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Mikey Morgan, 3, from Wilton, cools off under a fountain at the Waterslide World water park in Lake George in August 2015. The park will not open this summer after the death of its founder.

LAKE GEORGE — Water Slide World, the Lake George water park that has been a summer staple in the region for decades, will not open this summer after the death of its founder.

Gary Koncikowski died suddenly earlier this year. He and his wife, Dawn, have operated the Route 9 park for nearly 40 years, and were hands-on owners, along with other family members present every day it was open.

In addition to being a tourist favorite, the park employed dozens of local teens every summer.

His wife posted a statement on the park website, www.waterslideworld.info, announcing the decision this week.

The statement posted on the website reads:

“It is with great sadness that I have to share bad news with you. The creator, designer, builder, owner and operator of Water Slide World, for the past 39 seasons, Gary Koncikowski, has passed away. It was sudden and totally unexpected. After much consideration and analyzing all of the pros and cons to managing and operating the water park on my own, without my husband, partner and best friend of 39 years, I have decided that I cannot fill my sneakers and his.

“As a result, I have decided not to Open Water Slide World for the 2018 Summer Season. I would like to thank you for your patronage over the past 39 years. Have a great summer. God Bless all of my summer friends and thank you, Dawn Koncikowski.”

The Koncikowskis had tried to sell the park in the 1990s, but did not get a price they deemed sufficient and continued to operate it through ever-changing tourism markets.

Gary Koncikowski, an Argyle native and entrepreneur who owned numerous businesses in the Lake George area, died last month at the age of 70.

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