By Tonya Bockover
For White Lake Water Park owners, Ted and Connie Hucks, water and summer fun is their specialty. According to Connie Hucks, the thought of starting a water park crossed their mind when they stumbled across the land at White Lake. Ted Hucks designed the water park himself.
The Hucks own a pool construction company, Hucks Pools, in Myrtle Beach where they have been building state of the art pools since 1963. In 2003, Hucks Pools started constructing a pool and lazy river in Santee for Big Water Resorts and a rainy day spurred Ted into taking a drive to White Lake to have a look around.
“We bought the land in 2003 and started building,” states Connie Hucks, “we had first looked at lake front land, but it was a little bit more than we wanted to spend.” They opened for business in 2004.
“The first couple of years were lean, but then business picked up,” said Connie Hucks. In fact, the water park has expanded three times. The large swimming pool was added in 2005, the Go-Karts in 2006 and the wave pool was opened in 2015. When asked about further expansion, she says they have room in the current fenced in area to add another water feature, such as a slide, but that would be a project for the future.
The tiki huts were also a big hit. The tiki huts are rentable covered shelters inside the park’s gates that come in various sizes, depending on your need. They have picnic tables and charcoal grills provided by the park. The park started out with only 2 huts for daily rental, but the park now has 24 huts to rent out each day.
Connie Hucks said she enjoys hiring local youth and young adults to staff the park each summer. For some of the kids, this is their first job. She says her group of local youth are hard working and respectful. “I feel like they are my own,” she said. Hucks says she has one staffer that used to come to the park as a child and now works as a guard. She even said that she knows a couple who met as children at the water park and are now married.
The park brings in a large number of out-of-town guests each weekend in the summer. On an average summer Saturday, the park could see around 2,000 guests.
“Active military are always free,” states staff manager Lindsey Bockover, “we get a lot of families from Camp Lejeune and Fort Bragg.” Bockover added the most rewarding part of her job comes when she gets to see the smiles of the patrons who have enjoyed a day in the sunshine and water. “Those smiles make the hot, hard days well worth it,” Bockover said.
For 13 years, the park has been offering Bladen County good, cool fun on a hot summer day. There may be an anniversary celebration in the works in two years for their 15th year in business. “We’ll just wait and see,” says Connie Hucks.