It's challenging to think of splashing around in a whitewater park when the temperature is near freezing, but a new study indicates that Kelly's Whitewater Park in Cascade has pumped a much-needed $600,000 into Valley County's economy.
This morning's McCall Star-News reports that the study, conducted by the University of Idaho Extension Service in Valley County, revealed that the whitewater park "gave Cascade a different feel to people, a different name."
"It solidified Cascade's transition from being a mill town to becoming a tourist destination," U of I Extension Educator Willem Braak told the Star-News.
Last July, Boise Weekly visited the park, where more than 60 of the nation's top kayakers participated in their sport's 2012 national championships.
“It’s a really freeing experience being out on a wave by yourself, just [to feel] the water beneath the boat,” Haley Mills, one of the nation's leading freestyle kayakers, told BW.
It's estimated that Kelly's Whitewater Park logged approximately 20,000 visitors in 2010 and 50,000 during 2011, when the study was conducted.