Completed in June of 2012, The Oasis has become a sanctuary for families looking for fun and affordable recreation in the Billings area. The Better Billings Foundation’s mission is providing opportunities where kids and families thrive. One of the best ways for kids and families to create healthy life choices is to recreate together. We have the privilege of living in the Yellowstone River Valley. Water flows through our community everyday bringing life, health and refreshment. Water is necessary for survival, but put water in a big hole and kids and families not only survive but thrive. Our problem had been that we did not have enough gathered in one place. So the Better Billings Foundation and Harvest Church worked together with other like minded organizations and individuals to build and operate Billings' best outdoor water park.
Aquatic Oasis Elements Include:
- zero-depth entry large pool
- interactive play features
- a wave generator, geysers and dumping buckets
- current channel with vortex
- zero-depth entry toddler pool with play features
- shade structures
- concession area
- community center (open year round for rental use)green space and beautifully landscaped areas
With The Oasis operational with the fantastic amenities above, our next goal is to provide an additional water slide to alleviate the long lines of riders waiting to ride the one three story body slide. If you'd like to donate to the second slide fund because we can't do it without your support.
Community Input and Participation
The Better Billings Foundation is a Montana non-profit corporation 501 (c) (3) recognized in 2005 to facilitate projects, programs or activities in the Billings area. By giving kids safe, fun recreational opportunities they avoid at-risk activities and thrive in our community. The BBF board strongly believes that there is a relevant need for an additional aquatic facility in Billings. For over 20 years there has been a desire for another aquatic facility in Billings and now more than even after the loss of Athletic Pool our families and kids need a place to recreate, socialize and exercise.
Aquatics and Recreational Facilities Feasibility Studies completed in December 2002 and February 2009 definitively state the need for another aquatic facility in Billings.
• Billings lacks aquatic and recreational facilities, especially in comparison with national statistics and trends.
• Billings has two public pools
• Considering a population base within the primary service area of Billings, there is a significant market for a multi-faceted outdoor leisure aquatic center.
• Sahara Park just off Airport Road will serve the entire community and addresses the specific need for the North Park, Mid town and Heights areas.
• The proposed leisure pool design concept will attract more pool visitors, generate more revenue and attract people from a greater distance than a traditional pool.
In addition to the Aquatics and Recreational Facilities Study that surveyed the entire community in order to establish which amenities would be most desirable, the BBF spent several months interviewing various user groups to determine the features that should be included in the design for enjoyment and operational viability. The design team has worked closely with local architects, engineers and a national design firm to incorporate all the research into the proposed design in order to attain maximum benefit while achieving the best outcome for operational success.
The value of generosity starts with the board of directors whom have all made significant personal contributions to the project. As part of the Pool Together campaign the board has developed a donor recognition plan.
• All direct donations to Pool Together over $1,000. will be permanently recognized in the admission area on the donor wall of fame in categories listed on the donation form and on the web site (unless the donor wishes to remain anonymous)
• Several 10 year sponsorship opportunities available
• Several permanent naming opportunities available. For more information on sponsorship and naming opportunities please contact Chuck Barthuly BBF Executive Director.
Nearing the finish line
The BBF has taken the ambitious role to complete the funding for this project and will serve as the private developer, owner and operator. Beyond delivering a buildable site that has the appropriate utilities and zoning, no additional support from the City of Billings is anticipated.
The race is not over yet and the anchor leg needs to finish strong. To be a part of the team you can make a tax-deductible gift through a variety of methods:
• Outright cash/check gift (see card)
• Multi-year pledge (see card)
• Gift a capital asset (see card)
• On-line at betterbillings.com click the “Donate” tab
Other Creative Ways to Contribute:
• Check with your employer to see if they have a matching contributions plan
• Offer to volunteer contact email@example.com
• Spread the word about this opportunity to improve our community
Q and A:
Will families be able to afford it?
An entire family will be able to enjoy the facility everyday throughout the summer for under $200. We anticipate providing scholarships and reduced fees for under resourced families.
Why not just build a traditional swimming pool?
Aquatic center seems like a fancy name for a swimming pool, but pool design concepts have changed with increased entertainment value to attract more users in order to sustain cash flow of operations.
When will the aquatic center open?
The Grand Opening for the center is anticipated to be in the summer of 2012.
Why not build an indoor aquatic facility?
As much as we support the idea of an indoor facility they are extremely expensive to build and operate. Operating costs are 5 to 6 times higher than an outdoor pool. Given the enormous operating costs, there currently is not a funding source to support an indoor facility.