Water Skeeters

Opened: April 1971
Closed: 1991

Water Skeeters in April 1971. Photo courtesy of Deseret News

Often referred to as the pedal boats or paddle boats, the Water Skeeters were the last in a long history of attractions on Lagoon Lake. During the early days of Lagoon around the turn of the 20th century, the lake was about four times larger than it is today. Boats of different shapes and sizes offered Lagoon guests a moment of relaxation on the tranquil man-made lagoon which the park was named for.

When the Water Skeeters opened to guests in spring 1971, there were 20 boats carrying two passengers each. A path was marked by buoys on the southwest side of the lake. In that first year, the lake was shared by a small riverboat called the Showboat. After the Showboat was taken out of operation, floating guide rails designated the path for riders to follow which traveled around the entire lake. The dock was in the northwest corner of the lake.

1972 aerial photo showing the path for the Water Skeeters on the lake. Photo courtesy of Deseret News

When Tidal Wave opened in that location in 1980, a new dock was built in the northeast corner accessed by a bridge that crossed over the path of the boats. The large metal gate used for the Water Skeeters remained in place at the entrance to Tidal Wave until the early ’90s.

At least three different types of pedal boats were used during the ride’s 21-year lifespan. The original multi-colored boats were traded out for similar boats of a different style before being replaced by metal boats. The ride was removed completely after the 1991 season.

Water Skeeters, 1991
Water Skeeters in their final season. Photo courtesy of Lagoon

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SOURCES

4 Freshmen To Open New Lagoon Season. Deseret News, 26 May 1959.

Lagoon Adds Water Skeeters. Deseret News, 9 Apr 1971.

Hess, Margaret Steed. My Farmington: 1847-1976. Daughters Of Utah Pioneers, Helen Mar Miller Camp, Farmington, Utah. 1976.

Email to author from Scott N., 15 Nov 2003.

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3 thoughts on “Water Skeeters”

  1. I’m not sure if it’s still there, but when I was there last (2 years ago) you could still see one of the paddle boats at the dock if you look across the lake from the Tidal Wave and the Turn Of The Century.

  2. Bit of a late reply, but just in case Tristan happens to come back & see this, thought I’d update. That lone boat on the far side of the lake was actually used for maintenance purposes (such as servicing the fountains).

    There’s a small dock in a little cove there just to the north of the pen with… I want to say, the camels? You can spot it if you look to the right just after you pass the wooden fence in that area. The boat used to be docked there, where maintenance staff would occasionally use it to access the lake (although typically with a small trolling motor… pedaling gets old really quickly, especially if you’re out there on your own).

    I hadn’t been to the park in a few seasons, but I noticed that as of 2015, the boat is no longer there. There aren’t really any places to hide boats on the lake, and I definitely haven’t seen it anywhere else. I’m assuming there must be another more portable method for getting out onto the lake for maintenance tasks these days.

  3. Thanks! Better late than never. I believe they just use a basic aluminum fishing boat now which is brought in on a trailer when needed. That’s interesting they used an old pedal boat for cleaning the lake.

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