WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Castaway Cove is a staple summer hangout for the city of Wichita Falls, but a number of popular activities, like Park After Dark, may be cut short this year.

“Maybe having to cut down our hours of operation, we may have to cut a day out, and we may have to cut some of the events we have scheduled out,” said park owner Steve Vaughn.

Just like everyone else, Vaughn has dealt with staffing issues, but this year is really difficult. The water park is more than 50% understaffed.

“I have about 50 people that work with us right now, and I really need about 75 more,” Vaughn said. “That’s enough to cover all of the locations and give everybody a day off.”

Castaway Cove has been in business for 18 years now and has become a staple in the city, which is why employees say they choose to work here.

“A memory that really sticks with me is facing my fear doing the Pirates Plunge because it’s a big ride, and now it’s fun learning to work the ride and help other people get over their fears,” employee Nicole Marsolek said.

Many local business owners are dealing with being understaffed, but Vaughn said he plans to remain optimistic.

“I’ll tell you what, this is kind of like my baby,” Vaughn said. “I work with the greatest people, managers and staff that I can. It’s just a great place to work, and I think every year we can make it a little bit better. We treat our guests like family.”

“The coworkers are really nice, and the management is really good,” Marsolek said. “I really enjoy working here; it’s a great job.”

Vaughn has lowered the required age to work at Castaway Cove to 15 in an effort to get some help at the park.

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