hundreds of pages of documents, I can share some of the important facts and figures on the project.
The main source of profit for the City of New Bedford is from the new parking fees generated from the additional cars coming to the city to go to the water park. The "sample budget proposal" puts the "potential profit" at $30,000. That is in the ballpark with what one At-Large City Councilor told me the estimated revenue from parking would be by the end of the season.
The potential profit to the city is based on 20,000 customers at the park arriving in 5,000 cars and parking in the city parking lots across the street. Those 5,000 cars will stay for an average of three hours at $2 per hour in the lots.
This is the answer to the question "why is it on this side with the fishing boat, freighter, and ferry traffic and not on the other side of the South End peninsula?" The City is doing this deal for the parking revenue and the City doesn't currently have the for-profit parking lots on the West Beach side.
There are also three payments to be made from Altitude H2O to the City of New Bedford. Those will be three payments of $1,000 for a total of $3,000 to the City for the 2019 summer season.
Assuming the estimates in the documents released by the City are accurate, the City is looking at an additional revenue stream of $33,000 from its partnership with the Texas-based water park company.
The same document states the total costs of the project floating out in the ocean, but still not being used, is $558,155. That cost includes the water park, staffing, marketing, life jackets, and miscellaneous expenses.
Over a half a million dollars has been invested in the city of New Bedford and so far it has generated zero revenue for the City or the private enterprise.
Chris McCarthy is the host of The Chris McCarthy Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 10 a.m. to noon. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @Chris_topher_Mc. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.