Waterpark whose owner chained himself to slide auctioned for $950K, will keep operating

CANDIA, N.H. – A waterpark was sold at auction Wednesday over the objections of its owner, who had chained himself to a slide tower to try to save the business.

Liquid Planet Water Park in Candia was sold for $950,000 to the owners of another New Hampshire waterpark, Whale’s Tale. The new owner says it will keep Liquid Planet open and add an alpine-themed element.

Liquid Planet owner Kevin Dumont had climbed the 30-foot slide on Nov. 9 and stayed there around the clock for 17 days trying to attract attention and investors to save the financially struggling business. He ended his quest on Nov. 25, saying there were no takers and that a doctor believed he was developing pneumonia.

“I don’t think there was anything left that I could have tried,” Dumont said. “I fought the good fight as hard as I could.”

Dumont opened the park in 2008 and two wet summers right out of the gate kept crowds away, starting a cascade of financial problems. The state temporarily shuttered parts of the park this summer when high levels of bacteria were found. Regulators also said Dumont built two slides without a required review.

“I’m not happy about it,” he said of the auction. “I’m sad it’s no longer my child but I’m glad that it’s not going to be torn down.”

Dumont, who had said he needed $1.5 million to ward off the auction, attended Wednesday’s sale.

His home is also on the 42-acre parcel. He said the owners will let him stay on through the winter.