Eastern Iowa Waterpark & Hotel Closed Permanently
Very few details are available, but reports are circulating today that Wasserbahn Waterpark & Hotel in Williamsburg is closed permanently. The message above is all you see when you go to their website. A Facebook post, which has since been taken down, also said:
Due to things out of the staff's control, we are forced to close the doors. As of March 1, 2022, everything in regards to the hotel and waterpark will be shut down and no longer available. The staff that has been here working hard are seriously sadden(ed) by this and are sorry. If there was something we could do we would.
In a brief phone conversation with someone at the hotel, we were told that a former operator, Thomas Smock, was allegedly delinquent on his financial responsibilities and owner Yule Park will reportedly be tearing the building down.
A quick look at the resort's history shows a slew of issues
From its opening in 2004 to 2011, as the Cedar Rapids Gazette points out, the Wasserbahn had a sparkling clean image. It was after a change in management in 2011 that things started to go south.
A 2013 Gazette article says they closed for about a week in July 2012, after tests showed E. coli in the hotel's water supply. That did not prove to affect the swimming pool, but nonetheless it, too, was closed as a precaution. Johnson County health inspectors found "inadequate chlorine, poor record-keeping and broken equipment." At the time, it was also reported that employees were not returning calls from health inspectors.
According to the Iowa City Press-Citizen, the waterpark and hotel reopened in 2014 after "numerous ongoing violations of state swimming pool regulations" that the Iowa Department of Public Health said included "repeated failures to properly chlorinate the swimming facility, maintain proper water chemistry, and conduct proper testing and record-keeping."
Around this time, the hotel rebranded from a Clarion Inn to a Ramada Inn to launch a "fresh start" if not to move on from its many continued health and safety issues.
The popular Williamsburg destination has closed for good
Per my conversation with the employee, Yule and Sae Park now intend to "level" the property. What will become of the longtime Eastern Iowa destination at 2211 U. Ave remains to be seen.