Just-reopened Belle Isle slide closes after riders bounced it


Detroit – The historic giant waterslide that reopened on Belle Isle in Detroit on Friday closed early on the first day after people were seen bouncing on it by descending too quickly, officials said.

The slide’s surface will be touched up with wax to slow down riders, according to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

“For tonight, we’re giving it a little scrub and we’ll be open again at 11:00 p.m. tomorrow,” said Joel Thomas, Belle Isle supervisor for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

About 400 people raced down the slide on Friday.

“People were there just for fun today and it was really fun to watch,” Thomas said.

When Kasey Chapple, 9, of Warren, caught her on the slide on Friday, she thought, “Oh my God, I want to go down so badly.”

She came down then: “Boom! Bounce. Bounce.”

Kasey would come back down, she said, but not on Friday. Maybe the next day.

The slide was “scary” for 12-year-old Donovan Harrison of Roseville. The wind made it “very fragile”, surprising Harrison, who is dizzy.

“It was fun, but I almost got blown away,” he said.

Max Maybee, 11, of Pleasant Ridge “got a lot of airtime on one of the jumps in the middle,” he said.

“Like I was flying through the slide and fell like crazy.”

Max was there on Friday with his mum, Nikki Maybee, who said the slide was “one of the best things to do” as a kid.

“It was terrifying…and fun all at the same time,” she said. “It’s just great to see the slide open up for another generation to enjoy. We love it. What a great day here in Belle Isle.

The slide was closed in 2020 and 2021 during the pandemic.

“Now that some things for the public are reopened and we’ve gotten all the approval…we decided to go ahead and make it work,” Thomas added. “Our plan is to run it over Labor Day weekend and hopefully every year after that.”

People ride down the giant Belle Isle waterslide in Detroit on August 19, 2022.

The six-lane slide will continue to operate from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through Labor Day.

The cost is $1 per slide.

It opened in 1967 and had 1,400 sliders in its first two weekends.

Belle Isle representatives said it was a partnership with the park’s youth summer jobs program to expose children to parks and natural environments through its work cohort, in the hope that participants consider natural resource-based careers in the future.

Detroit News staff writers Myesha Johnson and Robin Buckson contributed.


Comments are closed.