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Splish Splash seeks license to sell alcohol this summer

Splish Splash is seeking a notice waiver from Riverhead Town as it applies for a liquor license to serve alcohol at its Calverton water park this summer.

The water park must give the town 30 days’ notice of its pending liquor license application, unless the town allows it to waive that requirement. The park, through attorney Theresa Russo, is asking the town to waive the notice period in order to expedite the liquor license application process, according to a resolution introduced at Thursday’s Town Board work session.

The water park is scheduled to open May 27.

While Town Board members didn’t state whether or not they support the resolution during the work session, they did have a brief discussion about the water park’s plan.

“I guess they’re going to sell beer and water slides — it’s like a marriage made in heaven,” Supervisor Sean Walter joked.

“I want to see these people coming down these slides after they’re drinking,” Councilman John Dunleavy added.

Councilwoman Jodi Giglio noted she believes the park currently has a “nice little concession.”

When reached for comment after the meeting, Splish Splash general manager Mike Bengtson said a plan to serve alcohol at the water park has been discussed in recent years and the company decided to move forward this summer in response to a nationwide trend of serving alcoholic beverages at water and amusement parks.

“Our number one goal has always been safety,” he said, adding the water park’s focus will continue to provide a family-friendly atmosphere. “We would mandate strict supervision by management to ensure a zero-tolerance policy of inappropriate behavior.”

Mr. Bengtson said there are no plans to construct sit-down or swim-up bars. Only beer and wine would be sold and drinking would be restricted to cabana and picnic areas, he added.

“Our demographic is not just drinkers,” he said, “but it’s someone who wants to enjoy the day with their family while relaxing on a hot summer day and have a drink with a sandwich.”

The Town Board is expected to vote on the waiver Tuesday at its next meeting.

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File photo credit: Grant Parpan

   Splish Splash resolution