Tourism Industry Pushes New Aquatic Center - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Tourism Industry Pushes New Aquatic Center

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KENNEWICK, Wash. - The Tri-Cities tourism industry is diving head first into the push to convince voters to approve a new aquatics center. 

Voters living within in the city limits of Pasco, Richland, and Kennewick vote next month whether to raise their sales tax by one-tenth of one percent to build and maintain the $35,000,000 aquatic center.

The Citizens for Tri-Cities Regional Aquatic Center say they've handed out thousands of pamphlets and flyers over the last few weeks.

"I think we handed out 5,000 flyers at the mariachi festival in Pasco back in June," says committee member Jim Hall. "We've been at Cool desert Nights. We've been along the river during the fireworks. We've been at farmers markets. Probably everybody in the Tri Cities by this time has seen this drawing."

Kris Watkins, president of the Tri-Cities Visitor and Convention Bureau, says the aquatic center would attract visitors, especially young professionals looking for family activities.

"The two most often questions we get is. ‘Do you have an aquatic center and what family fun activities are there?'"

The aquatic center would be open year-round. The 42,000 square foot complex would include a 25-meter pool for swim meets. A smaller pool would be used for swimming lessons, lifeguard training, as well as scuba diving and kayak lessons.

There would also be indoor and outdoor waterslides and a surfing pool.

If a simple majority of voters approve, the aquatic center would be located on Sandifur Parkway in Pasco with a scheduled opening in spring 2015.