Tag: Alabama Splash Adventure

After Years of Tumult, Alabama Splash Adventure Is on the Rebound

There’s a reason Pat Koch is better known as “The General.”

It’s more than just the role she plays in television commercials with her son Dan for their family-run park, Alabama Splash Adventure. If you see her zoom about the grounds of the Bessemer attraction on her motorized chair, you’ll see her command troops of young workers as if they were soldiers on an army post. She orders, and off they march.

Unlike most military generals, though, if she sees a problem that needs to be fixed quickly, she’s apt to take on the task herself.

On a recent tour of the park, Koch (pronounced “cook”) stopped in mid-sentence when she saw one of their free soft drink dispensers that was in a bit of disarray.

“Just look at this,” she said with a sigh. She pulled up to the dispenser, grabbed some trash and threw it into a garbage bin, then used paper towels to soak up some spills.

“I like things to be nice and neat. I can’t understand people who just leave trash lying around!” she exclaimed, and then was back into tour-guide mode.

Not bad for someone aged north of 80, but who’s been in the theme park business for most of her life.
It’s an attitude she tries to impart to the rest of the employees as her family continues its effort to put the long-troubled attraction on solid footing.

The park that started life as VisionLand in 1998 — the product of a plan by then-Fairfield Mayor Larry Langford and a consortium of other local governments — has seen as many ups and downs as its famous Rampage roller coaster. But since 2014, the facility has seen a turnabout under the Koch family, which has been in the business since before the term “theme park” was even in use. Read more.