The big question right now at South Dakota's largest water park is will there be enough lifeguards on duty to keep all the attractions open to start the season?

Memorial Day weekend always marks the kickoff of the summer season at Wild Water West.

The Sioux Empire water park has the reputation for being a favorite place for people of all ages to go to cool off during the summer months.

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The challenge facing Wild West West at the start of this summer is the lack of people applying to be lifeguards.

According to a story from Dakota News Now, if the season were to start today, there would be a number of open lifeguard stands. During a typical summer season at Wild Water West, the water park will employ roughly 70 to 75 lifeguards. With less than one week to go until opening day, they only have 57 lifeguards on their roster. And it isn't for the lack of trying. I checked out Wild Water West's social media and they've had a "Now Hiring" full-court press going since the start of March.

Wild Water West Lead lifeguard, Colter Quinn, told Dakota News Now, “Anymore today, I think it’s so hard to find anyone to work right now, that everyone is paying as much as they can. And that being said, it’s hard to compete with other places that are paying the same. People finding different jobs, not wanting to work, and kind of having that relaxed feeling is really affecting the job market. Especially lifeguards, with pay and everything right now. You can be in an air-conditioned workplace for the same amount of money. It’s very hard to grasp anyone when all of these different options are open.”

The staff shortage is also putting an additional strain on the people they do have. With safety always being their primary concern, the staff they do have employed is spread thinner throughout the entire water park watching people swim.

Consequently, more help is needed right away!

If you're looking for a fun summer job, the gang at Wild Water West wants to talk with you. I mean it's not like it's a rough gig. There are very few places here in Sioux Falls where you can kick back next to a large body of water, watch people swim, work on your tan lines, and get paid, right?

And speaking of the pay, according to Quinn, Wild Water West starts out their lifeguards at $16.00 per hour.

Now we need to find someone that can pay off Mother Nature to turn up the outdoor thermostat for good to kick off the summer. These 50 and 60-degree days in late May ain't cutting it!

The good news is, that the weather crew at Dakota News Now says sunshine and 82 by Saturday. And it looks like the upper 70s for the rest of the Memorial Day weekend. Let's hope they're right!

Source: Dakota News Now


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