Looking Back Over the Past 25 Years
1993 The Year it Started
The idea was tossed around about creating a site where divers could go and enjoy a day of fun. After a few seasons of working with another site and knowing what divers wanted and how they wanted to be treated, it was decided to start looking for a place and make preparations. After viewing several potential sites we were finally able to locate the old Christian Co Rock Quarry. Once permission was given and we had a chance to dive it, the wheels were put into motion. The founding of Pennyroyal Scuba Center. With the placement of our first attraction the 1941 Dodge Firetruck and a small dock Pennyroyal was ready to receive divers for the first official season in 1994
Turn of the Century
With the 20th century coming to a close, we started thinking about how could we set ourselves apart from other dive sites that would make Pennyroyal a unique location. By this time there were 3 other dive sites within a 2 hour drive of our growing little park and we didn’t want to get lost in the mix. 2 of the sites had been around longer and were well known. With the internet becoming popular and the other well know sites having a web presence, we decided that we wanted to take it beyond just a website. In 2003 we not only launched our website but also our computerized check in system for our guest. This was truly unknown territory as no one else was doing it. With that said we had to build a system that we could use to help not only register but check divers in. Our original computer check in started with just 2 terminals running simple modified software. By this time we had already place several new attractions and a couple new platforms. This was also when the quarry filled over into what is now the shallow area or open water training area. Believe it or not, there was a time when our guest could park where our confined area is now.
2008 The New Office
After having our original office trailer for 14 years, we decided that it was just too small to allow us to check in guest. With a larger building we could not only have more check in stations but we also planning a larger service area, rental area, classroom along with an administrative office for Dennis & Kris. Several local divers chipped in and helped get to construction underway. With construction starting in 2007, we worked though the off season and had it ready to open for the 2008 season. The new building offered about 3 times the area that we started with. During construction we wanted to implement a building wide network where we could access a central computer to allow more terminals to be added along with getting things ready to go digital filing.
The Dreaming Years
Like any business, getting started is just the beginning. With the development of a new dive site we were unsure how the diving community would respond. Of course we were located in a land locked state with not very many dive shops close by and those that were had been diving other sites for several years. We knew we had to focus on making our new site a place that instructors could use early on. We added 2 platforms in 1994. One being for Open Water training and the other for Advanced Open Water training. As it was, we could not just start building things as for the first 10 years the water level was on the rise. We made due with a couple of tables and a couple of platforms during this time. I titled this the dream years because most days we opened we would only have a few divers and by a few I mean 2 to 6 a day. The admission fee was $8 per day. Air fills were $3 and we would sit outside talking and watching for guest to arrive. Those days we could only dream of what Pennyroyal could become.
The Hurricane Aftermath
It was in 2005 that we finally found out that the quarry had finished rising. The remnants of Hurricane Katrina came inland and over our region. With the devastation that Katrina has caused in her path we were unsure of how she was going to affect us so far inland. Still packing a little of a punch, Katrina left a ton of rain which made the quarry water level rise into the pavilion area. Several tables were in the water. Though not completely submerged most of our staging area was now part of the quarry. It was this point that we had to wait see. Luckily after a few weeks, the water receded and leveled out back to normal. It was at this point we knew that the quarry had stopped filling. It was at this time that we went into full swing and really started to develop the dream we had.