Historic Family Park Slides Into Its 110th Year

Quassy Amusement Park in Middlebury, Connecticut was approaching its centennial as a destination park for families when the owners realized they needed to future-proof their attractions. Facing an increasingly competitive market that was negatively affecting attendance, Quassy management decided to take the plunge with a water park.

Fifteen years later, they’re still expanding and more successful than ever. They’re now heading into their 110th year with three brand new ProSlide® raft rides.

Destination: Quassy

Quassy began as a trolley park, situated at the end of trolley lines owned by electric companies. Parks like Quassy were destinations for the public and gave a reason to run the trolleys on weekends. The initial attractions were only a dance hall, the lakeshore, and a carousel. Soon enough came paddle boats, roller skating, clam bakes and more. By the late 1970s, the park was adding new rides nearly every year.

Eric Anderson, now the park’s president, remembers sneaking into Quassy as a child to play skeeball. “I got caught, and they made me work to pay off my sins,” he remembers. “I never left after that. I’ve been here ever since.”

Navigating Unchartered Waters

As the park was edging closer to its hundredth year, it began to face serious competition. Lake Compounce park underwent a $40 million investment in new rides and infrastructure, and Six Flags New England was also nearby and drawing more than a million attendants a year. “The park was in a lot of trouble,” says Anderson.

Part of the challenge for Quassy was installing attractions that catered to its demographic, but still provided the excitement level of the competitors. “We’re a family-aged park,” says Anderson. “We’re not a thrill park. We really want the parent and the child to experience the ride or attraction together.”

At the time, water parks were becoming very popular, and Quassy had not yet delved into that style of attraction for their guests. Enter ProSlide®.

  • 3 ProSlide® Rides

  • 300 Gallon Bucket, Kids Rides

Powered by ProSlide®

Eric and his team began phase one of their waterpark in 2003 with their newly dubbed “Saturation Station.” The SCS play structure included a 300 gallon tipping bucket, water cannons and two ProSlide® KIDZ slides. The success was instant.

Quassy management had found the perfect niche attractions that delivered big thrills to little guests, and to their parents too. ProSlide’s® master planning and engineering departments collaborated with Quassy for every water park expansion thereafter.

“We’re always confident we make a wise choice when we work with ProSlide®,” says Anderson. Two years after the installation of the Saturation Station, ProSlide® worked with Quassy to design two TWISTER™ speed slides that became an overnight sensation with their signature ProSlide® compound curves. “The success of the park has been greatly influenced by the designs that they bring to us and to our customers,” Anderson goes on.

ProSlide® was also able to expertly configure the slides—and all future installations—according to the relatively small Quassy footprint and the town’s height restriction of 35 feet.

What followed were the BulletBOWL and the extreme ProSlide® FreeFALL™ slides of 2013, and then Quassy’s Slide City (with five ProSlide® KIDZ slides) three years later.

“The water park is by far a major driver of attendance,” Anderson says. The popularity of the rides completely changed the fate of Quassy. With the success of each new water attraction, the park gained the momentum and the means to continue investing in itself. Now, the park is ready to unveil its biggest capital expense ever in its history, just in time for its 110th anniversary.

Sliding Ahead

The new investment, debuting in May 2018, includes:

  • A patented ProSlide® TORNADO® 18 funnel in which riders experience high-banking swings and zero-gravity moments before plunging into the next series of flumes.
  • Two ProSlide® PIPEline™ serpentine slides that push the limits of gravity as riders soar to the top of banked 180º and 360º curves.

The trio of slides has a combined length of more than 1000 feet. The new complex provides thrills, but doesn’t overwhelm the little ones experiencing the park. It will be another perfect family attraction for Quassy guests.

“I’m excited and the customers are excited,” says Anderson of the new installation. “It’s action-packed, people are going to love it and it’s going to double the capacity of our water park.”

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The water park really saved Quassy. . . The excitement for the BulletBOWL™ and the other slides that we have is tremendous.

Eric Anderson Quassy Amusement Park

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