BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — Raleigh County Parks and Recreation board members voted on Tuesday, January 17, 2023, to raise admission at Lake Stephens Aqua Park from $6 to $9 for the upcoming 2023 season.

Raleigh County Parks and Recreation Director Molly Williams said there is high competition for lifeguards, which are necessary to keep swimmers safe. As a result, she said, lifeguard salaries have increased, making it necessary to raise the cost of admission.

Ron Hedrick, a board member of Raleigh County Parks and Recreation, said the price is still fair.

“It’s still cheaper than the price of a movie ticket,” said Hedrick. ” You get to spend a great time in the summer. You get the beach.”

Lake Stephens has a splash pad for younger children and toddlers, a beach and an aqua park of inflatables.

The $9 covers a 45-minute session at the beach and aqua park, Williams said. People who want to use the Splashpad need to purchase the $7 pass that includes access to the beach. People who want to attend the beach, aqua park and Splashpad are required to purchase the season pass.

The board voted to increase Pavillion rental rates by $50 and to increase some camping rental fees.