Consultant blames $3 county parking fee for Macon water park's financial losses

Sandy Beach Water Park (WGXA)

MACON, Ga. -- An Atlanta firm reported that Macon's Sandy Beach Water Park isn't making any money and blames a $3 county parking fee for the loss.

Financial consultant Gregory Hays said the original owner, Jeff Franklin, defaulted on the park and said that now the facility needs a local operator.

Hays added that the park had a bad season in 2017 with only 25,000 people visiting it and wants the county to get rid of the parking fee.

Commissioner Elaine Lucas said that the county invested over $250,000 into the park and that the parking fee is the only way to get a return on their investment.

"That parking represents a significant amount of money, so if we don't extend that same kind of incentive to others who rent of utilize county facilities then it wouldn't be fair to extend it to that one entity," she said.

Macon-Bibb Mayor Pro Tem Al Tillman said they're working on free parking for visitors.

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