Challenge Zone obstacle course opens

Kathrine Nero

Summer means sun, fun and swimming. And for 96 years, Cincinnatians have been able to find all of it at Coney Island’s Sunlite Pool.  

The pool was built in 1925 and initially was surrounded by a sandy beach, which gave way to concrete and grass in the mid-'50s. Now, five generations of Cincinnatians have spent their summers there.

Coney Island has always been a healthy dose of nostalgia, but Sunlite Pool has kept up with the times.

More:50 years ago: Remembering old Coney Island

This year, the pool opened with a huge inflatable obstacle course called Challenge Zone that gave even their highly-trained lifeguards fits to complete. And that’s part of the fun.

Coney Island Park has a new Challenge Zone obstacle course.

I visited Sunlite Pool on the day it opened, and there was a line of grade-school kids clamoring to try it out at the opening whistle.

One by one, they attempted to climb the slippery structure and found themselves in the water more than a couple of times.

And that’s what caught my eye. The water: three million gallons of it.

We need to pause right here and really dive into this (pun intended). Anyone who’s tried getting a residential pool ready for the summer knows it’s a total crap shoot. Weird pollen, random animals, too much or too little rain, heat or snow – it can all make opening and balancing a pool an incredibly difficult process.

Sunlite Pool personnel do this on an exponentially larger level. And now, let’s add in a water main break ... at the largest recirculating pool in North America. 

Coney Island had to postpone the opening of Sunlite Pool this year because of a leak that cropped up just days before its traditional Memorial Day weekend opening. This is after pool was filled, sanitized and ready for swimmers.

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